South Africa’s champion breeders Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein achieved a phenomenal feat over the past weekend, taking home three Gr1 wins and the Gr3 Gold Vase – and incredibly two of the winners out of the same mare and broodmare of the year, Halfway To Heaven.
Hawwaam started the Mary Slack/Jessica Jell breeding partnership’s terrific run in the Gr1 Champions Challenge with global-bound Hawwaam, and the mother-and-daughter team wouldn’t have missed Mike de Kock’s comment that they are (one) of “the world’s great breeders”.
Hawwaam’s powerhouse of a half-brother Rainbow Bridge (Ideal World), won perhaps his most impressive of his eight races so far, doing it virtually hands-and-heels from the front in a top-class field in the Gr1 Gold Challenge.
Trainer Eric Sands and jockey Warren Kennedy suggested afterwards that Rainbow Bridge had not been at his peak – his obvious target being the Vodacom Durban July – and, considering his authoritative manner of victory, this will fill the minds of a few opposing stables with some concern.
Much like Hawwaam, Rainbow Bridge is maturing really well and seems to be enjoying his racing more. There was no sign of the stubbornness he has been known to show in the early part of his races. He settled quick, ran straight and there was also no evidence this time of a “flat spot” halfway down the straight, something which caused a loss of momentum at critical stages in a few of his previous starts.
Kennedy bagged his second Gr1 of the day on the exceptional filly Summer Pudding (Silvano), who was off the bit and looked in trouble with 300m to run in the Gr1 Woolavington Stakes, but kicked into gear once more to add this prestigious event to her Triple Tiara success.
“She never travelled with me the whole race and she does hit a flat spot,” said Kennedy. “But she always does that. At the 400 I thought maybe Bernard’s horse (Lady Of Steel) had me.
“But in a bun fight you can bet your life on her, she won’t get beat,” commented Kennedy, fresh from victory aboard Rainbow Bridge.
“She’s a special, lovely filly. She just doesn’t know how to get beaten,” confirmed Paul Peter.
Unbeaten in seven starts, Summer Pudding will be given a well-deserved break at Jessica and Steven Jell’s Kimberley farm.
Imperial Ruby, trained by Corne Spies, won Saturday’s Gr3 Gold Bowl over 3200m with an exciting last-gasp win under Piere Strydom, to add a Gr3 success to Wilgerbosdrift/Mauritzfontein’s two-day trophy haul. Sold for just R50 000 at the National 2 year old sale, he is beautifully bred by Silvano out of a Sadlers Wells mare.
Champion sire Silvano also enjoyed an outstanding weekend – with 6 winners as a sire, and 7 if you count his son Vercingetorix taking the Durban Dash with Celtic Voyager.
Lookout for the siblings to Hawwaam, Rainbow Bridge and Summer Pudding at the upcoming Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale.
-extract turftalk.co.za / goldcircle.co.za