“THAT was simply brilliant!”, exclaimed race caller Nico Kritsiotis after Santa Carolina had won a MR88 Handicap for Fillies and Mares over 1400m at Turffontein, Tuesday evening (photo). She was cramped cramped for galloping room and had to ease at the 400m-mark, yet composed herself and finished like an express train to win going away.
The fact that she went from the Maiden ranks straight into a high merit rated handicap – coupled with her recovering from interference – speaks volumes for Santa Carolina’s ability and jockey Marco van Rensburg said: “She was sluggish out the gates so we were immediately up against it. Then she was dumb on the turn and when we had to ease I thought, ‘This is it, we have no chance, it’s over.’ But when I picked her up and gave her a smack she quickened in an unbelievable way. She won like a smart horse. She’s still bit weak, we have some work to do at home with her, but she has lots of improvement to come.”
John Buckler saddled Santa Carolina for Mary Slack, who bred the filly at Wilgerbosdrift from Tiger Ridge and Ilha Da Vitoria.
“Well done to Mary,” John said. “We’ve always rated Santa Carolina, let’s hope she takes after her mother.”
Earlier in the day, at The Scottsville meeting, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s Raaees and Malih Al Basti’s Captain Lars recorded good wins, just like they’d done at Clairwood on New Year’s Day, Captain Lars winning in a time of 96.94s, a second faster than Raaees over the mile. Both were ridden by Warren Kennedy.
“As noted they are both progressive sorts. Captain Lars is coming well into himself now, I think it’s time we find a Listed race or perhaps a Grade 3 feature for him,”Mike de Kock commented from Dubai.