Another chapter in the Atyaab fairytale was written at Kenilworth on Saturday when the Australian-bred former big stable resident powered to victory in the R200 000 New Turf Carriers Gr2 Western Cape Stayers as the shadows lengthened over a largely deserted Kenilworth Racecourse.
The Attie story has been well documented.
Purchased mostly blind, but with the enthusiastic support of trainer Zietsman Oosthuizen by owner Suzette Viljoen for just R150 000 off a BSA sale from Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Mike de Kock 2019 Gr1 Cape Derby winner had clearly been deemed to have reached time for moving on in his environment.
But former Kimberley trainer Zietsman Oosthuizen saw a flicker of hope and tending the big fellow back from just a trot when he arrived at Fairview in September, to a glorious Gr2 success on one of South Africa’s major racedays, was professional satisfaction that he couldn’t have dreamt possible in his first full season as a trainer.
Ridiculed in some quarters for trying the Summer Cup after a ten month break with only a track prep, Atyaab was in Cape Town on L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate day and ran a gutsy second behind Silver Host in the Okapi Gr3 Chairman’s Cup run over 2500m.
On Saturday, he enjoyed a 3kg turnaround at the weights, was going 300m further and Warren Kennedy had gotten to know him. He was ready to go one better and showed no hangover from his ten hour road trip, looking a picture in the ring.
The Fairview raider staked pacesetter Run Red the whole way round and then kept on resolutely in the straight when challenged and stayed on best at 6-1 to beat the favourite Silver Host (12-10) by 2,25 lengths in a time of 180,94 secs.
This was a second feature trophy on the day for Suzette Viljoen after Captain’s Ransom had annihilated her field in the Gr1 Majorca Stakes an hour earlier.
Originally acquired for A$260,000, the Inglis Easter purchase for Shadwell from the Arrowfield Stud draft, is from the first crop of High Chaparral’s champion son Dundeel and is a half-brother to stakes-winner Vesper.
Atyaab has won five of his nineteen starts for six places and stakes of R1 223 937.
Zietsman feels that Attie’s best is yet to be seen and he has big plans on the East Coast, that include a possible tilt at the Vodacom Durban July.