“COPIAPO passed her test tonight,” said Mathew de Kock after Fitrie Hay’s three-year-old filly ran a game race to defeat Pej in a Progress Plate over 1160m at Turffontein on Tuesday night. (see headline photo).
This was a significant step up in class for Copiapo after she’d won her Maiden a few weeks ago, but Mike de Kock hinted afterwards that she was a talented sort who could go places and, still learning to race, she looks destined for the top ranks.
Jockey Marco van Rensburg, deputising for the injured Anthony Deplech, confirmed that Copiapo had “lots of room for improvement” and said: “When she moved up I thought she’d win by five lengths, but then she just tried to stay with Robbie (Fradd)’s ride. She has a lot of gate speed and with more experience she may go 1400m to a mile, but she’ll win more sprints.”
Despite her inexperience and apparent loafing once she drew alongside her closest rival, Copiapo relished the challenge all the same. After being briefly headed close to the line she forced her way to the front when it mattered. The Captain Al-filly has shown early that she likes to toy with her opposition in winning – a sign that there’s plenty more in her tank.
Earlier in the day, three-year-old Taarish (Aus), enjoyed the 1750 of a Novice Plate run at Scottsville. He followed up on his 1450m Maiden win and looked strong and confident, putting 3.75-lengths between himself and runner-up Barcelona Boy.
Said assistant trainer Nathan Kotzen: “Taarish has improved since being gelded. He doesn’t show any ability at all at home but he puts it together on the race day.”
New Daddy Sean Veale returns to the winner’s circle on Taarish.
Jockey Sean Veale, who’d become the proud father of a baby boy in the early hours of Tuesday, commented: “Taarish was stubborn at the start due to his tongue being tied down and got left. He plays with his tongue all day at the stables and he needs a tongue tie, but he doesn’t enjoy it.”
Taarish, by Encosta De Lago, is owned by the South African arm of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s Al Adiyaat racing and breeding operation.