Sheer Staying Pleasure

Pace the negative in 3200m contest

Glen Kotzen and Richard Fourie are the hottest combination in the country at the moment.

They teamed up with another two winners at Kenilworth on Saturday, with Banner Hill scoring a smooth victory in the BMW Gr3 Chairman’s Cup over 3200m.

An elated Richard Fourie poses for the camera as Banner Hill rushes past Piere Strydom and Ovidio for a big win (Pic – Wayne Marks)

While Banner Hill’s feature success was an undoubted highlight, there was nothing wrong with the combination’s first score on the day with the slightly built debutante, Namibia.

The daughter of Var was backed and duly arrived on an impressive debut. The stable also sent out the Judpot filly Ostinato in the same race, and she ran on well for third to qualify for a run on Met day.

But Fourie was at his best in the stayer’s feature, content to idle near the rear in a pedestrian affair.

With 300m to go, he set the 4yo Banner Hill alight and he responded like a decent hearted galloper to outgun another grandson of Danehill in the proven topweight Ovidio by 0,40 lengths in a nothing to write home about 216,36 secs.

We had liked the way Banner Hill had been sharpened up by the astute Kotzen in an 1800m prep, and that razor edge may well have played into his favour when it counted here.

It was a very decent effort in second by Ovidio, who was giving the winner 10,5 kgs.

Glen Kotzen – a stable in hot form!

My World was 0,75 lengths back in third and he always tries hard without ever seeming able to get there.

The 7yo Coltrane grabbed  fourth.

The recent Cape Summer Stayers winner Royal Badge disappointed in sixth and 4,25 lengths behind the winner.

The winning owners Melanie Watson, and Hugo and Suzanne Hattingh were on course to lead their charge in.

An improving stayer, Banner Hill has now won 5 races from 1600m to 3200m, with 5 places from 13 starts and stakes of R406 450.

Banner Hill, who cost R450 000 at the National Yearling Sale, may not have a pedigree very familiar to South African buyers.

He is out of the USA winning Dynaformer mare, Bless You, who is the dam of a German stakes placed winner by Henrythenavigator.

Richard Fourie – riding at the top of his game

He is by a solid middle distance performer in Gestut Fahrhof’s stallion Tiger Hill (Danehill—The Filly, by Appianni II) who died in eerily similar circumstances to his own sire in 2012.

Tiger Hill was purchased out of the 1996 Baden-Baden yearling auction for $74,360 and raced for Georg Baron von Ullmann, winning three Gr1’s  and the Gr2 Mehl-Muelhens-Rennen (German Two Thousand Guineas) among his 10 wins from 17 starts.

His four placings included a third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Retired from racing, Tiger Hill first did stallion duty at Haras du Val Henry in France before moving to Ullmann’s Gestut Schlenderhan, Germany’s oldest privately owned stud.

Tiger Hill has a very continental female family that is free of the most common names found in today’s pedigrees. Bred in Ireland by Gestut Wittekindshof, Tiger Hill was out of the unraced mare The Filly, whose sire Derby Italiano winner Appiani II was a champion in Italy and a leading sire in Germany.

Tiger Hill’s first crop produced nine black-type winners.

After this showing, Banner Hill may find his way into the Gr2 Western Cape Stayers on Sun Met day – supplementary entries for that close on Wednesday 11 January.


Gr3 Chairman’s Cup (SAf-Gr3)

Kenilworth, South Africa, January 7, R250k, 3200m, turf, good, 3.36.36

1 – BANNER HILL (SAF), 52.0, b g 4, Tiger Hill (IRE) – Bless You (USA) by Dynaformer (USA). Owner Mesdames A Devachander & M J Watson & Tripple H Trust (Nom: Mr H Hattingh); Breeder Maine Chance; trainer GS Kotzen; jockey R Fourie
2 – Ovidio (AUS), 62.5, br g 6, Danehill Dancer (IRE) – Pre Nup (AUS) by Red Ransom (USA)
3 – My World (SAF), 52.5, b g 5, Ideal World (USA) – Magic In The Air (IRE) by Sadler’s Wells (USA)
Margins: 0.40, 0.75, 1.25

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