Unbeaten! Mike De Kock’s outstanding New Zealand-bred Rumya aims to make it four in a row in Saturday’s Cape Fillies Guineas.
(Rumya bred by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, foaled and raised on the rolling pastures of Brighthill Farm New Zealand).
The home of fine wines and fast horses plays host to our national feature top billing this weekend. The R750 000 Gr1 Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas to be run over 1600m at Kenilworth is a race steeped in history and one of the most sought-after trophies on the calendar.
The 2012 vintage carries the tradition with pride and sets the stage for a classic North versus South duel.
The official handicapper would ordinarily be the best point of departure in this level weights contest, where collateral form is generally localised and isolated.
With the top four protagonists only having run twenty-two times between them, factors such as natural improvement, barrier draw and familiarity with local conditions could well combine to tip the scales either way.
At the end of the day, the best filly should win it – but strategy and a bit of luck will play their part as we saw last Sunday at Kenilworth.
King Of Pain’s brilliant victory over the flying Capetown Noir in Sunday’s Selangor Cup, proved that barrier draws can make a major difference over the Kenilworth mile.
With the run of the race from his 1 draw, Ramsden’s grey took the shortest route home and banked the winner’s cheque. The result may have been very different had the top two swapped draws.
Mike De Kock travels into the cradle of the birth of South African horseracing with two outstanding fillies, and after last week’s administrative upheaval, he will be no doubt be quietly wanting to prove a point.
Both the unbeaten Rumya and the smart daughter of Kahal, Festival Of Fire were scheduled to line up in last Saturday’s R300 000 Gr2 Ipi Tombe Challenge, before Lady Luck conspired to deal the jokers of a 1 and 2 draw for Saturday’s Gr1 at Kenilworth.
The draws, coupled with a glance at the opposition, and no doubt the lure of a Gr1 credit and more than double the stake cheque were probably the dealmakers that initiated the thumbs-up for a showdown that should have even the most indifferent of Cape racegoers catching the bus to Kenilworth.
The New Zealand-bred grey Rumya came straight out of her dazzling win in the Golden Slipper on July Day to contest a Graduation Plate a fortnight ago at Turffontein.
Obviously needing the outing after an 18 week rest, she showed great fight, courage and maturity under the lights to hold the smart two – time winner Amber Orchid to a short head. Delpech appeared to lose his stirrup iron around the bend, and that impediment made the win even more meritorious.
The second placed Amber Orchid did not exactly frank the form in the Gr3 Fillies Mile at Turffontein on Saturday. But we stress that Rumya’s victory was undoubtedly full of merit.
Rumya also had subsequent Gr1 Thekwini Stakes and Choice Carriers Championship winner All Is Secret comprehensively beaten by 6,35 lengths in the Golden Slipper on Vodacom Durban July day at Greyville. They have both grown and developed substantially since, so that form may prove of little genuine consequence.
Source: Sporting Post co. za.