Nafaayes wins Gr2 Ipi Tombe

SHEIKH Hamdan’s three-year-old filly Nafaayes and jockey Warren Kennedy made the most of a trifling 51kg weight to grab victory in the Grade 2 World Sports Betting Ipi Tombe Challenge over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday.

The Australian-bred daughter of Exceed And Excel started as the tote favourite, also had the advantage of a No 4 draw. She was never further back than second in the running, with 9-2 shot Redberry Lane encouraged to set the pace.

But with 600m to go, Nafaayes already had the measure of the leader and breezed a good four lengths clear of her rivals.

Nafaayes got away early.

Nafaayes got away early.

Catching Nafaayes from there was always a tall order, even for the useful, well-fancied Al Danza (3-1) from Geoff Woodruff’s stable. The latter galloped gamely into second but couldn’t get closer than 2.80 lengths.

Sylvan On Fire (11-1), who raced prominently throughout, was a commendable third in this field, ahead of KwaZulu-Natal raider Fiorella (7-1), trained by Duncan Howells.

Said Mathew de Kock: “Nafaayes is an unassuming filly, she reserves her bets for the racetrack. She is light-framed so sending her to Cape Town for the Fillies Guineas won’t be an option. At this stage we’ll be leaving her in Johannesburg for the Gauteng feature season, unless we decided to have a go at the Paddock Stakes. On this showing she’ll see out 1800m.

The Dazzler completed a stable double on the big day, winning Race 12 over 2000m in good style. He’s a much improved horse after a rest and a wind operation and Mat said: “He gave us confidence with very good work at home, stepped up again and proved himself. He can go on to win more.”

-Extracts from TAB News.