MIKE de Kock landed the first Grade 1 of the Cape Sizzling Summer Season, the Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas, with the unbeaten Australian-bred Red Ransom filly Rumya, brilliantly ridden by Anthony Delpech.
It was Mike’s second win in a race in which he had been runner-up a few times too, and it was Rumya’s second Grade 1 victory. The stable went home empty-handed after the big Sansui Summer Cup meeting at Turffontein last weekend, despite many chances, and many punters were relieved that the champion trainer’s spell outside of the big race winner’s enclosure was short-lived as Rumya was the 5-2 second favourite for yesterday’s race.
Delpech rousted Rumya from her pole position draw to get into a handy position. “We were prepared to lead, but the pace was on and that played into my hands,” said Delpech later. Star Jet went clear in front, with widely drawn Earth’s Orbit next best and Delpech was content to sit on the rail about a length-and-a-half behind the latter.
Festival Of Fire sat in behind Rumya and All Is Secret was on her outside having been eased back from her initial position. Rumya made up the ground quickly and hit the front at about the 300m mark before holding off the challengers in resolute style.
Hammie’s Hooker finished strongly from a long way back to finish second, just a neck back, although she never looked like catching the winner. The Glen Kotzen-trained Jet Aglow ran on well to take third. All Is Secret just touched off Festival Of Fire for the final quartet position. Festival Of Fire had to be switched off Rumya’s heels at about the 200m mark and this could have cost her a better placing.
Mike said that Rumya’s preparation had not been “straight forward” and her previous run had not been planned. He spoke highly of the Australian-bred grey’s pedigree, pointing out that her third dam, Emancipation was one of the best fillies to ever race in Australia.
He added that she was still “leggy and immature” and would stay further. He said she might stay in Cape Town in order to take part in the Grade 1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes over 1 800m on January 12.
Rumya and Festival Of Fire Tests had to stay in a vector-protected environment at Kenilworth Racecourse Stables due to a recent outbreak of African Horse Sickness in Gauteng. Fortunately, they didn’t have to be locked up from dusk to dawn in the Kenilworth Quarantine Station the way Igugu had to be before her J&B Met victory last January. – David Thiselton, Gold Circle.