THIS last was a weekend of impressive winners at Turffontein and Kenilworth and we spoke to their trainers about what to expect from them this summer.
The collective winning margin of Sidonie and Queen Supreme (Sean Tarry and Mike de Kock, Turffontein) and Hubble (Glen Kotzen, Durbanville) was 20.50lengths – three aces with the most eye-catching victories, while Kotzen’s three other winners on Saturday are also ones to pencil into your notebook.
Tarry sent out Dynasty’s three-year-old daughter Sidonie (Raymond Danielson) to a 9,25-length debut win in a Maiden Plate over 1450m. She jumped at a fraction better than evens after touching 7-10, and had obviously shown the stable her ability in home gallops.
Tarry had expressed a minor concern about track suitability, but Sidonie proved to be sensible enough on the inside track. She travelled “a bit too well” in the early part, said Tarry, but soon settled and made the pace, dictating the race and drawing away smoothly.
Tarry said: “When she settled, she started using her action and then quickened away. She looks like a good filly, one we’d expect to see in feature company. The season is upon us. We were toying with the idea of starting her off down the straight, but decided on the bend. As it turned out she showed she had the pace for a sprint.”
Sidonie was bred by and races in the colours of Pieter Graaff’s Lammerskraal Stud and Tarry commented: “Pieter Graaff is wonderful to train for and we are pleased he has kept the breeding and racing interests going at Lammerskraal. I visit the farm on occasion to pick horses, but they also send me some, like Sidonie, and we are grateful for the support.”
Tarry also has a Lammerskraal-bred two-year-old half brother to Sidonie, by Visionaire, stabled at his Randjesfontein yard. They’re from the prolific stakesproducing mare Bardot (Badger Land) and Sally Bruss of Lammerskraal said: “The grand mare is getting old now. She was barren last year and the year before she aborted, but we’ll be sending her back to Visionaire now, keeping her on the farm.”
Tarry has trained a few of Bardot’s previous offspring including Pilou, Bichette and Warrior’s Rest.
Some 35 minutes after Sidonie’s win, Mike de Kocktrained four-year-old Queen Supreme (1-1, Callan Murray) made it two from three, putting 2.25-lengths between herself and runner-up Keep Smiling.
Queen Supreme impressed with the way she skipped away from her rivals when given some rein and De Kock said: “In my view she wasn’t too well ridden last time, and she was better than her rating coming into this Graduation Plate. She could be feature material, she’s progressive, we’ll see.”
Queen Supreme, by Exceed and Excel, was originally selected and purchased for Markus Jooste at the Goffs Sale in Ireland and later bought back at a South African auction. The new partners are De Kock, Jessica Slack, representing Mauritzfontein Stud, Larry Nestadt, Johannes van der Linden and Noeline Malherbe.
Glen Kotzen saddled a fine four-timer at the Durbanville meeting, all nice types who will soon be seen in winner’s enclosures again.
We touched on his nine-length winner Hubble first. This three-year-old son of Pathfork was allowed to start at 9-1 in Race 8 over 1400m, following strong Friday rumours for both Justin Snaith’s Myhopesanddreams and Dean Kannemeyer’s first-time Track Attack, who went off favourite and second-favourites respectively.
Hubble, ridden by Morne Winnaar, properly hammered his field.
He raced into the lead after the jump, swung for home the best part of ten lengths clear and won as he liked, surprising with the ease and style of his success.
Kotzen assessed: “I’ve always rated Hubble a decent horse and there wasn’t much wrong with his form. He ran places to very nice colts like Snow Report, Armando and Silver Operator, some of the better Cape two-year-olds last season.
“I knew once we’d gelded him he’d be a better horse, and last time, in his first run after gelding, I didn’t want him to tear away and go to the front. He finished in midfield, but when Keagan De Melo got off he suggested we let Hubble use his action, stride along at the front.
“Hubble was drawn 10 of 12 on this tight track Saturday and that never makes it easy, but we decided to follow the advice and Morne let him go out to make the pace, he enjoyed it and it worked.
“He won well. I know Justin rates his runner and Dean’s first-timer looked a nice sort, so` we are pleased with what we saw here. Hubble’s time was just a fraction outside of the time clocked by handicapper Spectra Force earlier, that could be a pointer.”
Highlands/Ridgemont-bred, Hubble is by Pathfork from a mare by Dynasty and he races for Chrigor Stud, Willempie Engelbrecht and Kotzen.
The trainer touched on his other winners, Point Of Sale (Race 3), Follow That Star (Race 4) and Viva Rio (Race 5).
“Point Of Sale ran in a fillies feature in Durban, just more than a length off and looked like she was going to have their measure here. She’s by VAR from a full-sister to Big City Life, I’d like to see her go over further. She is a feature contender.
“Follow That Star produced a big run, she is the only horse on the day that came from well back and ran on in the wet, she finished very well. She is by Silvano from a mare by Galileo, a Guineas type filly for us.
“Viva Rio is a very nice Oratorio. I think he’s a top horse. His first few runs were well below par, but he also needed gelding and he’s had three excellent runs since being gelded, including two wins. He is definitely a horse to watch.”