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Gerald Kalil holds the Golden Slipper while his wife Karen, one from left, holds the trophy and trainer Barend Botes salutes (Candiese Lenferna Photography)

Gerald Kalil has poured decades into his passion for the sport of horseracing and  he has been rewarded with a special homebred horse, the Barend Botes-trained Lance filly Quid Pro Quo, who was probably the most impressive winner at the Hollywoodbets Durban July meeting at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday.

The homebred filly jumped from pole position in the Gr 2 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Slipper over 1400m and was a number of lengths out of her ground turning for home under S’Manga Khumalo and had a wall of horses in front of her. However, she crept up well as he angled her towards the outside. She saw daylight at about the 250m mark. However, it was when she changed legs at the 200m mark that she took off and won easing up by 2,50 lengths. She started at 28/10 and confirmed form with the unplaced 15/10 shot Gimmie’s Countess, who had started favourite based on her unlucky fourth in the Gr 1 Allan Robertson over 1200m in her previous start, a race in which Quid Pro Quo had swooped late under Khumalo from a seemingly impossible position.

Gerald, who celebrates the filly’s victories together with his wife Karen, said about Quid Pro Quo’s win in the Allan Robertson, “She should not have won from where she was at the 200m mark … she was five lengths behind. Only a good horse does that.”

Drawing on his years of experience of watching racing and owning and breeding horses, Gerald emphasised, “Only … a … GOOD … horse … does … that!!”

She is the second Gr 1 winner he has owned. He owned the Riverton Stud-bred Robbie Hill-trainedPathfork gelding Pearl Of Asia, who won the Gr 1 Mercury Sprint at odds of 40/1, which earned him the Champion Sprinter and Champion Older Horse award at the 2020/2021 KZN Awards.

Prior to that he remembers having some nice runners, and possibly a Gr 1 or Gr 2 winner, with the late trainer Darryl Hodgson.

Gerald raced Quid Pro Quo’s 2006-born dam Delightfull Diva (The Sheik) with Barend Botes to win five races and run 14 places and he has done well with her at stud as she has had eight runners and seven winners, including Listed winner Daring Diva (King Of Kings).

He said about the unheralded Jet Master stallion Lance. “I really liked the horse. When I watched him running for Sean Tarry he showed a lot of speed in the races he won, so I followed the horse and when he became a stallion I said I have to put some mares with him.”

In fact Gerald bought one share in Lance too.

He continued, “I am delighted and I think he is going to get a lot more Gr 1 and Gr 2 winners.”

Asked on the connections’ early impressions of Quid Pro Quo, Gerald replied, “We knew she was a good horse. When she started training with Barend he said to me she was a special filly. So, we waited for her. Unfortunately, the first two runs, she got beat by a short head. She never knew what was going on and came flying from the back of the field. But then in the third run, when she knew what was going on, she showed us what she is and she did it again in the Allan Robertson.”

Gerald said about his impression of her right trip, “I think you will see the best of her over 1600m. I think so and I hope so, but I will see what Barend wants to do.”

Lance, who is  by the late great Jet Master, stands at Leon Lotz’s Heuningfontein Stud in Middelburg, Karoo.

Gerald believes he got quite a lot of mares in the last covering season and Quid Pro Quo might help boost those numbers.

He concluded, “This is super and smart, because I bred her and I own her. I’m really glad I bought her back, really really glad, and now we’ve got a good formula for breeding!”

Gerald bought her back for R60,000 at last year’s KZN Yearling Sale.

She has already accumulated earnings of R1,144,000.

Gerald also benefited from Quid Pro Quo’s Gr 1 success last week at the KZN Yearling Sale when her full sister was bought by Sterling Miller’s Pound Bloodstock for R340,000.