The Paul Matchett-trained Summerhill Stud-bred Running Brave clung on to win the KZN Breeders Mile under a fine ride by Muzi Yeni at Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday and in retrospect she had a lot in her favour despite being sent off at odds of 35/1.
The Brave Tin Soldier filly’s class is emphasized by the fact that her career head to head record with the champion filly Celtic Sea is five to two in her favour. Brave Tin Soldier stands at Jill Fox’s The Fort Stud, whilst his dual Gr1 winning son Rabada is at Spring Valley, and has his first foals on the ground.
Furthermore, she is an effective front runner so a pole position draw, the strong tailwind on the day and a wide false rail were three more points in her favour. She gets on well with Yeni and enjoys Hollywoodbets Greyville, two points which were emphasised in her pillar to post victory in the Grade 2 Gold Bracelet over 2000m on Gold Cup day last season.
Running Brave carried 59kg under the conditions yesterday. Yeni said, “She’s courageous, all heart, I went into the race believing that if she was at her best it was the type of race she would win and then when she drew one I was even more confident. I was there for free and for the first time today I was able to get to the front and relax, she normally does it a little bit too hard but today I had her settled beautifully and she showed her class.
Running Brave sold for just R30 000 at the BSA National 2YO Sale, and has earned R 1,394,150 in stakes!
“In the straight she fended off the challenges of Nexus and Missisippi Burning (both bred by Rathmor Stud) who finished second and third ahead of the St. John Grey-trained pair Ronnie’s Candy and Lake Kinnaret.
One of the scratchings from the Mile was Vodacom Durban July contender Camphoratus.
The first race of the day, the Fort Stud KZN Breeders Fillies Juvenile Plate over 1200m, was won from pillar to post by the talented Ashley Fortune-trained Winter Smoke ridden by Aldo Domeyer.
She is by What A Winter and was bred RT Fitzgerald and born and raised at Spring Valley Stud.
The second race, the Clifton Stud KZN Breeders Juvenile Plate over 1200m, saw an equally impressive start to finish win by the Glen Kotzen-trained Garrulous ridden by Warren Kennedy.
This strapping gelding is by Byword and was bred by Tertia Properties. The third, the Spring Valley Stud KZN Breeders 1200 for fillies and mares, was won in good style by Silent Crusade, who outclassed them.
The big Mark Dixon-trained filly started slowly and had to weave her way through but won cosily in the end under Keagan de Melo. She is by Crusade and was fittingly bred by Bruce le Roux of Spring Valley Stud.
The next, the Summerhill Equestrian KZN Breeders 1200, saw a fine start to finish by the strongly built Michael Roberts trained Visionaire gelding Ad Altisima ridden by Serino Moodley. She was bred by GC Kalil.The eighth race, the Macrath Stud KZN Breeders 1600 for fillies and mares, was won by the Wendy Whitehead-trained Liquid Irish under Grant van Niekerk.
She is by Traffic Guard and was bred by Summerhill Stud.
The ninth, the New Predator KZN Breeders 1600, was won by the Dennis Drier-trained Caliente under Sean Veale. This Visionaire gelding was bred by Summerhill Stud.
The last race, the Golden Sword KZN Breeders 1900, saw a fitting win for KZN Breeding remarkable trainer-owner-breeder St. John Gray with his home-bred Damage Is Done gelding Christopher Robin who gave Grant van Niekerk a double.
Trainers and owners took home sales vouchers from each of the first four places for the KZN sponsored races on the day, worth R225 000 in total towards the purchase of a #kznbred horse on offer at the Emperors Palace National 2YO Sale in November, which has encompassed the KZN Yearling Sale.
Thank you to our sponsors and to Gold Circle for a great day, albeit behind closed doors.
Images: Candiese Lenferna