GORONGOSA (headline photo), the five-year-old mare by Montjeu, raced to her fifth successive victory in the Father’s Day Pinnacle Stakes over 2800m at Clairwood on Sunday.
Mary Slack’s runner again stamped herself as a Gold Cup candidate by drawing away in the closing stages for a decisive win and jockey Kevin Shea quipped: “She stays like an old mother-in-law. She won the way I expected her to win.”
Mike de Kock said: “Gorongosa run of wins is quite amazing. She’s bred in the purple and she’s just kept on improving. It’s often typical of this type of horse, once they get confidence, they get into the habit of winning and don’t stop.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s three-year-old newcomer Furaat Quality doesn’t lack substance in his pedigree either. He’s by Elusive Quality out of a Danehill mare and just managed to get up to win for jockey Karis Teetan. In Mike words, “He’s very well bred and bears watching.”
At Greyville on Friday evening, Fort Wood gelding Kindle got it right at the third time of asking for Shea and a partnership of owners including Sheikh Mohammed’s right-hand man, Mohammed Khaleel. The margin of victory over 1800m was only half a length, but Mike said: “With more maturity Kindle could develop into a nice sort. I expect him to be a mile-and-a-half performer.”
Desert Sheik, who runs for Mike, Gaynor Rupert’s Drakenstein Syndicate, the Jooste family and Bernard Kantor, was expected to win easier than the quarter-length margin suggests but he, too, is a scopy sort who will come into his own as he matures.
“He’s always shown us good work at home,”said Mike. “The 1400m is not his right distance. He is by Trippi from Saudies, a stout pedigree, and over 1600m and further he should be a factor to contend with later in his career.”