THREE-year-old filly Santa Carolina bounced back to winning ways with an authoritative run at Turffontein on Saturday, winning a MR85 Handicap over 1450m by 2.50-lengths under Anthony Delpech.
Santa Carolina was beaten in two Graded features after a rest recently but there was no sign of ring-rustiness this time. Equipped with blinkers first time, she switched from a travelling position on the running rail to midfield, quickened nicely and sped away to win as she liked.
Mike de Kock attributed Santa Carolina’s return to top form to this being her third run after a rest, more so than the focus of blinkers and said: “The ground had firmed up and she likes it that way. Her mother (Ilha Da Vitoria) liked it soft but Santa Carolina is exactly the opposite, she’s no good on a soft track.”
Mike added: “Ilha Da Vitoria got beaten into second many times as a young filly, she only came into her own at five. Perhaps it’s just that type of pedigree. We’ll have a crack at the Guineas with Santa Carolina and the Woolavington is a possibility later, but I don’t know whether she will see out 2000m. She is by Tiger Ridge and 2000m will be stretching her to the limit.”
Santa Carolina’s all heart though, and she’s always been a horse for the notebook – one to watch for a game run wherever she’s entered.
“Thanks to (owner) Mary Slack for her continued support, it’s always nice to train the offspring of top horses,” Mike said.
Mike was delighted too, with the runaway win of Trippi’s two-year-old daughter One Fine Day (Julius Mariba), who showed good pace on her way to her first success over 1000m at the Vaal earlier in the week, racing in the light blue silks of Gaynor Rupert’s Drakenstein Stud.
One Fine Day, good pace.