GERALD Kalil is one of the salt-of-the-earth owners that keeps racing alive and kicking.  Kalil has bred, owned and raced horses around South Africa for over 30 years and every now and then he cracks a special one that keeps his interests in the sport consistently high.

When he’s not working at his Hot Pot Paint Store in Springs on the East Rand, Kalil is in front of his TV watching Tellytrack, studying matings or visiting the various farms at which he raises his home-bred foals. Monastery, Delaware Park and Connoisseur are a few big names from the past associated with his red and white silks.

Kalil’s latest filly-on-the-up is the unbeaten two-year-old filly Daring Diva, who won Saturday’s Listed Ruffian Stakes over 1000m at Turffontein by 2.75-lengths for trainer Barend Botes and jockey Andrew Fortune.

Daring Diva is by deceased stallion King Of Kings (IRE), the English 2000 Guineas winner who died at stud in Mooi Rivier in 2015. Daring Diva was raised by Anne Woodham at St Hellier Stud in the Midlands and Kalil told: “Daring Diva is the second foal of Delightfull Diva, by The Sheik.  I had shares in King Of Kings and this mating with one of my own mares worked well.

Delightfull Diva, who was actually trained by Barend Botes and won several races, is a good broodmare. She has produced has a nice full-brother to Daring Diva we will probably take to the KZN Sale in July. Her first foal was Queen Diva, who 10 days ago won a 1700m race for Robbie Hill and I, This has gives us confidence that Daring Diva will see out a bit extra. But I will leave that to Barend. He’s been one of my favourite trainers for years, we’ve had a number of winners together.”

Botes said:  “Daring Diva’s biggest asset, aside from her speed, is that she manages to relax in a race. She won so well over 800m first time I was worried that she would run herself out of it over 1000m but she raced in a sensible manner and won well. Then, on Saturday, Andrew Fortune said she was relaxed again, but she tore herself to the front when he gave her a bit of reign at the 500m-mark and won going away, he could’ve waited longer.

“I am confident now that 1200m won’t be a problem. Daring Diva bypass the Pretty Polly and go for the Gr2 SA Nursery. Long-term we are looking at the Gr1 Allan Robertson at Scottsville. We finished second in the 2011 Nursery with our filly Upfront, who went on to get second to Princess Victoria in the Allan Robertson,” Botes added.

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