MAIN Dane (6-1, photo), showed that he is coming into his own with a fluent win over S’Il Vous Plate in a 2000m at Turffontein on Sunday.
Well-placed in this MR88 handicap, Main Dane was always travelling steadily and looked comfortable racing towards the rear in a tightly bunched field.
When they swung for home, jockey Anthony Delpech gave him some rein, enough to make up his leeway and challenge S’Il Vous Plait for the lead. A match race looked on the cards, but Main Dane was always racing the stronger and he won by a length, which arguably flattered the runner-up.
“I rode Main Dane here about four runs ago and he felt like a good Derby prospect, but he let us down,” Delpech said. “He was looking to strengthen up though and he won a good race today. He’s still a bit weak, he’s a big tall horse.”
Assistant trainer Mathew De Kock, back from a spell at the National Stud in the UK, congratulated owners Ingrid and Markus Jooste and said: “I’ve just returned, thanks to the team including John Buckler. Main Dane has always wanted a bit more ground, he will get better the further he goes.”