AT more or less the same time his namesake secured pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix, three-year-old Vettel (photo) strode impressively clear in a MR72 Handicap over 2600m at Turffontein’s inside track on Saturday afternoon.
The Argentine-bred colt by Know Heights took command in good style and beat Bamako by 3.75-lengths, promising lots more to come.
Both Mike de Kock and jockey Anthony Delpech described Vettel as a “lovely horse with more wins in him” and Mike went as far as to predict that the colt might be good enough to be tested at Graded level during the forthcoming KZN Winter season.
Mike said: “Vettel was scratched at the start of the Derby Trial and we decided to take him out of the SA Derby because his rating of 83 is a bit low, but he’s a horse to watch. He’s a little inexperienced and needs time to mature, but there is no pressure from owners Markus (and Ingrid) Jooste so we’ll give him some experience in the divisions and step him up to Group company in Durban.”
Vettel, lightly raced, boasts two wins and three places from five starts. Make sure you jot his name down in your notebook!
Jockey Derrick David was at the controls of Saucy Savannah, who recorded an overdue win in a MR78 Handicap over 1800m for owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. David described her as a “small filly with a big heart” and told of her good pre-race preparation.
He joked: “She worked so well at the track last Tuesday that Mr De Kock told me even I would be able to win on her.”
Mike confirmed the filly by Kahal’s good pre-race form, saying: “I knew it would take a good one to beat her today.”
He went on to compliment Saucy Savannah’s sire, Kahal, saying of Summerhill’s stallion: “They’re good value for money, nine out of ten times they will win races for you. I buy them whenever I can!”