The Gavin van Zyl-trained four-year-old Pathfork gelding Marchingontogether made it five wins in seven starts at Hollywoodbets Scottsville yesterday when running on well under Warren Kennedy from midfield in the Grade 3 Track & Ball Derby over 2400m to win by 1,10 lengths from It’s My Turn.
It’s My Turn enhanced his chances of being included in the Vodacom Durban July field while another July entry, Eyes Wide Open, is now in danger of not being included in the top 18 as he could only manage a moderate fourth, beaten 4,80 lengths, in the small eight horse field. Dark Moon Rising finished third.
A section of rail had to be moved outward before the running of the Derby due to inconsistent going caused by a downpour.
After the Derby was run the meeting was abandoned following a jockeys’ protest. The Grade 3 Track & Ball Oaks was thus not run. It has been rescheduled for Sunday on the KZN Breeders Race Day. The July final field announcement and draw ceremony takes place on Tuesday.
Marchingontogether will attempt to follow in the footsteps of Hermoso Mundo and It’s My Turn by becoming the third horse in the space of four years to complete a hattrick of Grade 3 staying race victories in the Gold Cup. He was an impressive winner of the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup over 2400m at Greyville in his previous start. Hermoso Mundo won the Gold Bowl, the Gold Vase and the Gold Cup in 2017. Marchingontogether was an R80 000 National Yearling Sales purchase, bred by Jagessar Limited and consigned by Varsfontein Stud.
It’s My Turn won the Track And Ball Derby, the Gold Vase and the Gold Cup in 2018.The other highlight of yesterday’s meeting was the victory of the Garth Puller-trained Captain Fontane on his debut over 1200m under Lyle Hewitson.
This Cheveley Stud-bred Captain Al gelding is a full brother to Snowdance and comes from one of the best families in South Africa. His Grade 3-winning mother Spring Lilac (Joshua Dancer) is a daughter of Equus Champion Broodmare Mystic Spring and is thus a half-sister to champions Rabiya and Bela Bela and to Grade 2-winner and Grade 1-producing broodmare Secret Of Victoria among others. Captain Fontane is owned in partnership by Hong Kong based SA trainer David Ferraris, in partnership with Mr Hui.