Emerald Cup Day Racing News

Emerald Cup Day Racing News

KZN had another good weekend in the Vaal, with breeder Peter Choices’s Windrush gelding In A Rush taking home the Gr 2 Emerald Cup in style. Cante Libre, a Kahal mare bred by Gary Player, walked away with the Banyana Listed Handicap whilst St John Gray’s filly Formation was victorious in the Emerald Handicap Listed by almost five lengths, with placings in the above races from Uncle Tommy (Kahal), Kinematic Countess (Count Du Bois), Be Assured (Woodborough) and Break Of Dawn (Miesque’s Approval).

In A Rush winning the Gr 2 Emerald Cup. Image: sportingpost.co.za

A controversial entry for a horse who had never raced on a sand surface, In A Rush snatched victory by almost a length going away on Africa’s richest race on sand, the Gr 2 Emerald Cup.

Francois Herholdt’s punch of the air as he guided the 5 year old In A Rush across the line in front of a record breaking crowd of 10 400 at the Vaal on Saturday, to win the R600 000 Gr2 Emerald Cup, was characterised by a pall of silence that descended on a generally festive afternoon. Mouths hung open as In A Rush just found more, to win a cracker.

Alongside champions Jackson and Gimmethegreenlight, In A Rush has the distinction of being one of only a trio of Thoroughbreds that have proven capable of lowering the colours of Variety Club beyond 1200m.

In A Rush held off South Africa’s sand champion Pylon to grab the R375 000 first cheque. In A Rush was receiving 7,5kgs from the gallant Pylon, while the ever present Uncle Tommy (bred by Summerhill Stud and a half-brother to Rebel King) stayed on strongly for third.

In A Rush was bred by Peter Choice, and is by Windrush out of the five time winning Chief Warden mare, Sweet Whisper. Peter Choice part owns his unraced half-sister In A While (by Rakeen) with Mike McHardy, the mare standing at Rathmor Stud. Mike reports that she has a Windrush yearling on the farm.

In A Rush is the third winner produced from Chief Warden mare Sweet Whisper, who won five races up to 2000m, including the Listed Winter Oaks. Still part-owned by breeder and transport magnate Peter Choice, In A Rush was acquired for R85 000 at the 2010 Cape Summer Yearling Sale. This was In A Rush’s eighth career win from twenty three starts, for ten places and R941 825 in prize money.

Formation winning the Emerald Fillies Handicap. Image: sportingpost.co.za

St John Gray’s superbly consistent Sarge mare Formation made it a double in the R150 000 Listed Emerald Fillies Handicap run over 1450m at the Vaal on Saturday.

Registering her second win in this race, Formation showed again that she has very few opponents who can match her prowess on the sand in her peer group. She gave the well supported younger Dolomiti a galloping lesson, after admittedly briefly looking under a measure of pressure late in the race.

Gavin Lerena had been biding his time on Formation and he moved the six year old mare through down the inside as she made up ground methodically. At the 300m marker, Formation was clearly going best of all and she drew off to win easily by 4,75 lengths in a time of 89,51 secs. Break Of Dawn, by Miesque’s Approval and bred by Somerset Stud, finished 1,75 lengths back in third place.

Formation was bred by St John Gray’s Graystone Stud, trained and owned in the white and green silks. Formation is out of the very smart five-time winner, Polonaise (by Centenary) and has won on sand and turf, registering her eighth win from twenty five starts, with thirteen places and R731 720 in prize money.

Be Assured, bred by Mrs Margaret Filmer, finished just a nose off Cape Winter in the Hampton Handicap (Listed) on Emerald Cup day at the Vaal at even weights. Be Assured won this race last year, with Cape Winter finishing just a short head off the first time. The eight year old Woodborough gelding ran a brilliant race over 1000m and has had very consistent racing career to date – being a six-time winner who has placed 18 times.

Cante Libre by Kahal winning the Banyana Listed Handicap. Image: sportingpost.co.za

Paul Matchett’s consistent Kahal mare Cante Libre scored her first Stakes win when she brought the curtain down on a festive Emerald Cup day on Saturday, with an emphatic victory in the R150 000 Listed Banyana Handicap run over 1000m.

In a matter of strides Akash Aucharuz steered Cante Libre down the inside and she bounced clear smartly under her light weight and drew off to beat the pacy War Path by two lengths in a time of 58,80 secs, with Kinematic Countess (bred by Pierre Du Toit) putting in her usual game effort to finish in third place just two lengths off.

The winner was bred by Gary Player Stud and is by Kahal out of the two time winning National Assembly mare, Real World. This was Cante Libre’s first stakes win and her fifth overall win from her 27 starts for 7 places and R334 850 in prize money. Cante Libre was a bargain R40 000 purchase on the National Two Year Old Sale. Kahal is covering a full book this season at Bush Hill Stud.

On the international racing news front, St Petersburg’s ultra consistent Gr 1 winning performer Solzhenitsyn placed third in the Gr 1 Australian Invitation Stakes on 29 September at Caulfied over 1400m, grabbing the third by just a short head. A Gr 1 winner in 2012 of the Toorak Handicap, he is also the dual winner of the Gr 3 Lord Mayors Cup. He has placed second in the Gr 2 Theo Marks Stakes, and this is his third attempt at the Gr 1 Invitations Stakes, where he has finished third each time, as well as the Gr 2 Crystal Mile. St Petersburg stands at Summerhill Stud.

Congratulations to all the winning breeders and connections!

– extract sportingpost.co.za

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