Gr2 SA Nursery: Delago Deluxe

Delago Deluxe, up against Midnight Serenade in a tough race

Delage Deluxe gave his many backers something of a scare first, but he eventually delivered the goods to remain undefeated from three starts after he captured the SA Nursery over 1160m at Turffontein on Saturday, writes Matthew Lips.

The Australian-bred colt had won his two previous races by a combined margin of eight lengths and was the 9/10 favourite in a field that was reduced to eleven when rank outsider Carnaby Street was withdrawn after hurting himself in the starting gates.  Right Beauty, who’d made a successful debut against previous winners over the same course-and-distance eighteen days earlier, was the 28/10 second favourite ahead of Astro News, who was well supported from an ante-post call of 14/1 to start at precisely half that price.

Delago Deluxe was right up with the action from the start and was in fact the early leader from Midnight Serenade and Nine Tail Cat, with Tennessee Strategy (a stable companion to the favourite) also showing considerable toe.  Right Beauty was further back with Astro News.  Midnight Serenade delivered a strong challenge and went on by Delago Deluxe inside the final 200m, the pair eventually pulling a long way clear of the rest, but Delago Deluxe was not to be denied.  Galvanized back into action by Anton Marcus, the market leader regained the advantage from Midnight Serenade in the final stages to prevail by a neck.  It was fully 4.5 lengths back to third placed Astro News, who never looked like finishing any closer, while Right Beauty also never got into the hunt before finishing a neck further behind in fourth.  In the case of Right Beauty especially a longer distance than 1160m seems likely to suit better, for the son of Dubai Duty Free hero Right Approach and Cape Fillies Guineas winner Emerald Beauty is bred to comfortably get 1600m.

Marcus remarked afterwards that Midnight Serenade had gone almost one length up on him at one stage.  Still not feeling one hundred percent right after being booked off sick after one ride at the previous evening’s Greyville meeting, Marcus had to ride a determined finish despite his slightly wonky condition to get Delago Deluxe home.  In Anton’s opinion, the colt will stay 1400m and possibly even a mile later on in his career and Delago Deluxe is clearly a two-year-old of very considerable talent who could be in line for even greater honours during the KZN winter season, where the Gr 1 races for his age begin and end.

Delago Deluxe is trained by Charles Laird, who was not overly enamoured with the ride which Marcus gave Delago Deluxe in the early stages of the race.  “He cocked it up by going at a canter,” was his succinct summing up of the race.  All’s well that ends well, though.  Delago Deluxe is a colt by top notch Australian sire Encosta de Lago and is the first foal of Flying Spur mare Succeeding, who won three races over 1400/1600m.  It is an excellent family, for Succeeding is a half sister to Gr 1 winners Duporth and Excites as well as to Gr 2 winner and Gr 1 runner-up Tickets.  Delago Deluxe’s second dam Staging was a multiple Gr2/Gr 3 winner who was placed second or third in four Gr 1 races.

It took a hefty Aus $550 000 to purchase Delago Deluxe from the 2010 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale, but he has the pedigree to be a stallion one day and his three wins from as many starts have brought in stakes of R481 250 for owners Ingrid and Markus Jooste.

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SA Nursery (SAf-G2) (4/30)
Turffontein, South Africa, April 30, R500.000, 1160m, turf, good, 1.07.58 (CR 1.05.12).
1 – DELAGO DELUXE (AUS), 58.0, b c 2, Encosta De Lago (AUS) – Succeeding (AUS) by Flying Spur (AUS). Owner Mrs I and Mr M J Jooste; breeder Mr G Harvey (AUS); trainer C S Laird; jockey A Marcus (R312.500)
2 – Midnight Serenade (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, Malhub – Sapphire Serenade (SAF) by Harry Hotspur (SAF)
3 – Astro News (SAF), 58.0, ch c 2, Silvano (GER) – Orange Moon (SAF) by Dominion Royale (GB)
Margins: nk, 4½, ½
Also ran: Right Beauty (SAF) 58.0, Nine Tail Cat (SAF) 58.0, Star Dance (SAF) 58.0, Tennessee Strategy (AUS) 58.0, Havana Beat (SAF) 58.0, Platoon (SAF) 58.0, Key Ridge (SAF) 58.0, Wind At Your Back (SAF) 58.0

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