St John Takes Listed Derby Trial

St John Gray pulled his home-bred joker out of the pack in Saturday’s R150 000 Listed Derby Trial at Turffontein.

“I thought at one stage that Christopher Robin’s sire Damage Is Done was doing just that to my broodmare band,” laughed the victorious breeder-owner-trainer afterwards.

Punters in the Winnie The Poo! Christopher Robin storms clear under Warren Kennedy (Pic – JC Photos)

The 2000m feature was run in driving rain and it was 25-1 shot Christopher Robin who finished the strongest under the rampant Warren Kennedy. The victory was the kick start to a R384 905 Pick 6 dividend on the afternoon.

While it’s no golden ticket to the SA Derby and third leg of the SA Triple Crown, which is run over 450m further on 4 April, the race would certainly have put paid to the hopes of a few starry-eyed hopefuls.

The most experienced runner in the twelve-horse field, Christopher Robin has earned at over 50% of his starts and he duly showed that he could be a bit better than his rating suggests, with a sustained finish to hold off Nebraas (35-1) by 2,50 lengths in a time of 128,09 secs.

Our Man In Havana (7-1) was the closes fancied runner, when he plodded into third.

The rest were outgunned.

Winning Form-sponsored jockey Warren Kennedy said that he found himself falling further and further back as the lead changed hands.

“The turn was soft and he also floundered a bit. But when he picked it up late, he made it a professional performance,” he added.

A winner of 3 races with 7 places from 18 starts for stakes of R263 825, Christopher Robin is a son of the now deceased Rakeen stallion Damage Is Done, who won 4 races from 1600-2000m, before being injured.

The female line has produced champions Politician, Al Nitak and The Sheik but Damage Is Done got limited opportunities at stud.

The winner is out of of the five-time winning Malhub mare, Onehundredacrewood – who only won up to 1200m.

Damage Is Done has since passed away, bred on lines that produced Jet Master.

Well done to all concerned.

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