1-2 For KZN In Swallow Stakes

1-2 For KZN In Swallow Stakes

Virgo's Babe and Samba Serenade finising in a 1-2 in the Swallow Stakes. Image: JC Photos

The 2013 Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery winner Virgo’s Babe bounced back to her best at Turffontein on Tuesday evening. The daughter of Malhub confounded the form when powering home to win the R150 000 Listed Swallow Stakes run over the 1160m, reports sportingpost.co.za.

Virgo’s Babe had first risen to prominence as a filly to follow when she won the SA Fillies Nursery beating a quality field and the best of her generation by five lengths.

The speedy chestnut put in a smart effort under the lights in the hands of S’manga Khumalo.

Fransie Naude rode an aggressive race on Samba Serenade, a in the Peter White silks and she led the outside group as Tiger Quest and Boarding Call led the inside charge.

Into the final 400m Samba Serenade suddenly bounced clear and grabbed the initiative as Tiger Quest faded.

Virgo’s Babe and Samba Serenade came together at the 200m and Virgo’s Babe was straightened by Khumalo as she shifted away from the left and the right handed whip. She eventually put her head down and finished well.

She stormed through down the inside of the grey Samba Serenade to win by a short head in a time of 66,52 secs.

Winning jockey S’manga Khumalo, who ended the evening with a total of four winners, said that his mount had come out of the stalls keenly and as the pace was on he had decided to give her cover.

“She has been known to go fast and then tire late. We tracked Tiger Quest and when I asked her for an effort, she dug deep and won a nice race,” said the national log leading jockey.

A rather relieved looking trainer David Niewenhuizen said there had been a lot of pressure and it had been tough to get her back to where she was.

“It is a team effort though and I am very pleased. I must thank Breeders Manny and Mandy Testa and her owners David and Meryl Foster and Terrance Pandaram. Patience has been the key and we know that she is very talented,” he said.

Virgo’s Babe was bred by Midlands Thoroughbreds and is by Malhub out of the unraced Special Preview mare, Linzertorte. Linzertorte was reported to have showed plenty of speed and talent in training, but never made it to a race due to her fear of the starting stalls. Unfortunately the half-brother to Virgo’s Babe, by Second Empire, passed away unexpectedly last year shortly after he was sold at the 2013 KZN Yearling Sale.

Virgo’s Babe, has now won 3 races with 5 places from 12 starts and R479 075 in stakes.

Samba Serenade, by Joshua Dancer, was born and raised at Clifton Stud for Peter White. She is a half-sister to three-time Bold Black Type winning Midnight Serenade (also by Malhub). Samba Serenade has had six places and two wins, only being unplaced once.

Well done to the winning breeders and connections!

-extract sportingpost.co.za

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