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The Barend Botes/Yolandi Vosloo yard does not have high buying power but the buying strategy Barend put into place many years ago has recently been paying dividends and this small yard has no fewer than three contenders for the Grade 2 Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks to be run on April 2.

About 16 years ago Botes built a breeding software program with the help of a computer programmer and he continually feeds data into it. 

One of the yard’s buying strategies is to look at the pedigrees of the horses who have gone through the ring unsold.

Then with the help of this software program they identify the ones they are going to look at and possibly make an offer on.

He said, “We got Eternity Ring (Ideal World) like that for just R30,000 and also Rosenwind (Flower Alley) for the same price.”

Rosenwind is unbeaten in two starts over sprints and it is surprising there was no bid for her because she is a half-sister to Grade 2 Debutante winner Rosier (Kildonan), who also won the Listed East Cape Fillies Nursery, and also a half-sister to nine-times winner Christofle (Tiger Ridge).

She is recuperating from injury at the moment.

Botes/Vosloo’s three Oaks entries will be Eternity Ring, Light Of The Moon (Futura) and Global Louise (Global View).

He regards Eternity Ring as possibly their chief hope.

He could offer no reason she went through the ring unsold other than her being on the small side because “she has good legs and is well put together … she has nice conformation.”

Her Fort Wood dam Loupe won the Listed Swallow Stakes over 1160m and was a close third in the Grade 3 Umzimkhulu over 1400m.

Loupe has produced some other fair sorts including five-time winning Grade 3-placed Petra (Oratorio) and five-time winner Opera Glass (Flower Alley), who has won up to 2000m.

Eternity Ring has won four races from 1000m to 1600m and has finished second in the Grade 3 Fillies Mile, second in the Grade 3 Three Troikas (1400m), where she was beaten 0,75 lengths by the classy Sprinkles, and second in a strong Pinnacle Stakes event over 1800m, where she was beaten a short-head by Bold Fortune who was coming off successive Grade 2 and Grade 3 victories.

Botes pointed out the bad luck Eternity Ring suffered last time out in the Grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic. Having stayed on from the back of the field she had to be snatched up at the 200m mark when Follow Me in front of her began fading and otherwise she could feasibly have caught Desert Miracle, who finished a 4,50 length fourth.

Light Of The Moon is a Drakenstein home-bred who comes off a win in the Listed Oaks Trial last Saturday.

He himself had thought off a nett merit rating of just 61 (gross 70) “she didn’t belong in the race”.  

Therefore, he was thankful to Drakenstein’s Racing Manager Kevin Sommerville for asking him to run her.

She stayed on strongly from a handy position and showed courage to fend off the challenger Princess Kesh to get up by a head.

She received 3kg from the runner up but there was 4,90 lengths back to the rest of the field, so it was a decent performance, even if the average merit rating for the race was low by Listed standards and the time was a second slower than the Derby Trial.

Botes had previously leased a few from Drakenstein and was not sure why this one was identified to be trained by him but he added, “I am glad to have been able to repay them with some black type. When she first arrived (as a one-time winner in three starts) she got shin sore so I told Kevin she was undeveloped and he said just take your time with her.”

She came into the Oaks Trial off two fourth place finishes over 1450m and 1700m respectively and, as her pedigree had suggested, she relished the step up in trip.

Her dam Cat And The Moon (Black Minnaloushe) won the Listed Winter Oaks over 2200m and also a Grade 3 over 1800m and a Listed race over a mile.

Botes said Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara-chasing Rain In Holland could not be considered a certainty for the Oaks.

“There is a step up of just 200m from the Guineas to the Classic but a step up of 650m to the Oaks. Rain In Holland looks like she will stay, but at the same time she does quicken so well. So you never know whether they go the trip until they have done it, but if she doesn’t see it out maybe Mrs. Rupert will have an Oaks winner anyway!”

Botes/Vosloo’s third runner Global Louise looks a stayer and the form of her maiden third over 2200m has worked out well and she has subsequently won comfortably over 1800m. She runs on Thursday over 2000m in a handicap and then goes into the Oaks.

Botes and Vosloo have gained a reputation for improving on horses, so are clearly fine horsemen. An example is Golden Pheasant (Antonius Pius). Barend reckoned they were about the fifth yard for this seven-year-old gelding and on top of never missing a cheque in eight starts he has given them three Graded race places including third in the Grade 1 WSB Summer Cup.

Picture: Light Of The Moon holds on in the Listed Oaks Trial under Muzi Yeni (JC Photos).