The Drakenstein Blue Marches On!

Tabgold Gr1 Woolavington 2000

The might of the Drakenstein powerhouse was seen to good effect at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday again when the champion Franschhoek nursery celebrated a hat-trick of victories in the R1,5 million Tabgold Gr1 Woolavington 2000.

Silver Sanctuary (Richard Fourie) scored a maiden Gr1 success at Hollywoodbets Greyville

Silver Sanctuary (Richard Fourie) scored a maiden Gr1 success at Hollywoodbets Greyville (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

After winning the race with Oh Susanna in 2018, and Silver Darling (2022), both with Justin Snaith, and then the Sean Tarry-trained Rain In Holland (2023),  Gaynor Rupert’s team celebrated a 1-2 on Saturday with the Mike de Kock-trained Silver Sanctuary scoring a maiden Grade 1 success, and holding off the low-flying year older Gold Standard daughter, Hold My Hand, who races out of Glen Kotzen’s yard.

It was another superb ride by Richard Fourie, who chalked up the 310th victory of a record-setting term, when he capitalised on a 1 draw and stalked the leader Bellevarde, before slipping through down the inside rail and stealing an early march, in a courageous show of bravado by horse and rider.

At the 200m, Silver Sanctuary (3-1) was in command and held on well to beat Hold My Hand (25-1) by 0,70 lengths in a time of 125,86 secs. That time is put into perspective by the fact that the course record is 119,50 secs!

Beating Wings (8-1) was a neck away in third, with Frances Ethel (2-1) staying on for fourth in her first run out of the Highveld.

After her excellent win in the KRA Listed East Coast Cup, Saartjie (9-2) failed to fire in a flat second run after a rest and finished out of the money. She’s worth another chance.

Richard Fourie said that his biggest worry was Saartjie.

“But Silver Sanctuary has played bridesmaid to a top sort in her stablemate Gimme A Nother. So her form is good. She’s not the tallest and she’s still a bit immature, but it was a brave win, and the 1 draw made a difference,” added the SA champion jockey elect.

Globetrotting trainer Mike de Kock suggested Silver Sanctuary wasn’t at her best in Oaks.

“I thought she had the beating of them today. Thanks to Gaynor Rupert and Kevin Sommerville, for their patience. I have a proper crew in the pit lane too, and a big thanks to my team. It was also a tactically sound ride by Richard Fourie,” added the veteran.

Drakenstein’s Kevin Sommerville said it was a great honour to win a race of this stature, and thanked the De Kock team, the sponsors, and Gold Circle.

A full-sister to past Daily News 2000 star Safe Passage, the winner is a daughter of our late multiple champion sire Silvano (Lomitas) out of the well-performed Antonius Pius mare, My Sanctuary.

She has now won 4 races with 5 places from 10 outings for stakes of R1 895 000.

There will be decisions to be made as to whether to go the Hollywoodbets Durban July or Ridgemont Garden Province Stakes route with Silver Sanctuary. Exciting times for a still improving 3yo!

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