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Posted 2022-07-30 19:24:56  
Shangani Lands the Gold Cup Spoils but Jet Dark hits high notes

 

Gr3 Marshalls World of Sport Gold Cup.

New Zealand-bound Warren Kennedy rode the perfect race on the Paul Peter-trained Shangani, timing his run to perfection to catch long-time leader Imperial Ruby with Rex Union staying on well for third ahead of Black Thorn as the rain came down. The two at the top of the boards, Nebraas and Aragosta were a no-show, bringing up the rear of the field for much of the race and although making some late headway in the straight, they were well beaten.

Kennedy punched Shangani through a gap between Imperial Ruby and Rex Union to add another winner to the record tallies of both champion trainer Paul Peter and Kennedy.

It was a plan come together for the stable who had earmarked the Marshalls World of Sport Gold Cup some months back. “Two runs back I did not ride a very good race but I said to Mister Wernars not to worry, I’d win the Gold Cup. It was a plan come together,” said Kennedy.

 

Gr1 Hong Kong World Pool Champions Cup

Rain and lightning were not enough to stop Jet Dark and Richard Fourie as the pair got the better of Gavin Lerena and Kommetdieding in a titanic battle to the line in the Gr1 Hong Kong World Pool Champions Cup in a race fitting of the season’s end.

Two great warriors battled their hearts out but Jet Dark got just reward for his tremendously game second in the Hollywoodbets Durban July. Crowned Equus Champion Miler last season, Justin Snaith’s colt will again be in line for Equus honours.

Fourie got Jet Dark out smartly and placed in the ideal position as stable companion Crown Towers turned up the wick up front. Lerena always had his rival in his sights and the two started their runs simultaneously, Jet Dark up the inside and Kommetdieding on the outside with very little between them and both riders and horses giving their all.

But Jet Dark battled hard to the line and got the better of exchanges but only by a head with Asterix back in third, possibly undone a little as Kommetdieding drifted in under pressure.

“He’s a fantastic horse with great heart,” complimented Fourie who rounded off his season with his 9th Gr1 victory.

 

Gr1 Mercury Sprint

Any doubts that Hollywoodbets Greyville was not her course was put to bed as Captain’s Ransom showed her explosive turn of foot to win the Gr1 Mercury Sprint. After a disappointing showing in the Gr1 Brentford FC Garden Province Stakes, some were cautious about her chances but Justin Snaith’s charge could well have cemented her place at the top of the voting for Equus Horse of the Year as she slammed the country’s best sprinters in the style of a champion.

She was helped in her cause by Alesian Chief who set a cracking early gallop with Richard Fourie tracking the pace some three lengths back with Big Burn and William Robertson in close attendance. Fourie followed Alesian Chief into the straight but the Golden Horse winner was soon in trouble and Fourie was forced to make his move. She hit her customary ‘flat’ spot for a few strides but under Fourie’s urging she changed legs and powered home past Big Burn on her inside and William Robertson on her outer to win going away. “She’s such a super star,” Fourie confirmed, this being his 8th Gr1 victory of the season.

 

Gr 1 Thekwini Stakes

Canadian Summer put herself firmly into the picture for Equus Champion filly with a narrow victory in the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes. Jason Gates got her motoring up the inside rail from a long way back and her momentum lasted just long enough from a low-flying Rock The Fox with Bless My Stars and Hold My Hand filling the minor placings.

It was a race of firsts with Jason Gates landing his first Gr1 winner as did Darryl Moore and owner Preggie Somasundram. Moore, whose father Robert is the head riding master of the South African Jockey Academy, trains a small string at Summerveld and this is by far his best win as a trainer.

From his inside gate Gates was content to let Canadian Summer find her feet and he found himself in the rear echelons with Rock The Fox on his outside, three wide, with Calvin Habib looking to overcome a deep draw. Miss Cool and Miss Daisy set some respectable early fractions but at the top of the straight, Gates took the shortest way home and a clear run at the line as Canadian Summer built up momentum.

A furlong out there were still many in with chances as Canadian Summer joined Bless My Stars and Hold My Hand with Rock The Fox unleashing a late effort down the outside.

Canadian Summer and Rock The Fox hit the line as one but the winner’s sash was prematurely clipped around Rock The Fox’s neck. It was quickly removed as the numbers were posted.

 

Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes

Cousin Casey stamped himself as the best two-year-old colt in training with a stunning performance in the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes, adding to his Gr2 Golden Horseshoe victory on Hollywoodbets Durban July day. Glenn Kotzen’s charge changed gears two furlongs out and the race was over in a matter of strides as he roared past the field to win as he liked. Royal Victory and Quantum Theory kept going to fill the shallow end of the purse but the race was all over bar the shouting a long way out.

Cousin Casey broke well enough and then got a dream split as Van Niekerk shifted him in two off the rails from his wide draw.

In the straight, Van Niekerk had to dodge a few roadblocks but once Cousin Casey balanced out, he quickened like a very good horse. “The good thing about him is that he’s so versatile. He can do any distance and today he felt like he could do 2000 as well the way he switched off so there is a lot to look forward to. He has a nice turn of foot as well so he’s got everything going for him,” Van Niekerk concluded.

Gold Circle 

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