Playing To The Whistle

De Kock strikes in the R200 000 Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes

Good win. Whistle Stop (Anthony Delpech) catches Willow Magic in the last few strides to win well. (JC Photos)

Good win. Whistle Stop (Anthony Delpech) catches Willow Magic in the last few strides to win well. (JC Photos)

Even champions have to exercise patience at times. So it was with Mike De Kock and Anthony Delpech having to endure a frustrating day at Turffontein on Saturday. That is until a smart Silvano gelding  asserted his authority to score a dramatic late dash win in the R200 000 Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes.

The draw cards had been dealt rather nastily for the top duo and even in this 1400m race, they were faced with an 11 jump in a field of 16. But when you have got the horse and things work out well, then it is a different story.

The pace was on from the break as Julius Mariba took Aurum Pot out to lead Tiger Territory, Roman Express, and Willow Magic.

Into the home run, S’manga Khumalo executed a similar move to that which had worked so well on Classic Illusion in the Yellowwood Handicap a fortnight earlier.

He put his foot down and grabbed three lengths on his field as Willow Magic skated clear at the 600m marker.

Into the final 300m Khumalo was well clear and being hailed a winner as Whistle Stop had many lengths to peg back.

Inside the final 200m things changed as Whistle Stop gathered full stride and he caught the leader late won going away by a half length in a time of 83,29 secs.

Winning jockey Anthony Delpech was naturally full of smiles afterwards and quipped that ‘the whole day had gone against me.’

“We gave that second horse a big start. This is a very smart horse who wants further. Make a note of him,” he said.

Trainer Mike De Kock echoed Delpech’s sentiments about the day and added that he was disappointed to get beaten with Whistle Stop last time.

“This is a lovely horse and he has a fantastic pedigree. It is the old Horse Chestnut family and they have produced plenty of winners. He will be better over further. I must just say well done to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum for his patience. He has a good sort here and I am probably looking at the Guineas and the Dingaans going forward,” he said.

The winner was bred by Wilgerbosdrift Stud and is by Silvano out of the four time winning Rich Man’s Gold mare, Gap Year.

Whistle Stop has now won two of his three places and earned at all of his starts. He has earned a total of R182 800 in stakes.

Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes  (SAf-Gr3)
Turffontein, South Africa, November 2, R200k, 1400m, turf, good, 1.23.29
WHISTLE STOP (SAF), 53.5, b g 3, Silvano (GER) – Gap Year (SAF) by Rich Man’s Gold (USA). Owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum; breeder Wilgerbosdrift; trainer MF de Kock; jockey A Delpech
Willow Magic (AUS), 58.0, ch c 3, Dubawi (IRE) – La Willow (AUS) by Tierce (AUS)
Weekend Temper (ARG), 54.5, ch g 3, Tapit (USA) – Weekend Kaper (USA) by Honor Grades (USA)
Margins: ½, 3¾, ½

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