DUBAI – Key Of Destiny was five years old when he last saw a winner’s enclosure, but the wheel has turned. The game gelding, now eight years of age, plugged away under Weichong Marwing to win Thursday night’s AED150 000 Keeneland Trophy over 1200m on dirt at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai.
A typical full-action shot by the legendary Andrew Watkins shows ‘Weichong Marwing and Key Of Destiny cross the line first in the Keeneland Trophy over 1200m at Nad Al Sheba. Groom Patrick Ndlebe does the lead-in honours in the photo below,
This was Key Of Destiny’s 12th career win and indeed his first on foreign soil since leaving South Africa for the UAE in August 2004.
He managed a fourth place in the 2005 Longchamp International Sprint and a fourth in the Jebel Hatta of the same year, and had a change in the partnership of his owners before a luckless 2006 campaign.
“I have to applaud Key Of Destiny’s owners for their patience,’’ said Mike afterwards. We’ve come a long way with this horse and it was very satisfying to see him win. He arrived here with the likes of the warrior Wolf Whistle, who is now the lead horse here at Nad Al Sheba, and has been one of the stalwarts of the stable.’’
De Kock said he wouldn’t be surprised if Key Of Destiny was to win again. “This wasn’t a strong race, but we’ll look for something similar so he can continue to earn.’’
Key Of Destiny is owned by Durban-based Neil Loudon, a part-owner since the gelding’s first win in April, 2001; Anant and Vanashree Singh, Mary Slack, the Haynes family, Owen Leibbrandt, De Kock, Jehan Malherbe, Dr John McVeigh and Chesty Wolfaardt.
Marwing raced in Loudon’s all neon-pink, the same silks donned by jockey Nick Shearer when Key Of Destiny won his last South African race, the 2005 Golden Horse Sprint at Scottsville, in a course record 67,06s, beating Nhlavini. Key Of Destiny is by Qui Danzig from Twist of Fate, by Secret Prospector and was bred by Bellwood Stud.
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Another SA trainer Herman Brown picked up the AED80 000 Jessamine Cup over 1300m on turf with Protector, an offspring of Kilconnel, ridden by Kevin Shea. The popular jock was slapped with a 7-meeting suspension for what was considered reckless riding. He is likely to miss three 2007 Carnival race meets as a result.