The Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara crown looks up for the taking after Paul Matchett’s smashing R30 000 sales graduate and #kznbred War Of Athena cruised to a facile victory in Saturday’s R700 000 Wilgerbosdrift Gr1 SA Fillies Classic.
With a three-pronged attack at their disposal and nothing near War Of Athena’s ability in the eight-horse field, the Matchett yard’s plan came together with military precision after Gee For Go – who races in the same silks – took one for the team as commentator Alistair Cohen put it and ensured a civil – if not blistering – pace for the 1800m second leg.
Going off at 7-20, War Of Athena was confidently sent for glory about 400m from home and she changed legs to win in a canter – 1,80 lengths separating her and Netta (15-1) at the line as Yeni geared her down.
War Of Athena (Muzi Yeni) enjoys an exercise gallop to win the Classic! (Pic – JC Photos)
Of academic relevance only, the winner’s time was 111,74 secs.
Willow Magic daughter Magical Flight was a further 2,45 lengths back in third with Sparkling Water fourth.
Jockey Muzi Yeni called the race an ‘exercise gallop’.
“There was a lack of opposition but well done to the team – she was so well today,” he added.
A R30 000 buy from the 2019 Ready To Run Sale, War Of Athena has won 7 races with 5 places from 13 starts for stakes of R1 176 300.
The big question now is – will the lady stay the 2450m of the Oaks?
Bred by Summerhill, she is a first Gr1 winner for fast ascending Dynasty sire Act Of War, a son of 2014/15 SA Broodmare of the Year Si Senorita, who won to a mile at Gr2 level in his eight victories from twelve starts.
It is on War Of Athena’s dam side that she could really call on stamina reserves.
She is out of a Requiem / Coastal mare Qaphela, who has produced 4 other winners, and is a half-sister to two South African stakes winners – from the same family as Gold Cup winner Desert Links and French Oaks heroine Dunette.
The third leg of the Triple Tiara is the R375 000 Wilgerbosdrift Gr2 SA Oaks to be run over 2450m at Turffontein on Saturday 3 April.
A bonus of R1 million will be paid to the connections of the filly that wins all three legs.
War Of Athena looks unstoppable.