AMANEE made a mockery of long ante-post odds when she swept to victory in the first feature race on Gold Cup Sunday at Greyville – the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes over 1600m, reports JACK MILNER.
Shrewd punters saw the value in champion trainer Mike de Kock’s juvenile filly – despite her disappointing run in the Golden Slipper on July Day – and poured on the money, slashing the price to 15-2 at the off.
Amanee and jockey Kevin Shea were content to saunter along near the rear of the 13-horse field, alongside Felix The Cat, who was partnered by Felix Coetzee.
The pace in the R500 000 event was made by Jeter, from Hidden Beauty, Extra Zero, Ocean’s Swift and favourite Ilha Bella. Madame Rooney raced just behind these, about four-lengths wide throughout the long Greyville turn.
When they hit the straight, Hidden Beauty made a dash up the inside, as Madame Rooney put in her bid down the middle of the track.
Amanee (Kevin Shea), holds off Felix The Cat. (Gold Circle).
But Amanee and Felix The Cat kicked on from the rear, sweeping past the opposition on the standside rail and fighting out an exciting finish. The former proved a mite stronger when the chips were down and got home by a comfortable half-length.
Australian-bred Amanee is by the Pivotal, who, as De Kock pointed out, is a noted sire of mudlarks.
By contrast, the other De Kock runner, Ilha Bella, “did not like it at all” in the mud.
De Kock revealed that Amanee had been “on the float” for Dubai – along with Vodacom Durban July winner Igugu – but a decision had been taken to keep them and a few other top De Kock horses in SA for the time being. She is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maaktoum of Dubai.
Headline photo: Mike and Diane de Kock with Amanee (Kevin Shea).