Cape Town - Glamour,
international flare in the theme of black and white set the tone at Kenilworth
Racecourse where Investec and Cape Thoroughbred Sales hosted their guests at
the inaugural Investec Day of Dreams.
Head of Marketing for Investec in South Africa, said: “a spectacular day that saw our
partnership with CTS come to life, a proud moment for Investec to host Africa’s
richest horse race and make history”
It was a truly
exciting day at the track, with surprise winners stealing the show.
from the Glen Puller stable, is the winner of the inaugural running of the CTS
Million Dollar over 1 400m on the turf, Africa’s richest thoroughbred race. The
bay son of Trippi was ridden by Heavelon van der Hoven, a low percentage
apprentice who seized a dream opportunity when replacing indisposed senior
jockey, Weichong Marwing.
Puller is a
reticent character, but a highly skilled horseman possessing a special touch
with thoroughbreds. He accurately rated Illuminator as one of the best he has
been associated with soon after the athletic colt won his first two career
starts under apprentice van der Hoven in spring 2015. That judgment was
vindicated with big money at stake as Illuminator fluently glided down the
outside to overhaul favourite Silver Mountain, who was engaged in a robust duel
with Victorious Jay in the centre of the course. Seventh Plain ran gamely from
a wide draw to get fourth place.
was purchased at the CTS March Yearling Sale for R180 000 and is a product of
champion breeders, Klawervlei Stud. This was his third win from six starts. The winner’s stake was 50% of the $1 million, for owners Francis
Carruthers and Ian Robinson.
Niekerk, Investec’s Global Head of Marketing said: “following our success over the
past seven years at the Investec Derby Festival in England, it was wonderful to
establish new traditions in South Africa today”.
Investec Cape Derby (Grade 1) over 2 000m held on the same afternoon, It’s My
Turn sprung another upset when making a solo run up the outside of the long
Kenilworth stretch. He had produced a terrific performance quickening smartly
when winning his Maiden on debut at Durbanville, yet three subsequent fails in
modest handicap company dampened enthusiasm and Justin Snaith’s entry was
priced up a 25/1 long-shot.
handled by Piere Strydom, he moved smoothly from well off the early pace set by
Kemal Kavur to seize control inside the final 200m. Brazuca, who came under
forceful urgings a long way out stayed on belatedly to sneak second. He
finished just ahead of Marinaresco who also arrived late on the scene, together
with Black Arthur. The latter, favoured at 12/10 to repeat his score in the
recent Politician Stakes, was never travelling comfortably and ended up
stuttering into fourth 2.6 lengths behind his less fancied stable-mate.
Inara won the
other Grade 1 race on the card, when scoring a follow up win from 2015 in the
prestigious Klawervlei Majorca Stakes over 1 600m. She beat off Same
Jurisdiction and Lanner Falcon, in a notable triumph for Drakenstein Stud, who
own all three fillies. Winning jockey Grant van Niekerk recorded two Grade 1
victories on this talented daughter of Trippi last season, and the duo with a
special affinity repeated their 2015 triumph.
those back to back Majorca victories, albeit after an unsuccessful mid-2015
foray up to Durban, Van Niekerk extolled Inara’s virtues.
“She never lets me
down. She just never felt the same in KZN, but when back in Cape Town
it’s like she grows another leg, and I knew the others would battle to beat
Managing Director CTS, said: “it has been an exhilarating week with the Cape Premier
Yearling Sale and what a way to finish it off with the CTS Million Dollar race.
Today’s event has clearly put South Africa on the global racing stage; this is
the stuff of which dreams are made.”