ILHA Grande, the first foal of 2006 Equus Joint Horse Of The Year, Ilha Da Vitoria, brought special memories to Mike de Kock and owner/breeder Mary Slack with her easy win in Saturday’s Listed Oaks Trial over 2000m at Turffontein’s standside track.
Ilha Grande (16-10, headline photo), in her first attempt over her famous dam’s favourite course and distance, looked in a galloping mood a long way from home. Jockey Gavin Lerena had the three-year-old filly by Tiger Ridge nicely balanced at the 200m mark and she won a well-timed race in his hands alone, going away from her rivals.
The great Ilha Da Vitoria (Johnny Geroudis up) with owner Mary Slack.
Ilha Da Vitoria, the diminutive grey who won the 2005 Grade 1 Summer Cup and the 2006 Grade 1 Gomma Gomma Challenge over 2000m at Turffontein, raced 26 times in total for 10 wins and 14 places and secured the heart of the South African racing public with her courage, determination and sheer ability.
Mike commented: “Ilha Da Vitoria was one of the finest and in fact easiest horses I’ve ever had the pleasure of training. She was a really small filly, but all heart and that her first foal is a stakes winner is highly encouraging. Ilha Grande’s win has given us a wonderful sense of pleasure. She’ll never be as good as her mother, there will always be only one Ilha Da Vitoria, but she’s taller than her dam and scopy. She’s risen to every challenge we’ve given her. Good luck to Mary.”
Captain’s Wild (pink, black silks), wins the Colorado King Stakes. (JC Photos).
Owners Charles Savage and Charles Koster are enjoying a profitable period with four-year-old Captain’s Wild, who notched his first Graded win in the Colorado King Stakes (Grade 2) over 2000m, well ridden by Anthony Delpech.
This was his first attempt at the distance and Mike was somewhat concerned that the form of his win two weeks ago wouldn’t stand up, but Captain’s Wild is another who has answered every question asked of him. His followers will remember that he took a giant step up in class to win a MR96 handicap just after his Maiden when in the care of Penny Kimberley and he’s confirmed his class for his new trainer.
Said Mike: “Captain’s Wild hides his ability at home, but he’s really talented and he’s getting better as he matures. He’s beginning to look like a prospect for the Grade 1 Champions Challenge. He stays very well. I think he will win over even more ground.”
Captain’s Wild is by Captain Al from the Esplendor mare, Wild Deb, who won five races between 2000m and 2400m. Wild Deb died while after giving birth to Captain’s Wild, but her memory will live on in this talented offspring, who already has five wins and R444 000 in stakes to show from only eight career starts.