DARK MOON RISING LIVES UP TO HIS NAME
Dark Moon Rising lifted his career to a new high when he registered his first Stakes success in the Listed Kings Cup at Greyville. The time-honoured mile race turned into a fierce three-way tussle, with Paul Lafferty’s five-year-old sandwiched between the filly Roy’s Riviera (All Too Hard) and favourite Matador Man (Toreador). Dark Moon Rising pulled out that little extra to deny the blinkered favourite by a head, with the filly a similar margin back in third.
A son of Mauritzfontein’s Ideal World, the five-year-old was initially considered a stayer. However, his last two wins have both been over a mile, whilst his placed efforts in Listed company this season came around the same trip. Equally effective over further, the six-time winner was also runner-up in last season’s Gr.2 World Betting 1900.
Dark Moon Rising was bred by veterinarian Dr Ian Heyns from the five-time winner Full Moon Rising (Second Empire). He is much the best in his family for several generations considering the next Stakes winner, Lady Magpie (Dupont) appears under the fourth dam. Remarkably, she earned her black type in the 2011 Kings Cup and likewise prevailed in a tight, three-way finish!
STAKES SUCCESS FOR CAPTAIN OF ALL
Klawervlei’s freshman sire Captain Of All reached that all-important milestone, a first Stakes winner, when his daughter Captain Anne Bonny lost her maiden tag in the Listed Easted Cape Nursery. The Tara Laing-trained juvenile had only a second to her name from two previous starts, but exited the 1200m test a winner by a neck.
In the process, she upstaged hot favourite Brandina (Capetown Noir) who looked set for a third victory when taking the lead inside the final furlong, but failed to repel the winner, who was driven out for a fiercely contested win.
The Klawervlei-bred is the first foal out of four-time winner Coco (Royal Air Force), whose yearling is by Bold Silvano. Twice a winner for Joey Ramsden, Coco recorded her final two wins for Laing. Captain Anne Bonny is the latest Stakes winner to emerge from the famed Sun Lass family, through her winning daughter Fine Tan, ancestress also of Gr.2 Merchants hero The Thinker (Visionaire) and Gr.3 Byerley Turk winner Chestnut’s Rocket (Horse Chestnut).
That Mauritzfontein Stud has built its fame on classic stallions cannot be disputed, the likes of Free Ride, Fort Wood, Strike Smartly and now Ideal World, bear testament to that fact.
Whilst they represented the era of the stud’s founders, the late Harry and Bridget Oppenheimer, grandaughter Jessica Slack is moving towards injecting more speed and precocity. In 2018, Gr.1 SA Nursery winner Mustaaqeem (Redoute’s Choice) stood his first season at the Kimberley stud and this year, the stallion roster will be boosted by yet another Gr.1 winning juvenile in the shape of Japanese bred Danon Platina, a champion son of Deep Impact, Japan’s dominant stallion since 2012.
Essentially a miler, Danon Platina recorded all five career wins over the trip, his career-defining victory coming at two in the Gr.1 Asahi Hai Futurity on turf. Named the champion juvenile of 2014, the grey went on to lift the mile Gr.3 Fuji Stakes at three, defeating Gr.1 winner Satano Aladdin and Japanese 2000 Guineas hero Logotype. At five he also claimed the Listed New Year Stakes.
Danon Platina is out of Badeelah, an unraced daughter of Unbridled’s Song and American Gr.1 winner Magical Allure (General Meeting). A grandaugher of Seattle Slew who counted the Gr.1 La Brea Stakes and Gr.2 Lady’s Secret Handicap amongst five Stakes successes, she also rates as the grandam of French Stakes winner Musawaah (Union Rags). The extended female family is that of Gr.1 Breeders Cup Sprint victress Very Subtle.
A veritable smorgasbord of top class racing is on the menu at tomorrow’s Turffontein meeting, which is headed by a pair of Gr.1 events.
The H F Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes will see a mouth-watering clash of the generations, where Mike de Kock’s Cape Guineas winner Soqrat (Epaulette) is set to to take on dual Horse of the Year and defending champion Legal Eagle (Greys Inn), who is aiming for a historical hat-trick in this mile race.
Both are on retrieval missions, the three-year-old hoping to regain the winning trail following his Queen’s Plate second and Hawaii Stakes third, whilst the latter last ran fifth in the Met. Significantly Soqrat finished well ahead of Legal Eagle in the Queen’s Plate and a repeat of that effort could see him take the honours.
De Kock could complete a Gr.1 double in the SA Derby, where star colt Hawwaam (Silvano) heads the stable’s three-pronged attack. A fluent winner of the Gr.2 Dingaans, Sheikh Hamdan’s colt suffered his first and only defeat when beaten in the Gr.2 Gauteng Guineas but set the record straight in the Gr.1 SA Classic where he pulverised his rivals by almost six lengths. Following that brilliant effort, the half-brother to Met hero Rainbow Bridge looks hard to oppose and as there seems to be no doubt among connections that he will stay the Derby trip, he looks set to give the stable a fourth victory in this Classic. The minor placings are likely to be fought out by stable companion and Gr.1 Cape Derby hero Atyaab (Dundeel) and Derby Trial winner Gift For The Gap (Master Of My Fate).
DUBAI WORLD CUP
Considering the well-documented quarantine and travel woes our exports have to contend with, it’s a feather in trainer Mike de Kock’s cap that he will saddle a trio of South African-breds at tomorrow night’s Dubai World Cup meeting.
“Our horses will need to step up on the night though, but they most certainly warrant their place on ability,” De Kock remarked earlier this week. “It is just unfortunate that their preps have been delayed but I’m quite excited about the way the way they are peaking now, albeit that we might just be two or three weeks behind the eight ball.”
Silvano’s champion son Marinaresco steps up to two miles in the Dubai Gold Cup and will be piloted by Bernard Fayd’Herbe, who also guided him to victory in the 2017 Durban July. Now six, the gelding has understandably taken time to find his form after extensive travel and quarantine, and has shown continued improvement in three Dubai starts, all at Gr.2 level.
Fayd’Herbe will also be aboard Yulong Prince (Gimmethegreenlight), who makes his local debut in the Dubai Turf. Formerly named Surcharge, the colt last saw a racetrack in June when triumphant in the Gr.1 Daily News 2000 and as De Kock explained:“It is common knowledge that he was delayed in England, bizarrely, and with a less than ideal prep, will unfortunately go into the race about 80 per cent fit.”
He will be joined by Anton Marcus on Majestic Mambo (Mambo In Seattle), “a tough horse, very honest”who comes into the race off a promising Dubai debut run when a dogged sixth in the Jebel Hatta on March 9. As Mike remarked: “He raced a bit too handy and got a little tired at the end, but that’s fine, he had a good hard race which he needed and he had a good blow. I like what I see now, in the last three or four days his coat has turned and he looks well.”
-Ada Van Der Bent / EBN