THE outstanding Australian-bred Equus champion Majmu showed her class with a facile victory in Saturday’s R1 million Gr1 Avontuur Cape Fillies Guineas run at a blustery and sunny Kenilworth, reads an eye-witness account taken from Sporting Post.
But fate struck and took some of the shine off her superb win as her anticipated chief rival Cold As Ice broke away from her jockey in the loading process and was withdrawn in a dreadful moment for her connections.
Majmu: Coasted clear under Anthony Delpech.
While Eskom played their own unique role in adding to a day of stops and starts, the Cape Starter rather than the power utility’s CEO was the man in the spotlight.
The Joey Ramsden-trained Cold As Ice burst through her stallgate and Bernard Fayd’herbe tumbled to the ground as the starting assistants looked on nonplussed.
Fayd’herbe got to his feet and without casting another glance at his mount, he removed his skull-cap and flung it to the ground causing his goggles to scamper meters in the direction of the rails.
He gesticulated at the assistant in the stall and stormed away, displaying body language that spoke of anger, frustration and disappointment.
Without the benefit of the Stipes Report and other comment, it is too early to attempt to apportion blame or cast any opinion as to what went wrong in the starting stalls as the field of ten quality fillies loaded for the first Gr1 of the Summer Of Champions.
It will be interesting to see the outcome – frankly at this stage, we would not be surprised to see Fayd’herbe come out of the wrong end and be fined for bringing racing into disrepute.
The sport has a very poor record internationally of discipling errant officials, as we well know.
Safe to say that the incident ranks amongst the most dreaded for anybody who has ever owned or trained a racehorse and was a sad touch of twisted irony as Brian Finch, part owner of the withdrawn filly had issued a challenge to the other connections to add to the charity pot, as he had offered to do on behalf of his filly.
Further disappointment lay in the fact that Cold As Ice was one of two fillies in the race bred by the day’s sponsors, Avontuur.
Diane de Kock leads in South Africa’s undisputed Champion Three-Year-old filly.
The race itself was really very straightforward after all the drama.
Ataab set a good gallop all the way around and Delpech pressed the launch button on Majmu 350m from home. The grey flyer coasted into the lead with Delpech casting a cautionary glance behind before driving her to the line with his hands.
She went off at 3 to 10 and beat the late finishing Inara by 2,50 lengths in a time of 99,26 secs, absolutely unextended.
Glen Kotzen’s Double Whammy stayed on well for third, with Jet Set Go running into fourth after looking dangerous.
It was an armchair ride on Majmu for Avontuur-sponsored jockey Anthony Delpech .
“I jumped smartly and my stablemate was slightly slow away but got there and set a good pace. I made my move early as I was worried I was going to get shut down. She is a very smart filly- I never smacked her once,” he said.
Trainer Mike De Kock said that he was ‘gutted for Joey and Finchie’ in a reference to Cold As Ice getting loose from the start.
“People simply have no idea what it takes for a trainer to get a horse to the start of a Gr1 race.”
De Kock, who made it a double after saddling the winner of the race in 2012, also a grey in the New Zealand bred Rumya, said that the strength of the form was also not clear to him.
“We will have to see how it holds up. She will definitely be exported – as I believe she is very capable of winning a Gr1 abroad. I am not sure where next, but the Met is a possibility,” he said.
The beautiful grey Majmu, who races in the blue and white strip of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, has now won 5 of her 6 starts with 1 place for and almost doubled her winning stakes to R1 270 000.
This win makes it one Gr1,two Gr2’s, one Gr3 and a Listed race on her already impressive CV.
She was bred in Australia by Arrowfield Stud and sold by them at the 2013 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale for $300,000 to Shadwell Stud.
She is the second foal of South American Group 1 winner Spontaneous.
This was an undoubted highlight of the Summer Of Champions season to date, despite Eskom – well done to Pippa Mickleburgh and the Avontuur team.
Note: At 8am on Sunday morning many racing enthusiasts around the country had not yet as much as seen a replay of the Cape Fillies Guineas due to ongoing power cuts. Thanks to Sporting Post for use of their race review. – Editor.
Race replay here, courtesy of the Racing Association.