Malmoos And War Of Athena Go For Triple Crown Glory

Malmoos And War Of Athena Go For Triple Crown Glory

Malmoos in the 2019 National Yearling Sales ring. Image: Candiese Lenferna

Malmoos in the 2019 National Yearling Sales ring. Image: Candiese Lenferna


Image: Malmoos in the National Yearling Sales ring (Pic: Candiese Lenferna)

Mike de Kock’s ‘real deal’ Malmoos gets his golden opportunity to join the illustrious ranks of past SA Triple Crown stars Horse Chestnut, Louis The King and Abashiri when he lines up at the 2450m start of the WSB Gr1 SA Derby at Turffontein on 3 April.

Malmoos (5-2) booked the space for his partly written entry into the SA horseracing history books with a scintillating score in Saturday’s R750 000 WSB Gr1 SA Classic at Turffontein.

The big-hitting son of champion Captain Al was, as expected, ridden with more restraint over the 1800m trip on Saturday after being placed under pressure by Catch Twentytwo late in his Gauteng Guineas strike at his last, and the plan worked a charm.

Luke Ferraris has the magnificent Malmoos in total control at the finish (Pic – JC Photos)

Avontuur jockey Luke Ferraris has been aboard at all of Malmoos’ seven starts.

The past SA Champion Apprentice rode a peach of a race on this really smart 3yo, who was settled in midfield before boldly clicking into top gear at the 300m.

He went all the way with impressive resolve to resist the challenge of the gallant Sea Cottage Stakes winner, Second Base (7-2) by two lengths in a time of 110,18 secs.

Catch Twentytwo appeared to have run in snatches and only came on the scene when the race was over to finish a further quarter length back in third. He shouldn’t be written off!

Luke Ferraris said that given the fact that Malmoos was going 1800m for the first time he was reluctant to be up there.

“This was really impressive – he gives me goosebumps when he starts to unwind down the home straight!”

Mike de Kock joked that Luke was the third Ferraris he had had dealings with – and probably the only one who has done him a favour!

“It was obvious that the further he goes the better he gets. He had tightened up today.,” he added.

Malmoos has won 6 of his 7 starts – his sole blank remains the Cape Guineas unplaced effort – and he has now earned R1 037 100.

As a full brother to the dual Group-winning stayer Captain Splendid, the confidence that he will get the 2450m of the Derby next month appears well founded.

The well-related Malmoos is by Captain Al (Al Mufti) out of the Spook Express Handicap winner Justthewayyouare, a half-sister to Varsfontein’s boom sire Master Of My Fate.

The second top lot at R4,4 million sold off the 2019 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, he races for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, who advised recently that his racing operation in the Southern Hemisphere will be rationalised.

The final leg of the WSB SA Triple Crown will be run at Turffontein on 3 April. It’s now become a massive day with both sexes in line for the top honour after War Of Athena’s smashing victory in the Wilgerbosdrift Gr1 SA Fillies Classic earlier on in the afternoon.

Malmoos is now in line for the Triple Crown bonus of R2 million payable to the connections of the horse that wins all three legs.

The Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara crown looks up for the taking after Paul Matchett’s smashing R30 000 sales graduate War Of Athena cruised to a facile victory in Saturday’s R700 000 Wilgerbosdrift Gr1 SA Fillies Classic.


With a three-pronged attack at their disposal and nothing near War Of Athena’s ability in the eight-horse field, the Matchett yard’s plan came together with military precision after Gee For Go – who races in the same silks – took one for the team as commentator Alistair Cohen put it and ensured a civil- if not blistering – pace for the 1800m second leg.

Going off at 7-20, War Of Athena was confidently sent for glory about 400m from home and she changed legs to win in a canter – 1,80 lengths separating her and Netta (15-1) at the line as Yeni geared her down.

War Of Athena (Muzi Yeni enjoys an exercise gallop to win the Classic! (Pic – JC Photos)

Of academic relevance only, the winner’s time was 111,74 secs.

Willow Magic daughter Magical Flight (33-1) was a further 2,45 lengths back in third with Sparkling Water (7-1) fourth.

Jockey Muzi Yeni called the race an ‘exercise gallop’.

“There was a lack of opposition but well done to the team – she was so well today,” he added.

A R30 000 buy from the 2019 Ready To Run Sale, War Of Athena has won 7 races with 5 places from 13 starts for stakes of R1 176 300.

The big question now is – will the lady stay the 2450m of the Oaks?

Bred by Summerhill, she is a first Gr1 winner for fast ascending Dynasty sire Act Of War, a son of 2014/15 SA Broodmare of the Year Si Senorita, who won to a mile at Gr2 level in his eight victories from twelve starts.

It is on War Of Athena’s dam side that she could really call on stamina reserves.

She is out of a Requiem / Coastal mare Qaphela, who has produced 4 other winners, and is a half-sister to two South African stakes winners – from the same family as Gold Cup winner Desert Links and French Oaks heroine Dunette.

The third leg of the Triple Tiara is the R375 000 Wilgerbosdrift Gr2 SA Oaks to be run over 2450m at Turffontein on Saturday 3 April.

A bonus of R1 million will be paid to the connections of the filly that wins all three legs.

War Of Athena looks unstoppable.

Act Of War enjoyed a great day, producing a double as his Clifton-bred Tip Of The Spear won impressively on debut from raced horses in the first.

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