The Hollywood Rocket’s Flying!

Klawervlei-bred gelding enjoys the 1800m!

The Anfields Rocket magic rollercoaster ride continued at Turffontein on Saturday for the Hollywood Syndicate and trainer Grant Maroun when the handsome chestnut son of speedy Tapit stallion Coup De Grace, who sired under 50 runners, produced a career best showing to win the R1 500 000 World Sports Betting Gr1 SA Classic.

A winner of the Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes late last year before being shipped South for a tilt at the Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas, Anfields Rocket finally showed that he is looking for a trip with a scintillating finish down the inside to register his first Gr1 success over 1800m.

Raymond Danielson puts his head down as Anfields Rocket storms home (Pic – JC Photos)

He certainly has been something of a puzzle, keeping the experts guessing, but Winning Form jockey Raymond Danielson, who rode a beautifully judged race for his third SA Classic trophy on Saturday, after Forest Path in 2009 and French Navy in 2015, had the last laugh.

On Anfields Rocket’s return from the Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas sortie, the smart 3yo produced a dazzling Turffontein 1000m victory, flying up from a hopeless position 200m out, to get up and win.

Despite some shouting Gr1 Computaform Sprint and the like, Danielson stuck to his theory that the gelding wanted a trip. On Saturday the plan came together, and with it a whole new world of opportunities.

Allowed to lope along just back of midfield for much of the race as Captainofthegreen and Laguna Verde brought the cavalry for home, Danielson worked his mount along slowly with the hands and despite Gavin Lerena unleashing what looked a winning run on Jimmy Don up the outside, Danielson didn’t panic.

The winning team – Anthony Delpech, Ray Danielson and Grant Maroun (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

It was only in the final 200m that he got animated and then it was race on.

In an exciting finish, the 17-2 Anfields Rocket held off the Verdonese charge Jimmy Don (33-1) by a length in a time of 110,71 secs.

Billy Bowlegs (7-1) came out of the pack for third, three quarters back.

The winning owners, the Hollywood Syndicate, who just this past week celebrated their 400th winner, have enjoyed their best season to date, by a country mile.

After winning the World Sports Betting Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas and Cartier Gr1 Paddock Stakes in the Cape summer, and the Tattersalls Ireland Gr1 Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown with Il Etait Temps last month, the literal purple patch continued with a special moment in a history dating back to Splendid Night in 2002.

Grant Maroun and Clinton Binda pose with the champ (Pic – JC Photos)

Hollywood Syndicate Racing Manager Anthony Delpech, who won the SA Classic as a jockey in 1998 on Classic Flag and in 2003 on Surveyor, both for the Ferraris family, was on hand to lead Anfields Rocket in.

Trainer Grant Maroun, who strikes one as a generally laidback kind of person, admitted that he had not slept the night before. But he needn’t have stressed!

Watch the replay:

Now a winner of 6 races with a place from 9 starts for stakes of R1 351 875, the winner, who now has earned an automatic berth in the 2023 Hollywoodbets Durban July courtesy of this victory, was bred by Klawervlei from their retired stallion Coup De Grace (Tapit).

Anfields Rocket probably gets his stamina from his Mom Milla’s Rocket, a daughter of Galileo who won twice up to 1800m in the UK.

Anfields Rocket was bought by his original owner Grant Maroun for just R11 000 off the 2020 BSA July Online Auction, before being sold on to the Hollywood Syndicate after winning the Graham Beck Stakes.

The sky’s the limit now for the purple rocket.

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