GAYNOR Rupert’s Drakenstein Stud and partner Team Valor will be delighted with their three-year-old Miss Katalina’s victory in Saturday’s R2,5-million CTS Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes over 1400m at Kenilworth.
Jack Mitchell, Rupert’s partner in another three-year-old Snowdance, will be just as chuffed. Snowdance is all the talk for the Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas and Mitchell will be counting down the days till 3 December, since Miss Katalin was over eight lengths behind his filly when they met in the recent Western Cape Fillies Classic.
John Freeman of the Thoroughbred Group signed for both fillies at respective auctions. Freeman is another who’ll be popping a celebratory cork in the hills above Clifton tonight. He went to R400,000 to secure Miss Katalin at the 2016 Lanzerac Ready To Run Sale – she shows a more than threefold return on that after only six runs.
Last year’s Ready To Run Stakes produced an upset when Sean Tarry’s filly Safe Harbour (16-1) edged out Sergeant Hardy. In a repeat of sorts, a longshot filly again came to spoil the party for the colts. Justin Snaith-trained Miss Katalin (16-1) stormed up late to get up by a short head from Bold Respect, who put up a tremendous effort after having to be rushed up early from a wide draw to set the pace.
The runner-up and third-placed Pack Leader, another who had to come from a deep draw, will both go on to win more races.
Whatever happens next for Miss Katalin and however long she stays on the racetrack, she will be an automatic addition to Rupert’s broodmare barn at Drakenstein being by Trippi from Little Miss Magic, one of Barry Irwin’s early Gr1 winners for Team Valor in South Africa.
Miss Katalin’s jockey Grant Van Niekerk is a bit of a maverick who doesn’t seem to fit in as a retained rider to the big stables, but he’s sure got the ‘BMT’ and is a talent who can ride with the best of them. Van Niekerk is the kind of jock who pops up relentlessly to remind you he is still there. The diamonds with the rough edges add value to any treasure trove.
Headline photo: Miss Katalin (nearest camera), came storming through to beat Bold Respect on the line. (Wayne Marks).