It’s been twelve years since Mike de Kock saddled Igugu to wear the champion trainer’s only SA Triple Tiara crown.
On Sunday we saw a spark of hope for the series from the same yard in the shape of the lightly raced Silver Sanctuary, who stepped up to win the R200 000 Listed Summer Pudding Handicap at Turffontein.
Run in previous years as the Syringa Handicap, the mile feature attracted a competitive field of mixed age fairer sex gallopers, but it was Silver Sanctuary who proved equal to the task when she courageously found her way through a tight gap to stamp herself a 2024 SA Triple Tiara candidate.
Scratched from her last start due to a mucus build-up, the 28-10 favourite showed no after effects as she benefitted from a cucumber cool ride by JP van der Merwe, to launch from the box seat inside the 200m and beat her gutsy year older stablemate Bonete (5-1) by three quarters of a length in a time of 98,62 secs.
Emirate Gina (10-1) loomed menacingly late in the race and was a head back in third.
JP van der Merwe has forged a good relationship with Silver Sanctuary, and was capping his fifth ride (no other jockey has ridden her in a race) with a first stakes success.
It’s been a good week for JP – a treble at Turffontein on Thursday was followed by a victory in the Listed Laisserfaire Stakes at Hollywoodbets Durbanville on Saturday on Baltic Secret, and a follow-up feature here.
A full-sister to the 2023 Betway Summer Cup hopeful Safe Passage and, like the well-performed Gr1 Daily News 2000 winner, also raced and bred by Drakenstein Stud, Silver Sanctuary is a daughter of our late multiple champion Silvano (Lomitas) out of the four-time winning Antonius Pius mare, My Sanctuary.
She has now won 3 races with a place from her five starts for stakes of R245 000.
Enjoy the replay: