WITH the Durban Golden Slipper over 1400m at Greyville on Saturday as good as in the bag for Straight Set, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s Rumya unleashed a storming finish to land a breathtaking victory in this Grade 1 contest for two-year-old fillies, giving Mike de Kock his 93rd Gr1 win.
Rumya had easily seven, eight lengths to find as they approached the final furlong and her supporters for hoping she’d run on into a minor placing, but she grabbed a hold of the bit, kicked into gear and gnawed back her deficit stride-by-stride. She drew alongside the free-galloping leader with 50m to run and won going away.
“She was starting to get fractious in the stalls and she didn’t help me out of the gates,” said jockey Anthony Delpech after Rumya had jumped slowly, her stablemate Tayba and another already having been scratched, injured after rearing up due to runners playing up in the pens. “She was green around the bend too,” said Delpech, who had nursed her first time around the tight Greyville bend with consistent niggles.
“When we turned for home she saw the red Vodacom banners and shifted to her left, I thought we had a place chance from there and then she started running on. She still has to mature, she’s still learning,” added the delighted jockey, who rode a driving finish and never gave up in the surge to the line.”
Mike de Kock commented: “She’s a lovely filly, exceptionally well bred and a pleasure to work with. We’ll see the best of her over a mile, 9 or 10 furlongs. She thankfully missed the plane to Dubai (and had a chance to race here), but we’re gonna have to get her on the next one! Rumya is smart, very green but she will get better and better like the rest of my juveniles. She’s a very exciting prospect.”
Mike was critical of the starter’s handling of the race and said: “Too many horses rear up. We see this year after year and they don’t seem to be getting it right. Maybe somebody would (get up and do something about it) one day.”
Rumya, New Zealand-bred by her owner, is from Red Ransom from Sayuri Saki, by Fuji Kiseki.