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Marauding Horde makes it three on the trot on Saturday at Turffontein Standside (Racing Today)

At Turffontein on Saturday Marauding Horde progressed further and looks to be a genuine Gr 1 SA Derby contender.

However, trainer Mike de kock said afterwards, “I thought it would be a bit of a test today but he won very well. It was a slow 2000m, to have quickened off that slow pace and with his weight was impressive. There will be a lot of debate with his owners this week before declarations. I’m fairly confident he could be in the first three in the Derby, but he could get a 20-pound penalty for just being in attendance. With a horse like this, perhaps a July-type down the line, you don’t want to kill him by winning the Derby, but you also don’t want to throw it away while he is in such good form.”

On Saturday the Vercingetorix colt made it a third successive win and a second in successsion over the Turffontein Standside 2000m trip, both times ridden by Marco van Rensburg.

In reality he ran way above his rating in his previous start in the Listed Hawwaam Stakes, but was only allowed to be raised by six points to 89.

This gave him an easy task on paper on Saturday, a race whihc took place just two weeks before the Derby.

He duly started at odds of 4/10, despite having to carry second top weight of 60kg in the MR 80 Handicap.

The galloping type, who sat on the rail third in line in an eight horse field, stayed on resolutely under Marco van Rensburg and won easing up by 1,75 lengths.

The manner of his three wins combined with his pedigree suggests he will relish the 2450m trip of the SA Derby.

His sire Vercingetorix produces more speed and precocity than his father Silvano, but has also produced the Gold Cup winner 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.

Marauding Horde is one of the first horses in an experiment to emulate Australian and other overseas breeders in purchasing a horse together instead of competing with each other and this R750,000 Mike de Kock-trained Maine Chance Farms-bred Vercingetorix colt is owned by all of Laurence Wernars, Drakensten Stud, Lammerskraal Stud, Wilgerbosdrift Stud and the partnership of Ridgemont and the Heffer family of Hollywoodbets.

The ultimate aim will be for him to become a stallion and he is certainly going the right way.

Van Rensburg getting the ride coincided with Marauding Horde’s initial jockey being on suspension, but and the connections kept him aboard after his fine ride in the Listed Hawwaam stakes.

He wore first time blinkers in that race, to the surprise of some considering he had not done much wrong before that, and Van Rensburg ensured he had a good introduction with the headgear. He managed to settle him beautifully from the off in that race, enabling him to drop out to last from a wide draw. The effect of the headgear was reserved for the straight and he surged to a 4,25 length win.

Hollywoodbets have priced up for the SA Derby and have Gr 1 TAB SA Classic winner Purple Pitcher as the 5/2 favourite, SA Classic two length fourth-placed Pure Predator at 4/1 snd Marauding Horde at 9/2.