THE on-course camera followed four-year-old Made To Conquer down to the start for the Gr3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup over 2400m – fluent and muscled – and he came back running the way he looked, beating stable companion Strathdon in an exciting finish.
Made To Conquer (Richard Fourie) and Strathdon (Grant van Niekerk) travelled together early, came to the outside and made immediate moves as they swung into the straight alongside each other.
Then, the action started. Strathdon carried Made To Conquer all the way to the inside rail and they stuck together to fight it out. Van Niekerk rode an intimidating race because Fourie always seemed to have just a little more in hand and his rival had to produce something different if he was to get the better of the good-looker.
That’s aggressive race riding, accepted, and it brought the crowd to their feet.
Said Fourie, who punched his mount out hands-and-heels, cucumber-cool despite the rival assault: “It was a bit tough, Strathdon was running onto me, bumping, but I was on a fit horse. He stays all day. He has a phenomenal action, a good stride and he’s been hiding in the merit ratings. He is very capable and it’s good to see him step up to feature company.”
Snaith was relieved that the pair doing battle was from his own yard and said: “The track is tight, there’s going to be a lot of interference and I’m glad they were out in front.”
He said that Made To Conquer, African Night Sky, Strathdon and Platinum Palace were kept under the radar this season, but that they are all coming right at the right time and can be watched for the rest of the season.
Made To Conquer was bred by Michael de Broglio from Dynasty and Festive Occasion. He races for Etienne Braun, Tommy Crowe and Nic Johnsson and is 6 from 10 with R476,000 in the bank.
Photo: Made To Conquer (railside), fights off Strathdon (Candiese Marnewick).