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Trip Of Fortune pulled off a rare Grade 1-winning raid of the Highveld from Cape Town by the Candice Bass-Robinson yard. The Trippi gelding was  ridden by cool as a cucumber Aldo Domeyer (Picture: Chase Liebenberg).

Trip Of Fortune wins HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes at Turffontein

David Mollett (Business Day)
 
Retired Cape trainer Mike Bass raided the highveld with considerable success in his career and his daughter, Candice Bass-Robinson, followed in his footsteps when saddling Trip Of Fortune to win Saturday’s HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes at Turffontein.
 
Bass’ winning raiders included English Garden, Inara and What A Winter — the latter will be represented by 26 of his offspring at April’s National Yearling Sales in Germiston.
 
 
Before Saturday’s race, Bass-Robinson had said: “It’s always a gamble coming up from the Cape”, but that gamble resulted in Drakenstein Stud banking the R625,000 first cheque.
 
Despite a slow start, jockey Aldo Domeyer was soon back in the thick of things in the 1,600m grade 1 race and Trip Of Fortune kicked on strongly to beat MK’s Pride and the fast-finishing SA Classic winner, Anfields Rocket.
 
“He had a virus before the King’s Plate so you can put a line through that, but he turned in a great effort in the Diadem,” Bass-Robinson said.
 
Now an eight-time winner, the son of Trippi will bid to add to that total when he travels to KwaZulu-Natal for the forthcoming Champions season.
 
After a spell in the wilderness, MK’s Pride hinted he is coming back to his best, but Anfields Rocket was never going to win as he was too far back throughout the race. Still, he added R100,000 to his bankroll.
 
In a slow run WSB SA Derby, Son Of Raj proved too good for his rivals to continue trainer Weiho Marwing’s good form in this 2,450m grade 1 event.
 
Ridden for the second time by Keagan De Melo, the son of Duke Of Marmalade made it a red-letter day for owner-breeder Steven Chetty, and the gelding has now won four of his past six starts.
 
 
Billy Bowlegs filled second spot two lengths behind the winner and it was the same margin back to Piere Strydom’s mount, Rule By Force, who finished third.
 
The well-backed 4-1 chance Good Council — winner of the 2,400m Aquanaut Handicap — was never seen with a chance. Connections will query why jockey Ryan Munger did not react to the slow pace and take his mount to the front to make the race a test of stamina.
 
There was joy for followers of this column in the Wilgerbosdrift Bridget Oppenheimer SA Oaks with Lucky Houdalakis’ runner, None Other, winning at odds of 4-1. Owner-breeder Mary Slack was on track to receive the trophy for a race sponsored by her stud.
 
The expected challenge from the favourite, Bless My Stars, never materialised and the Sean Tarry filly finished fourth about six lengths adrift of the winner. The conclusion has to be that the filly failed to stay in her first attempt at 2,450m.
 
Interestingly, Bless My Stars has a half-sister (by One World) coming under the hammer on the first day of the National Yearling Sales.
 

Brett Crawford’s runner Reny filled the runner-up spot and Varsfontein Stud (as agent) will be offering her half-sister by Vercingetorix at the sale.