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Vercingetorix colt Marauding Horde saunters to an easy win under Marco van Rensburg at Turffontein Standside on Saturday (JC Photos) 

The Mike de Kock-trained Marauding Horde proved himself a useful middle distance to staying type in the making on Saturday at Turffontein Standside, when winning the Listed Hawwaam Stakes over 2000m under Marco van Rensburg, and another interesting aspect of this horse in the make up of the syndicate who owns him.

Laurence Wernars, Drakenstein Stud, Lammerskraal Stud, Wilgerbosdrift Stud and the partnership of Ridgemont Stud and the Heffers of Hollywoodbets are some of the biggest connections in South African racing and are the joint owners.

Jehan Malherbe of Form Bloodstock was behind the purchase of Marauding Horde and said, “We noticed in Australia the last time we were there, and it also happens in America, that a number of the bigger players get together to buy. They can buy at the top end of the market without too much stress, because they are not competing against each other, and if, in in this joint effort, they do crack one that is good enough to be a stallion then they are all in the stallion already. It is working a lot in Australia and America at the moment and so we thought we would try it over here.”

The Maine Chance Farms-bred Marauding Horde was purchased for R750,000 by Form Bloodstock at the BSA National Yearling Sale.

He had looked promising from day one and improved from two second place finishes over 1200m and 1600m to win over 1800m third time out.

He is by Vercingetorix, who is known to produce more speed and precocity than his father Silvano, but he has also produced the Gold Cup winner over 3200m, Nebraas.

Furthermore, Marauding Horde’s Indigo Magic dam My Lady Bluff is a half-sister to the Gold Cup winner Major Bluff and her only win was over 2000m.

He looked to be crying out for a further step up in trip after that 1800m maiden win.

In Saturday’s 2000m race, formerly known as the Derby Trial, Marco van Rensburg replaced the suspended Kabelo Matsunyane and rode a peach of a race.

He managed to switch the horse off at the back of the eleven horse field despite him having had to jump from a wide draw with first time blinkers on.

Van Rensburg later switched Marauding Horde on to the outside train while rounding the final turn.

He switched him outward for a clear run at the 600m mark.

The colt’s long stride made good inroads on the leaders and after he was given some backhanders at the 350m mark he changed up a gear.

Then with a change of whip hand in the final stages he changed legs and sauntered home by 4,25 lengths.

He carried only 55,5kg, but was receiving only 3kg from the 93 merit rated runner up George Handel. So on that formline he ran to about 95, which is way short of the Gr 1 SA Classic winner Purple Pitcher’s merit rating of 120.

However, he has only had four runs and did what he had to do on Saturday.

This colt is improving all the time and he should relish the further step up in trip to 2450m for the Gr 1 SA Derby.

His chief rivals for that race will be the Gr 1 TAB SA Classic first and third-placed pair Purple Pitcher and William Iron Arm.