Racing history was made as R30 000 Ready To Run Sales graduate and Summerhill-bred War Of Athena took the Triple Tiara, whilst Malmoos – a R4,4-million yearling by Captain Al bred by Varsfontein Stud, each took their crowns on the same day at Turffontein – a first in the history of the event.
On a terrific historic day for South African racing, 19 year old former SA Champion apprentice Luke Ferraris added the SA Triple Crown trophy to his Cape Town Met silverware when Malmoos sauntered home to bank the R2 million bonus in the R750 000 World Sports Betting Gr1 SA Derby at Turffontein.
Malmoos put the cherry on top of the smashing War Of Athena’s success earlier to write their names into the history books as the first of both sexes to win the series on the same afternoon.
And in the end, they both stayed – even if the girls’ 2450m was won in 1,23 secs faster!
The Avontuur-sponsored Ferraris became the youngest jockey to win the SA Triple Crown as he partnered multiple champion Mike de Kock in the master trainer’s personal third strike overall – Igugu (2013 SA Triple Tiara) and Horse Chestnut (1999 SA Triple Crown) being his previous successes in both series.
But the moment belonged to the Varsfontein-bred Malmoos, who made it 7 wins from 8 starts and joined the honour roll of Horse Chestnut, Louis The King (2014) and Abashiri (2016).
Relaxed in midfield off a muddling gallop, Ferraris brought Malmoos around the stragglers as he steered him out wide at the 450m marker.
With 250m to go, Malmoos was on his way to stardom and he drew clear to beat the game Pamushana’s Pride – bidding gallantly to emulate his Dad Louis The King – by 5,25 lengths in a time of 157,61 secs.
Malmoos has won 7 of his 8 starts and earned R1 487 100 – excluding the R2 million bonus.
A full brother to the dual Group-winning stayer Captain Splendid, Malmoos 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.
Malmoos races in the familiar silks of the recently deceased Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum.
De Kock has indicated that Malmoos is not overseas-bound and is likely to eventually take up stallion duties on SA soil.
Paul Matchett and his loyal owners the Wentzels have enjoyed the season of a lifetime. And they joined the rarified ranks of Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara winners courtesy of Muzi Yeni and their Summerhill-bred superstar War Of Athena at Turffontein on Saturday.
A daughter of Dynasty stallion Act Of War, War Of Athena started at prohibitive odds and earned a R1 million bonus as she joined the hallowed honour roll of past SA Triple Tiara princesses Igugu (2011), Cherry On The Top (2013) and Summer Pudding (2020), when she overcame a solid pace set by the opposition camp and put the naysayers to bed with an impressive victory in the R375 000 Wilgerbosdrift Gr2 SA Oaks.
Enjoying a great day after he had steered Got The Greenlight to victory in the Gr1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes a half hour earlier, Muzi Yeni had War Of Athena confidently relaxed 20 lengths off the Paul Peter pair of Lotus and Sacred Lotus for much of the trip.
In the run for home, War Of Athena lengthened her stride and went past the opposition as if they were standing still.
A R30 000 buy from the 2019 Ready To Run Sale, War Of Athena has won 8 races (from 1200m to 2450m) with 5 places from 14 starts for stakes of R1 401 300.
Bred by Summerhill, she was a first Gr1 winner for her fast ascending Dynasty sire Act Of War when she won last time.
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.
War Of Athena’s former Zimbabwe owner Roy Wentzel and Dr Rose Waterman-Wentzel have indicated that they have received many ‘wild offers’ for their star.
But for R30 000, she is giving them the ride of a lifetime!
Trainer Joey Soma showed yet again that with the right horses he has few peers in the South African training ranks. His flagbearer Got The Greenlight registered his fourth Gr1 success as he stormed to victory in the R500 000 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.
Run out of it late by Paul Peter’s smart 3yo MK’S Pride in the Gr2 Hawaii Stakes last month, Got The Greenlight threw the second-run-after-a-rest doubters syndrome out of the window when he turned it on from way out after lagging behind in his customary style early on.
With Drum Star winner Savannah Storm leading the charge for home, Muzi Yeni was not waiting around and he sent the Soma multiple Equus champion colt for glory at about the 350m marker.
It looked an early move with the in-form Van Vuuren stable’s Copper Mountain unleasing his effort down the wide outside.
The 3yo Noble Tune gelding Copper Mountain looked well in the preliminaries and ran a good race in second ahead of Tarry’s enigmatic entire Tierra De Fuego in third.
The winner, who was having only his second run this term, races in a partnership of Dayalan Chinsammy, Hassen Adams and Joey Soma.
He is by Varsfontein sire Gimmethegreenlight (More Than Ready) out of the one-time winner Command Chi (Commands).
Got The Greenlight, a R110 000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale graduate, has now won 7 of his 15 starts with 7 places and stakes of R 2 700 500.
The 4yo colt is likely to be aimed at the Gr1 Premier’s Champions Challenge over 2000m on 1 May, before heading for the coast and another crack at the Vodacom Durban July
Joey Soma rounded off a great feature double on SA Derby Day when the fancied African Adventure outstayed his rivals to win the R150 000 Gr3 WSB Best Odds First Caradoc Gold Cup.
After Got The Greenlight’s terrific fourth Gr1 success in the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes a few hours earlier, the consistent marathon man African Adventure went past a slightly one-paced leader Atyaab in the final 250m of the 2850m event.
Rounding off one of the most favourite dominated major days in recent memory, S’manga Khumalo put 7,75 lengths between his mount and the opposition to in a time of 182,63 secs.
Bred by Mr & Mrs John Slade, African Adventure is by Master Of My Fate (Jet Master) out of the Fort Wood mare, African Badger.
A R40 000 National 2yo Sale buy, African Adventure has won 5 races with 8 places from 18 starts for stakes of R383 750.