PAST Master, trained by Darryl Hodgson and ridden by Gerrit Schlechter, defeated Mother Russia and Run For It in Saturday’s Grade 1 J&B Met over 2000m at Kenilworth.
Mike congratulated Past Master’s owner Hassen Adams, who was understandably over the moon. David Thiselton reports: “For an emotional Adams it was a dream come true and he dedicated the win to his late father. Adams has put a lot into the game and thoroughly deserved the success.
“The unlucky horse of the race was the Mike de Kock-trained Mother Russia, who was travelling very easily at the top of the straight but was caught in a pocket. By the time she had been switched for a clear run, Past Master was gone and she couldn’t catch him.”
Mike commented: “That’s racing, the pace was very slow and that didn’t suit out runners. But the result is in the frame and well done to the winner.”
Gibraltar Blue was run out of it late by Mike Bass’ Covenant and Love Is In The Air in the Grade 1 Majorca Stakes over 1600m and Mike said: “She ran very well, drifted to the middle of the track and tried her heart out. She couldn’t do better. ”
Mother Russia, Flirtation, Rudra and Gibraltar Blue are already back in Johannesburg and assistant trainer John Buckler reported on Tuesday that they’d all travelled well. “They’ll be resting for a while, they deserve it. We haven’t mapped out their next races, Mike will discuss that with the owners.”
Photo: 2011 J&B Met finish by Hamish Niven (hamishnivenphotpgraphy.co.za)