Ridgemont’s Dazzling Hollywoodbets Durban July Day

A Tradition of Champions

Robertson breeding operation Ridgemont had a dream day at Hollywoodbets Greyville last Saturday as they celebrated a glorious top two with products of their sponsored Grade 1 feature, and followed that scintillating exacta with an eye-catching winner in a Grade 2 just a half hour later.

Piere Strydom and Humdinger after the Ridgemont Gr1 Garden Province Stakes (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The R1,5 million Ridgemont Gr1 Garden Province Stakes ranks amongst the most important weight-for-age contests for fillies and mares in South Africa, and produced a literal ‘humdinger’ of a finish as two Ridgemont home-breds in Humdinger and the year younger Happy Chance, fought out a finish that had the 40 000 strong crowd on their feet.

A gallant mare, described by trainer Mike de Kock as the kind of horse every owner dreams of racing, Humdinger marked a 140th Grade 1 milestone for the master conditioner, and a maiden elite level success for her thrilled owners, when she stayed on resolutely to hold off fellow Ridgemont bred Dynasty daughter, Happy Chance, in a thriller.

The very versatile Humdinger, a full-sister to the speedy East Cape-based stakes winner and 2021/22 season award-winner Glacier Gold, has now won 8 races with 15 places from 33 starts for stakes of over R2,3 million.

She is by Equus speed champion What A Winter (Western Winter) out of the five time – winning Fort Wood mare, Himalayan Hill.

Cafe Culture (Richard Fourie) storms home to win the Gr2 Post Merchants (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Young Milnerton trainer Lucinda Woodruff marked a personal milestone of a first feature winner when she saddled the Ridgemont product Café Culture just a half hour later to a seventh victory from 18 starts, after the classy gelding bounded away from his opposition to win the Gr2 Post Merchants and post earnings of close on R900 000.

Café Culture is by deceased champion Var (Forest Wildcat) out of the five-time winning Dynasty mare, Put The Kettle On.

Sponsor and breeder Craig Kieswetter is flanked by Piere Strydom and Gold Circle’s Mayesh Chetty (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Ridgemont’s Craig Kieswetter congratulated the winning connections and his team, lauding the hosts Gold Circle and big race sponsors Hollywoodbets for a truly memorable Hollywoodbets Durban July day.

“They don’t call this Africa’s Greatest Racing event for nothing, and what a privilege and honour it is for us to play a part.” added the delighted Kieswetter.

There was plenty of time honoured sentimentality in the performances of the Ridgemont-bred gallopers as Highlands Stud, which was purchased some seven years ago by Wayne Kieswetter, became synonymous over three decades with breeding quality thoroughbreds, and was for many years the home of the iconic multiple champion, Dynasty.

The Ridgemont era has seen the expansion of the high quality broodmare band. Their resident stallions for the forthcoming breeding season include the exciting Rafeef, his Gr1 winning son Thunderstruck, the multiple Gr1 winner and successful sire Canford Cliffs, SA Triple Crown champion Malmoos, the lightning fast Real Gone Kid, Singspiel’s Gr1 winning son Potala Palace and the imported More Than Ready Gr1 winner, Hit The Road.

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