MARY Slack’s imported fillies are setting the tracks alight – her familiar black-and-red silks raced to two more successes at Turffontein’s standside track on Sunday afternoon.
Gorongosa, the five-year-old mare by recently deceased stallion Montjeu, scored a gutsy win in the Listed Spook Express Handicap over 2600m, her seventh win from 10 starts. Two-year-old Beautiful Muriel, by Danehill Dancer, broke her Maiden at her second attempt, winning over 1450m.
Mike de Kock said about Gorongosa: “She’s similar to Europa Point in that she hasn’t stopped improving. Mary took a policy about six or seven years ago to invest in imported, top class fillies and it’s certainly paid dividends. Gorongosa will be going for the Bowl in two weeks time and she’ll be a big runner there.”
Anthony Delpech, who drove Gorongosa to a quarter-length win over pacemaker Himalayan Hills, said: “She had a big weight and off a slow pace I wanted to go around them, but I decided to wait and give her a chance. She was the best filly in the race today and won on her class.”
Gorongosa moved up gradually under a well-judged ride and reeled in the leader close home, winning at 17-20 and giving the runner-up 7.5kg.
Beautiful Muriel also settled in midfield and won in similar fashion for jockey Derrick David, motoring close to the line for a short-head win, but David felt that the margin had flattered the runner-up, Fleche D’Or. “She’s still a bit nervous and immature and she can only improve from here,” he said.
Mike commented: “Beautiful Muriel’s pedigree is full of black type and whatever she does on the track is a bonus. She’s a one-eyed filly and they can’t race in Australia, so she was sent to South Africa. The prospects of these fillies for Wilgerbosdrift Stud is mouthwatering.”
Mary, who is loving her sizzling run of winners, was again on course to leader her fillies into the winner’s enclosure and she said: “Gorongosa won a great race under a great ride, I knew she’d keep on trying.”
Earlier, she congratulated UK-based Sue Magnier for her parthership in Beautiful Muriel and added: “These (imported) fillies get better and better. I’m not averse to keeping (the older ones) in training for another year.”
She said about the Hennenman Memorial race day: “We should celebrate the lives of those who died in the horrific plane crash while we celebrate our winners today.”
Headline photo: Gorongosa fought on courageously to defeat the grey Himalayn Hills. (JC Photos).