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Trainer Robyn Klaasen and owner “Stincky” Pooe (glasses on top of head) lead in ther respective first Grade 1 winner, Purple Pitcher, who also provided a first Gr 1 winner for the late Australian-bred sire New Predator. (Candiese Lenferna Photography)

The late New Approach stallion New Predator showed what a loss he will be when his sons Purple Pitcher and Pure Predator finished first and a two length fourth in Saturday’s Gr 1 RAB SA Classic over 1800m at Turffontein Standside.

Trainer Robyn Klaasen and owner “Stincky” Pooe landed their respective first Gr 1 wins courtesy of the gallant colt Purple Pitcher, who led from start to finish under Kabelo Matsunyane.

The Bush Hill Stud-bred Purple Pitcher had only finished a 4,20 length fourth in the TAB Gauteng Guineas and was allowed to open at odds of 16/1 for the SA Classic. However, Klaasen pointed out afterwards that the Classic had always been his chief target. He had shortened in to 10/1 by the off, while Gauteng Guineas winner Sandringham Summit remained steady at 6/10.

Sandringham Summit was dropped out from a wide draw of ten and ended up probably further back than he would have liked. He had about six or seven lengths to make up in the straight. He ran on well but Purple Pitcher, having rallied to see off William Iron Arm, stayed on resolutely and Sandringham was unable to fetch him, failing by 0,75 lengths. A possibly notable point is Sandringham Summit appeared to fail to change legs for the entire race, or at least for the entire length of the straight.

William Iron was beaten 1,50 lengths into third after moving up dangerously in the straight. Pure Predator gave the late sire New Predator a first and fourth in the race and Hotarubi did well to finish fifth, considering he was unsettled early.

Purple Pitcher has been raised six points to 120. Sandringham Summit remains on 123 while William Iron Arm goes up one point to 117. Pure Predator has been raised 12 points to 116 and Hotarubi  remains on 116.

Pure Predator could provide Fanie Bronkhorst with a second Hollywoodbets Durban July runner. He got Running Brave into the race in 2021. Pure Predator actually ran on July day last year, finishing a a fine 3,80 length third to Main Defender in the BSA Sales Cup over 1300m.

Gold Circle put the post race interviews into text (see below).

KABELO MATSUNYANE (jockey): “This is a special 50th winner (of the season). I think my ancestors were with me today. God was definitely with me and had his guardian angels guiding me into this race. I went into the race very confident. I prayed over it and manifested it over my life. Robyn has done an amazing job with this horse. When working the horse this past week, I told Robyn that I was very confident going into the race and didn’t see him getting beat. He showed today that he’s definitely a horse with ability. I never thought I would be in front, but when the pace was a bit sedate and no one looked to take me on, I wasn’t shy to go to the front as I’ve won from the front with this horse before. My horse is gutsy and a fighter, and that’s what he did today.
🎤ROBYN KLAASEN (trainer): “What an amazing horse he is to have. I don’t really have any words, but the Classic was always his goal. In the Computaform it says he was disappointing in the Guineas, but we always knew that this was the goal for him”.
🎤MR POOE (owner): “We waited the 18 (1800m) for such a long time. The next one (3rd leg of the SA Triple Crown), we have a big chance. This is a future stayer. Once he hit the front, I knew it was over as there was no way they were going to catch him’.