The Raging River

River Crossing wins the R120 000 Highland Night Cup

The High Land! River Crossing (Anthony Delpech) gallops strongly to win the Highland Night Cup

The High Land! River Crossing (Anthony Delpech) gallops strongly to win the Highland Night Cup

Trainer Mike Bass made a quiet but pleasing start to his Champions Season campaign when the emerging stayer River Crossing ran out an easy winner of the R120 000 Highland Night Cup run over 2500km at Clairwood on Sunday.

The 4yo gelding has been a model of consistency over ground in the past, and he ran right away from his seven opponents in the final stages to win under a balanced Anthony Delpech ride.

The eight race Clairwood programme was characterised by disappointingly small fields, with only just over 80 runners competing over the whole card. But the lack of numbers did not detract from River Crossing’s good win.

Kum Naidoo’s Opera King gelding Scoop The Pool  was declared a half kilo over and Alec Forbes took the solid stayer to lead early from Kolkata and Dubai Gina, with River Crossing settled in fourth.

In the run for home Scoop The Pool continued to lead as Delpech angled River Crossing out with Blake picking things up briefly, before  going disappointingly one paced.

With Marcus hard at work on the fancied filly Dubai Gina, Delpech pressed the launch button as River Crossing swept to the front at the 300m marker and powered on to win impressively by 1,50 lengths in a time of 159,70 secs at a generous 7 to 2.

Scoop The Pool stayed on well for second, with the favourite Dubai Gina running a fair third.

River Crossing’s win capped a great weekend for Varsfontein Stud.

This fellow stays well and could improve further as the season progresses.

He is by the recently deceased Caesour, out of the British bred Irish River mare, Rubicon, who is a two winner in France. Her next dam is a full sister to Machiavellian.

River Crossing was registering his fourth win from 18 starts, with 9 places. He took his earnings to R277 200.

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