The 25 year old lifetime showjumper Savanna Valjalo made it a dream winning race-riding debut at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Saturday when she rode a beautifully balanced race to get the fancied Gravity home for the Justin Snaith team in the second R200 000 Okapi Ladies International.
The ladies race was the opening event on the L’Ormarins King’s Plate raceday.
One of seven riders in the field of 12 who were making their debut, Savanna Valjalo had Gravity, who was wearing blinkers for the first time, tucked up a few lengths off the pace set by Love Shack in the 1200m contest.
Into the final 200m, Miss Valjalo, who had remarkably only sat on a real racehorse just four months ago, produced the 9-2 favourite Gravity (9-2) and the son of Querari bounced clear to beat Kim Meaker on the fast finishing Riverstone (7-1) by 2 lengths, with Vicky Lerena completing the trifecta on the 6-1 The US Of A, who was a neck further back in third.
A R700 000 National Yearling Sale graduate, Gravity, who races in a partnership of Cape Racing Chairman Greg Bortz, Leon Ellman and Race Director, Gina Goldsmith, was bred by Cheveley Stud and is by Querari (Oasis Dream) out of the four-time winning Captain Al mare Earth’s Orbit, who also raced out of the Snaith yard.
Gravity has won once from 7 starts with 2 places for stakes of R170 175.
Enjoy the replay: