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Picture: 123RF/CHRIS VAN LENNEP
Picture: 123RF/CHRIS VAN LENNEP

With 100m to run in Saturday’s Marshalls World Of Sport Gold Cup at Hollywoodbets Greyville, Business Day racing followers looked set to celebrate a big race win at the amazing odds of 40-1.

While most pundits selected Sean Tarry’s stayer Nebraas, this column raised a few eyebrows by recommending support of Corné Spies’s runner, Imperial Ruby. The gelding had run well in last month’s Gold Vase.

This result — Imperial Ruby paid R8 a place — followed this newspaper’s success in the Durban July where the selection was the 16-1 winner, Sparkling Water.

Victory in the Gold Cup went to Shangani, and the four-year-old’s narrow win was the perfect finale for jockey Warren Kennedy and trainer Paul Peter. The former won his second jockeys’ title while Peter won the trainers championship for the first time.

Kennedy, who soon bids farewell to continue his career in New Zealand, said, “Two runs back I didn’t ride a very good race, but I said to Mr Wernars [joint-owner of Shangani] not to worry, I would win the Marshalls Gold Cup. It was a plan that came together.”

A son of Soft Falling Rain who cost R250,000 as a yearling, Shangani has won seven of his 12 starts.

Nebraas, the mount of Richard Fourie, started the 9-4 favourite but was the jockey’s only disappointment at the meeting with his mount finishing in eighth, place three-and-a-half lengths behind the winner.

Aragosta, well backed at 33-10 to win under S’manga Khumalo, finished further back coming home five lengths adrift of Shangani.

Otherwise, it was a memorable meeting for Fourie and Justin Snaith with the combination teaming up to win the Champions Cup with Jet Dark and the Mercury Sprint with Captain’s Ransom.

The 2021 Durban July winner, Kommetdieding, gave Jet Dark a run for his money but Snaith’s runner found extra energy close to home to take a narrow verdict.

“He’s a fantastic horse with great heart,” said Fourie, who won his ninth grade 1 of the season.

The finish of another grade 1 — the Thekwini Stakes — has resulted in much social media comment with the judge deciding Canadian Summer had beaten Rock The Fox by the width of a cigarette paper.

As the runners returned to the winner’s area, jockey Calvin Habib punched the air believing he had won on Tarry’s daughter of Canford Cliffs, but his celebration was premature as the judge ruled Darryl Moore’s runner, Canadian Summer, had just held on to take the R312,500 first prize.

Bred at Oldlands Stud, Canadian Summer has now won three of her five starts under jockey Jason Gates and is proving a bargain buy at R80,000.

A half-sister (by Var) to Moore’s filly was offered at the National Yearling Sales in April but failed to reach the reserve of R200,000.

Glen Kotzen will again finish in the top 10 in the trainers log this term, and his juvenile colt, Cousin Casey, proved too smart for his rivals in the grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes. This was the Vercingetorix colt’s fourth consecutive win and he must be favourite for the Champion Two-Year-Old colt award at the Equus awards on August 24.

Business Day had six winners at Saturday’s Gold Cup meeting: Silvano’s Timer 11-2, Gobsmacked 18-10, Captain’s Ransom 2-1, Jet Dark 18-10, Marina 2-1 and Isivunguvungu 7-2.

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