After a protracted struggle, Jet Dark outduelled fellow multiple G1 winner Kommetdieding in the World Sports Betting Cape Town Met (Grade 1, open to horses at Weight for Age) over 2000m to score a famous victory in the 161st renewal of this iconic race.
These two elite thoroughbreds had fought out the finish to the 2022 Met, with the Justin Snaith entry gaining revenge this time over a valiant, Kommetdieding.
A five-year-old entire, Jet Dark will now return to Drakenstein Stud to continue the lineage of his sire, Trippi, after a stellar career where he won 9 times from 19 starts, including a couple of Queen’s Plates and two Champions’’ Cups.
Cousin Casey, Zapatillas and Sparkling Water raced handily early on, with many horses trapped wide, at what seemed a tepid tempo, with the action only really starting when the 19-runner field came towards the top of the 600m straight.
Winning rider Richard Fourie said that his mount jumped a patch at that point, then pulled towards the outside rail where a turbulent, bumpy passage ensued. Jet Dark (4/1 starting price) found the gears to forge to the lead however and though Kommetdieding rallied bravely on the inner, Jet Dark’s class and determination were not to be denied. Post-race, Fourie captured the moment, fittingly saying, “this is an incredible send off for him to Stud.”
Kommetdieding emerged with great credit after a stirring duel with his familiar foe. Another for whom there was honour in defeat was third placed, Pomp and Power who, remarkably considering the sluggish early pace, came from dead last up the grand side rail to get up for third at 66/1.
Nexus at similarly long odds, held fourth with Snaith Racing accounting for three of the top four finishers, whilst three-year old, Cousin Casey caved in late to be fifth. Rascallion who endured a torrid trip, came sixth only two lengths off the victor in a clustered finish.
Gimme a Prince, described by rider, Keagan de Melo as “a once in a lifetime horse that gives me goosebumps” zoomed through down the inside rail to score in the Pongracz Cape Flying Championships (WFA) (Grade 1) over 1000m. He was chased home by a resurgent Rio Querari who blew past rivals in the centre of the track, but could not get by the smooth-actioned, Gimmethegreenlight ex Real Princess gelding that trainer Dean Kannemeyer has held in the highest regard from day one. Isivunguvungu rounded out the trifecta marginally ahead of Bartholdi.
De Melo continued, “Gimme a Prince is bred for further but the fact he can win a Grade 1 over 1000m is testimony to his ability.” This magnificent thoroughbred has now won five of seven starts and is campaigned by owner/breeders, Khaya Stables.
11/2 shot, Desert Miracle (by Dynasty ex Welwitschia) toppled 4/10 odds-on favourite Captain’s Ransom in the Schweppes Majorca Stakes (G1 @ WFA) over 1600m, after being expertly handled by jockey Christophe Soumillon.
She was recording her fifth victory from 14 starts, with trainer Mike de Kock describing her as, “a fantastic horse with an awesome finish – that’s when not having respiratory issues.” Those breathing problems have indeed held her back. Desert Miracle’s last win was 455 days ago, a long time between drinks for a filly who was brilliant at two and early at three.
Heavily backed, Captain’s Ransom challenged pacesetter Chansonete early as the field of six clustered up the grand side rail, only for Desert Miracle, who had settled in the rear, to switch in and pounce inside the final 200m, before drawing clear to win by just over a length. The starting price of the high class, Wilgerbosdrift owned and bred 4-year-old was 11/2. Three-year-old, Golden Hostess was third at 25/1, faring best of the younger fillies.
Royal Aussie staved off the determined bid of Dave the King to hit pay-dirt in the World Sports Betting Gold Rush for 3-year-olds with a gross stake of R7.5 million. The winner was bred by Klawervlei Stud and is by Royal Mo out of Australian mare, Abelia.
Justin Snaith who has battled to clear recurrent lung infections in his charge revealed that, “Royal Mo sprinted up clear winded in a recent gallop, so we knew it was going to be game on.”
Richard Fourie had the strong galloping pace-presser up with the early speed in third place before driving him into the lead midway down the 600m straight. Though Dave the King tried his utmost to stick with him in a bold try from draw 13, Royal Aussie prevailed by half a length at odds of 33/10.
40/1 outsider, It’srainingwilliam kicked on for third with the gamble of the race, King Regent (14/1 into 7/2) under two lengths back in fourth position.
Snaith was also to the fore in the last of the Graded races, where 20/1 lurker, Salvator Mundi showed the required stamina to take out the New Turf Carriers Western Cape Stayers (G2) over 2800m. He was pursued by 14/10 favourite Nebraas, with Senso Unico plugging away in third.
Salvator Mundi is a son of Dynasty, and was ridden by Gavin Lerena, who received a measure of consolation after being so narrowly thwarted on Kommetdieding in the exciting and eventful, Met.