Sean Tarry’s hardknocking Kahal mare Witchcraft enjoyed the very rare distinction of achieving the KZN Oaks double when she dictated matters under an enterprising ride by Lyle Hewitson to win the Scottsville R300 000 Gr3 Track & Ball Oaks on Saturday.
The race was given open status in 2014 for strategic reasons and the bumper field that lined up on Saturday suggests that the move has been the right one in the broader scheme of things.
But the Avontuur-sponsored Lyle Hewitson had other ideas and he dictated the race perfectly to have enough in reserve when it counted.
In much the same fashion as she had scored in the same race in 2016 at 25-1, the 16-1 Witchcraft galloped all the way to the line to hold Meryl to 3,75 lengths in a time of 147,10 secs.
A R400 000 Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale graduate, Witchcraft has now won 6 races with 8 places from 23 starts and took her earnings to R838 925.
Bred by Summerhill she is by the ill-fated Kahal out of the Irish mare Deceptive Charm by Kingmambo, who is in turn out of a Sadler’s Wells / Mill Reef mare, String Quartet.
This is a female line that has proved itself successful at the highest level in South African racing, including the likes of Gr1 Gold Bowl winner Mosszao, as well as Autumn Lodge.
The damline also includes four sires – Gr1 winners Le Moss and Levmoss, as well as Alleging and Visions Of Grandeur being found under the second dam.
Summerhill have had a smashing season indeed, including two Gr1’s this season!
Congratulations to all concerned.