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Silver Sanctuary wins on debut at the Vaal yesterday (JC Photos)


The mare My Sanctuary has carved two places in history for herself and could soon be in the news again as her latest runner, the Mike de Kock-trained Silver Sanctuary, looked good in the preliminaries at the Vaal yesterday and duly won a good race.

The Drakenstein homebred Silvano filly is a full-sister to Gr 1 Daily News 2000-winning stablemate Safe Passage and ran on fluently  under JP van der Merwe in the 1400m event down the straight to win by a cosy 1,75 lengths.

Safe Passage is finding even a mile too short these days, so Silver Sanctuary will improve over further and being by Silvano should progress continually.

She already has value as a broodmare and will one day be another fine addition to the leading stakes race-producing farm in the country.

Safe Passage was fancied for the Hollywoodbets Durban July on Saturday, but it did not pan out well for him under Christophe Soumillon. He was far back in the running and then when trying to go for his run was carried all the way to the outside rail and actually squeezed up against it.

Soumillon rides in the ultra strictly policed jurisdiction of France.

He would have been unimpressed that in South Africa jockeys appear to have plenty of leeway on the lines they take coming off the false rail, even if the horses behind them are in close proximity. 

Safe Passage finished well but had no chance after the aforementioned incident.

My Sanctuary’s first entry into SA racing history books was as the cause of a protest at the old Clairwood racecourse that caused the meeting to be abandoned. In a small field race she was the hot favourite and her gate did not open. However, My Sanctuary, who was said to be temperamental, burst through the gates, using her strength. She had lost a good five to ten lengths, but her class saw her running on strongly to finish third. Under the rules a horse who finishes in the first four cannot be declared a non-runner. The angry crowd demanded she be declared a non-runner and prevented the jockeys from going out for the next race. However, the stipendiary stewards hands were tied by the rules and the meeting had to be abandoned.

My Sanctuary’s second claim to fame was as a Gr 1-producing mare.

Silver Sanctuary will hopefully add to her story.