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Royal Zulu Warrior puts his best foot forward

Runaway! Royal Zulu Warrior (S'manga Khumal) stretches out impressively (JC Photos)

Runaway! Royal Zulu Warrior (S’manga Khumalo) stretches out impressively (JC Photos)

The enigmatically talented 7yo Royal Zulu Warrior downed two Gr1 winners in the process of winning  the  R115 000  MR R MATHUNYANE PINNACLE STAKES PEUGEOT run over 1450m at Turffontein on Saturday.

The Australian  bred gelding was having only his tenth start in a three year career punctuated by breaks, and while he obviously has his problems, can certainly run when on song.

He looked a picture in the preliminaries  and trainer Kum Naidoo must take much of the credit for his sterling performance.

Form jockey S’manga Khumalo always had Royal Zulu Warrior up in the vanguard, and he gave his opposition the slip at the 300m marker.

Royal Zulu Warrior stayed on strongly to beat the fast finishing War Horse by 3 lengths in a time of 88,17 secs.

The Gr1 SA Classic winner Love Struck appeared to be tight for running room on the inside rail, and despite having every chance, failed to kick on. He ran third and can only improve with this run under his belt.

Royal Zulu Warrior has now won five races with two places from ten starts.

This was his first win beyond 1200m and his career highlight remains a victory in the R200 000 Gr3 Lebelo Sprint run over 1000m at Turffontein under the lights. He achieved that win off a 623 day rest.

The seven year-old gelding, by Vinery stallion Mossman from the New Zealand-bred mare Dark Blue, won his first three races on the trot when trained by Tony Rivalland in KwaZulu-Natal.

Rivalland had purchased him at the Magic Millions Sale after he had passed through the ring for a highest bid of $35 000 after failing his reserve.

Royal Zulu Warrior’s sire Mossman won a Grade 1 over a mile as a late two-year-old and as a three-year-old was placed in Grade 1’s from a mile up to 2 450m.

His damsire Wallenda won a Grade 1 over 2 000m.

However, his dam Dark Blue won four races over distances from 1 200-1400m.

Royal Zulu Warrior will be remembered by the more staunch punter as the horse that caused a rumpus at Scottsville in early November 2010, when making his original ‘debut’.

Royal Zulu Warrior miraculously escaped serious injury and won first time out a month later at Clairwood.

Bred by Attunga Stud in the NSW Hunter Valley, his dam, Dark Blue (NZ) is a mare by the Mr Prospector line stallion Wallenda (USA) and is closely related to New Zealand G1 winners Ensign Enwart (Railway Handicap 1200m) and Prussian Blue (Bayer Classic 1600m).

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