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Gareth van Zyl spoke to Turf Talk after winning Saturday’s Grade 1 Brentford FC Garden Province Stakes with Gimmethegreenlight five-year-old mare She’s A Keeper under Warren Kennedy.
 
“It’s hugely rewarding because we went to Cape Town to pursue a Group 1, went to Jo’burg and now back on our home course we avhieved it. It was the last throw of the dice because she goes to stud at the end of the season, so it’s massive … it’s kust wonderful.”
 
The thought of winning was not on the minds of most of the connections involved in the race because the might Captain’s Ransom looked to be the proverbial racing certainty.
 
Van Zyl was included among those and admitted, “I didn’t allow myself to think of winning. I ruled that out of my thought process. To me it was a matter of hopefully running second or third. I didn’t dare to dream, but every now and then racing comes and gives you the most delightful experience and that happened today.”
 
Robert Knuppe and Jonathan Connellan of the Missing U syndicate originally had the filly with Yvette Bremner in the Eastern Cape.
 
However, upon the owners’ wanting to move her to Durban, Bremner recommended the Van Zyl yard.
 
It didn’t start well at Summerveld because she attained a tendon strain as a two-year-old.
 
She made a belated debut in the December of her four-year-old year and ran a good third over1200m at Hollywoodbets Scottsville.
 
She then rattled off five wins in succession. including the Grade 2 WSB 1900.
 
She then ran unplaced in the July, but ended the season with a win in the Grade 2 Kuda Gold Bracelet over 2000m on Marshalls World Of Sport Gold Cup day.
 
She win the Listed East Coast Cup over the Gold Bracelet course and distance, so has won five stakes races in total, because she won the Listed WSB Scarlet Lady over 1750m at Hollywoodbets Scottsville before her WSB 1900 win last season.
 
That is some trainimg feat for a filly coming back from a tendon strain.
 
On Saturday, she did not jump well from pole position, so the slow pace was in her favour as it allowed Warren Kennedy to ease her into the race and sit in midfield in the ten horse field.
 
Meanwhile, Captain’s Ransom had jumped well from draw 8 and that was not in her favour as she began fighting when Richard Fourie reined her back. 
 
She’s A Keeper stuck to the inside in the straight and ran on well to win by a comfortable two lengths.
 
Marina (Silvano) ran on well for second from joint last in the running to finish second, pipping the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 winner Silver Darling (Silvano).
 
It was a pity Marina could not qualify for the Hollywoodbets Durban July because she likely would have run a big race over a distance she would have relished.    
 
Captain’s Ransom was clearly not moving up well enough in the early part of the straight to win, althouggh she did produce her usual late surge to claim fourth place.
 
She does not enjoy Hollywoodets Greyville and another explanation offered for the run was the fireworks let off after the July victory ceremony had upset her.
 
That was her last run of the season, but she will be seen again in the Cape Summer Season.
 
The time of the Graden Province was in fact 1,20 seconds slower than the subsequent Listed Compendium Inurance Brokers Handicap over the same trip. That showed just how slowly they went.
 
Nevertheless, She’s A Keeper deserved a Grade 1 success having had to continually face members of the exceptional crop a year younger than her.  
 
Picture: Candiese Lenferna