Justin Snaith-trained Nexus under a masterful return ride from Piere Strydom, won the KZN Mile on Sunday afternoon in front of a sizeable crowd, just the week before the Hollywoodbets Durban July.
Rathmor Stud made it back to back wins in the race, winning with Copper Mountain (Noble Tune) in 2021, and not only bred Nexus but also raised Battle Force for breeder Mr Rupert Plersch.
The beautifully bred Nexus, by Dynasty out of Mystery Dame by Jet Master, is a Gr2 winner and a full brother to Gr1 winner Lady In Black.
Gr1 Gold Medallion winner Battle Force (Act Of War) flew up for second by three quarters of a length in the familiar pink and black stars also associated with War Of Athena, with the grey Willow Express finishing in third for Sean Tarry.
It was the first return ride from Strydom, who has just 10 wins to go to reach 5500 lifetime winners.
Merit Rated 107, Nexus sold for R1,7-million to John Freeman as a yearling at the 2017 Nationals, originally named Identity Thief. He has won eight races with nine places from 29 starts for stakes of R1 059 225, owned by Mrs Nancy Hossack, the daughter of the Late Jack Mitchell who enjoyed much success in the white colours with black dots, including that of #kznbred Futura as well as Nexus’ full sister, Gr1 winner Lady In Black.
Bruce Le Roux and Clifton Stud enjoyed much success on the day. Bruce, with one horse in his name and one in partnership with Blue Sky Thoroughbreds also birthed and raised the first winner of the day, for trainer Michael Roberts with the speedy Russian Doll. Clifton enjoyed a double with Proud Master and Prince Of Taranto – and in addition, finished 1-2 in their own sponsored race, the Clifton Stud Kwazulu Natal Breeders 1200 with Proud Master and the striking Sikhulu.
Rathmor enjoyed a double – taking the KZN Breeders Mile and winning their sponsored race in the eighth named for War Front sire Declarationofpeace. Crazy Blues won smartly under Muzi Yeni for trainer Lorenzo Karrie and owner Mario Ferreira.
Tony Rivalland enjoyed a double with Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Mr Henley and Clifton bred Prince Of Taranto, with the partners of the two syndicates in particular – Mr Robert Maingard and Patrick Rivalland – notching up a double on the day.
It was a festive day both in the Durban View which hosted the breeders, owners and trainers of runners on the day, whilst the course was abuzz with a significant crowd enjoying July fever leading up to the big day next week.
Congratulations to todays winners and thank you to the sponsors who assisted in making this wonderful meeting possible!