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Calvin Habib’s emotions are clear as main Defender crosses the line to land his first Gr 1 victory in the wfa HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes (Candiese Lenferna Photography)  
Tony Peter and Calvin Habib had a fine day at Turffontein Standside on Saturday with four winners together, including a Gr 1 and two Listed races, while the former’s sister-in-law Robyn Klaasen had a milestone first Gr 1 winner.
The top class Peter-trained Main Defender was opened as a 10/1 shot for the Gr 1 wfa HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m and this must have been due to a question mark about his stamina and also possible questions about a habit of shifting to the right in the closing stages. He was also up against the like of the Equus Horse Of The Year Princess Calla. However, he was backed in to 28/10 second favourite and ran accordingly.
Dave The King ran a cracker last time out in his first run as a gelding and set the pace. The race did not pan out well for Princess Calla from a fair draw of five and she ended up having to sit one out and one back without cover as Sugar Mountain held his position on the rail. Main Defender was held up from draw eight and was initially trapped wide but the rider of Son Of Raj was fortunately happy for the former to slot in to the position he had. Main Defender, now covered in midfield, settled in to his familiar big ,relaxed action on the back of a fair pace. Dave The King made a bold bid to stay in front down the outside with Princess Calla, who was on the outside rail, challenging. However, Main Defender had moved through effortlessly down the centre and when asked the question by Calvin Habib at the 200m mark responded in supreme fashion to win readily by 2,75 lengths. He shifted outward after a right handed smack and then shifted in right across the course, as he had done in his last two starts, after being smacked with the left hand. This race appeared to prove his shifting antics are just a response to the whip rather than any soundness issue.
Dave The King finished second as Princess Calla’s less than perfect trip saw her tiring in the closing stages, although she held on for a 4,75 length third.
Cousin Casey was dropped out to the back and came from second last to run a 5,25 length fourth, a good run.
Son Of Raj showed he has plenty of class, an not just stamina, by running on for a 5,50 length fifth.
Main Defender, who is by Pathfork and was bred by Jagessar Limited and owned by JJ Nassif and GK and MM Habib, became the first three-year-old since Soqrat in 2019 to win this weight for age mile. He has been given a merit rating of 131 by the handicappers, so is now officially the best three-year-old in the land.
Peter has the two most exciting two-year-olds on the Highveld, if not the country, in Pistol Pete and Almond Sea. This respective Buffalo Bill Cody colt and Canford Cliffs filly remain unbeaten in three starts apiece.
They won the Listed Storm Bird Stakes and Listed Ruffian Stakes over 1000m by 3,25 and 8,25 lengths respectively on Saturday.  Both were ridden by Habib.
Peter and Habib cinched the four-timer in the last race when the Bruce le Roux-bred Just As Well gelding Judgement Day won a maiden plate over 1600m. Judgement Day has taken seven races to win his maiden, but has often bumped decent sorts, so he should go on to win again.