Forest Path (SAF) bounced back to his best which a gritty victory in the grade 1 S.A Classic over 1800m at Turffontein today, seeing off the luckless Cerise Cherry (SAF) with Sporting Boy (SAF) and Mount Hood (SAF) completing the quartet. 

Given a peach of ride by Raymond Danielson, the eventual winner, settled in fourth as stablemate Bouquet-Garni made the early running from Iron Wood and Cerise Cherry. Captain's Table, Seattle Ice, Mount Hood and Disa Leader raced just behind the leading bunch with Sporting Boy some way off the pace. 

Bouquet-Garni kept going for a while down the straight but eventually gave way 300m out as Cerise Cherry hit the front. Disa Leader had come forward to pose a threat along the outside rail with Forest Path still two lengths adrift and Seattle Ice and Mount Hood still battling away to the inside. Sporting Boy had also moved into contention with a strong run from well off them.

It looked as if Cerise Cherry might finally break his hoodoo but his connections must have feared the worst as Forest Path loomed dangerously alongside. Responding to Danielson's urgings, the Fort Wood gelding got up just short of the post to land his second career Group 1 and consign Cerise Cherry to yet another second place, just ahead of Sporting Boy and Mount Hood.

Today's victory was hardly a surprise for those who had watched Forest Path annex the Golden Horseshoe as a juvenile but he disappointed a few times thereafter and it's taken time - and gelding - to get him back on track. He dispelled such stamina doubts as there might have been going into the race and his connections will be eyeing further big race glory as the season progresses.

There was almost an air of inevitability, when Cerise Cherry hit the front, that things would go awry for him. There's little more that can be said, apart from the fact that he is as genuine as they come and is overdue a big win of his own. He will be a popular winner when his luck finally turns.

Sporting Boy came right back to the form he showed late last year and this run bodes well for his big race aspirations going forward while Mount Hood is delivering on his juvenile promise and has now turned in three top efforts in a row. Rank outsider Broadsword deserves a mention for a creditable fifth, beating home several more fancied contenders.

Forest Path (SAF) is a 3-year-old gelding by Fort Wood (USA) out of Money Trail (SAF) by Northern Guest (USA). He is owned by Mrs B D Oppenheimer and was bred by Mauritzfontein Stud.

Winning trainer: Mike de Kock

TN815 - Race 8 - R2M - S A CLASSIC (Grade 1)
For 3 year olds - 1800m
No Horse Jockey Al/Bl Kg Dr Fin Dist Time OP SP Prev
1 FOREST PATH Raymond Danielson A P 57.0 9 1 0.00 110.37 7-1 13-2 TN762
4 CERISE CHERRY Marthinus Mienie A - 57.0 13 2 1.00 110.56 7-1 6-1 TN704
7 SPORTING BOY Gunter Wrogemann A - 57.0 12 3 1.25 110.60 33-1 40-1 TN704
5 MOUNT HOOD Robbie Hill A - 57.0 2 4 1.50 110.65 6-1 6-1 TN704
11 BROADSWORD Randall Simons A B 57.0 4 5 3.50 111.03 40-1 66-1 VR709
12 SEATTLE ICE (AUS) Felix Coetzee A - 57.0 1 6 4.75 111.26 12-1 16-1 TN704
9 DISA LEADER Mark Khan A - 57.0 5 7 5.25 111.36 6-1 6-1 VR738
3 BOUQUET-GARNI Anthony Delpech A - 57.0 7 8 6.50 111.60 8-1 7-1 TN762
10 ALWAYS Anton Marcus A - 57.0 14 9 7.00 111.69 6-1 8-1 TN704
14 IRON WOOD Johnny Geroudis A - 57.0 10 10 8.00 111.89 6-1 12-1 VR595
13 MPUMELELO Brandon Lerena S - 57.0 6 11 8.50 111.98 40-1 50-1 TN704
6 ROYAL REZ Gavin Lerena S - 57.0 3 12 9.75 112.22 6-1 5-1F TN704
2 CAPTAIN'S TABLE Piere Strydom A - 57.0 8 13 12.25 112.71 7-1 13-2 TN704
8 FENERBAHCE Deon Sampson A B 57.0 11 14 26.00 115.45 14-1 25-1 TN704

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