Sandringham Summit storms home in the Gr 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe (Candiese Lenferna Photography).
The David Nieuwenhuizen-trained Gimmethegreenlight colt Sandringham Summit provided possibly the moment of the day on Hollywoodbets Durban July day when coming from last in the Gr 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe to get up.
David spoke about the horse in the build up to Sunday’s Gr 1 World Pool Moment Of The Day Champion Stakes over 1600m at Hollywoodbets Greyville, a race which sees him clashing with the superstar Lucky Lad and the top class Main Defender and which has had everybody talking.
David said, “He drew badly (widest of all in 14). I’m not happy about that because it makes it very difficult. I’ve had an ex SA champion jockey saying to me why I’m even running him from there because I can run him later in another Gr 1, but we entered him for both races on the day and got the worst draw in the Umkhomazi as well. We have to take in the Gr 1. He’s a seriously nice horse. We hope we can overcome the draw but the stats are against him. So it’s going to be a tough call for him, but he is very well. He’s obviously maturing. He’ll be a better three-year-old and will be going for the BSA Sales race or the Graham Beck and then on to the Dingaans. But we’re taking a shot at the Gr 1 in Durban. Unfortunately the Golden Horseshoe used to be a Gr 1 and it was devalued, so it’s a little bit unfair, because I think it was competitive enough to be a Gr 1.”
David is aware of everybody saying the draw should not be such a big deal because he came from a mile back to win the Gr 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe over 1400m.
He pointed out, “He does quicken and all of that, but he hasn’t been slow out before, he’s always been up there and running on the pace. When he jumped I really didn’t think he would win from there. The jockey managed to get him through the right gaps, even though it was near impossible, but he managed to and thank goodness he won. I did think he could win on the day jumping out well. He turned his head to the side twice and as they jumped his head was to the side. The jockey had to correct it and bring it forward, so that’s why he was slow.”
He continued, “But he is a seriously nice horse. I see Sean Tarry has kept his other horses in which leaves Lucky Lad out wide too. It is going to be a hard ask for both of them. Lucky Lad has put everything together in all of his starts and he seems to be getting better and better. We have both got it against us with the Tony Peter horse, Main Defender. He’s got a plum draw. He’s going to take advantage of that I am sure and we’re going to have to try and find our way from the back.”
He added, “Sandringham Summit’s form has been exposed, he has done nothing wrong. First time out against Lucky Lad his saddle did slip, he had his tongue over the bit and hanging out of his mouth, so he did have his excuses the first time we ran against Lucky Lad. He won quite well the next time and the following time he had a minor issue with the bridle. He hit the front probably too early and started digging his toes in looking for company. So coming from slightly off the pace won’t do him any harm, he’s got the gears. But Lucky Lad, the same thing and he is obviously a superstar. We will have to race him literally off the same draw, we’re in the same boat. We’ve got Tony Peter’s horse to beat based on talk and the draw, so we’ve got a bit of work to do. But you never know with these races, there are two-year-olds that improve over the mile as well, so I can’t rule out any other horse in the race either. I respect the whole field, especially coming from our bad draw.”
There was some luck involved in landing Sandringham Summit at the Sale.
David said, “We all went to have a look at the lot that had come out before him and both Zane Kirsten and Rakesh Singh bid on him, but he went for too much money. We had all liked the horse that came out next when we had visited the stud farm. So they bid on him and they didn’t want to let him go. To buy a horse at that price you take a huge risk and we might have overpaid a little bit (R1.7 million), but at this point it looks like it was worthwhile, because it is very hard to come by a horse like him. He showed from the beginning that he could run and he’s got the ability. He’s a very smart intelligent horse. He knows exactly what you are asking of him. People can laugh at those types of statements, but there are those horses that do and are willing to work with you rather than you have to show them over a lengthy period of time what they have to do and understand. He’s learning with racing as well. He will be a really, really smart three-year-old.”
Calvin Habib retains the ride on Sandringham Summit, who like Lucky Lad was bred by Varsfontein Stud. He is owned by Rakesh Singh.
David has two other runners on the day, Flying First Class in the Gr 3 World Pool Gold Cup over 3200m and No Fllter in the Gr 2 World Pool With Gold Circle Debutante over 1200m.
He said about the five-year-old BAM Giddy-bred Silvano mare Flying First Class, who is owned by Zane Kirsten, “She’s out at the weights and she’s one of the three females against the boys. It’s a tough ask. She ran a good race in the Gold Vase. She had a good draw, but ended up being pushed off to the back when the wide horses came to the front. If she was a bit closer I think she could have possibly finished third. A line can be drawn through her last run, she was caught out wide the whole way around Turffontein. She’s a nine time winner, so she’s a smart filly, more of a handicap filly, she has earned black type as well when coming third in the Gold Bowl, but she was beaten thirteen lengths. I think Future Pearl will be very hard to beat. He’s done nothing wrong. There are a few horses who can put their name on the cup, but we would like to run a place with her and I think it is possible. But to win it might be a tough ask.”
She will be ridden by Calvin Habib from draw 8 in a field reduced to 14 with the scratchings today of Crimson King and Rockie Reef, meaning reserve runner Electric Surge gets a run.
He said about the Ridgemont-bred Canford Cliffs filly No Filter, who is also owned by Kirsten, “No Filter is a filly with so much speed and we have to try and hold her up. We used her speed last time at HWB Greyville to see if we could get away with it, but the wet going really didn’t help over the 1400m. She was caught and got bumped when she was tiring, so ended up a bit further back than she probably should have. Her work is very good and she has recovered very well. We got tagged last time at the Vaal over 1200m when we ran third (13/07/2023), so in this race we will try and give her a chance and let something pull us through. But, she will be up there running handy. She’s probably got a place chance there.”
Habib rides her from draw six out of a field reduced to eleven by two scratchings.