THE Western Cape’s Winter Series invariably delivers top three-year-olds that go on to outstanding careers – Winter Solstice, Pocket Power and Marinaresco to name but a few.
Pocket Power and African Night Sky are the only two runners to have won all three legs, but trainer Piet Steyn has a candidate this year in Katak, a colt he reckons is “one of the best horses in South Africa.”
Katak won Tuesday’s Gr3 Variety Club Mile at Kenilworth showing terrific acceleration on his way to a 5.50-length win, and will be aimed next the Legal Eagle Winter Classic over 1800m, leg two of the three-leg series that will culminate in the recently renamed Pocket Power Winter Derby over 2400m.
Steyn acquired the Ridgemont/Highlands-bred Katak privately from Rosedene Stud, who had consigned him to the CTS April 2018 yearling sale. He sold a 50% share afterwards to Marsh Shirtliff, and they are both looking forward to what looks like a sparkling career in the making.
“He didn’t make a bid at the sale, he went through the ring unsold, but I liked him and managed to get him afterwards,” Steyn commented. “I think Katak is one of the best I’ve trained. One can only prove they are the best when they run against the best, so this was a good starting point.”
Steyn added: “I’ve trained many top horses, I am thinking today for example of State Crown, who ran third to Jay Peg in the Gr1 Cape Guineas and the Gr1 Cape Derby back in 2007 and was unlucky not to have beaten him. Katak is easily in the same mould, he is very good.”
Jockey Aldo Domeyer shared Steyn’s enthusiasm and said: “Katak’s got everything he needs to go to the top!”
Domeyer had been looking forward to partnering Katak in a race after being called up to ride him in home gallops recently and he said: “When I got off him the first time I said to Mr Steyn that this colt is something special.
“I had all the confidence in him and his athletic ability today and he showed how good he is. When he quickened away, he just lengthened and lengthened. He will get better and I am excited for the summer, when he will be at his best.”
Katak, by Potala Palace from Sapphire Silk, by Windrush, is three from three with earnings of just a notch below R160,000. He was named after the eighth month of the Nanakshahi (Punjabi) calendar