THE stable came away with much to smile about after Saturday’s SAP-sponsored Supreme Cup Day presented on the sand track at the Vaal.
While Toro Rosso couldn’t bag the Gr2 Supreme Cup over 1450m, he ran his heart out from a wide draw to hang on to fourth place in a race won by the smart Deputy Jud. Earlier, Perfumed Lady showed that she’s a cracking sprinting filly in the making with a classy win in the Sophomore Sprint over 1000m. Later, another filly Ahlaam made it all the way over the tough 1800m and drew away to win under a big weight in open company, improving with racing.
Perfumed Lady showed a good turn of foot.
Mathew de Kock and the team had no pre-race illusions about Toro Rosso’s 14-14 berth in the Supreme Cup. The Brazilian-bred was always going to have a mountain to climb but he performed admirably nonetheless. He had to gallop at virtually top speed and around his rivals to get into some sort of challenging position in the early stages; then fought tooth and nail to stay in contention for a share of the prize money in a most competitive race.
“This was a big run from Toro Rosso, he had to work very hard from an impossible draw. He’s a good horse and we’ll be hoping he can take his form to the turf tracks now.”
Angles can be deceptive and supporters of Perfumed Lady (Randall Simons) would have been close to tearing their tickets when a shot from the on-course camera diagonally behind the sprinting field appeared to show the three-year-old dropping a length or two off the pace and coming under some pressure after clipping it out in the Sophomore.
But when the screen switched to reflect the regular grandstand angle moments later, Pefumed Lady was in front again and taking command of the race. Mathew said: “I saw that and I briefly got the same impression, I thought they were running right past her. But just a few strides later she was back in front. She lost her way a bit in the race but quickened very well to win. She could be a feature contender later this season.”
Well-related Perfumed Lady is a daughter of Captain Al and owners Mike de Kock, Markus and Ingrid Jooste will be looking forward to the rest of her career. Perfumed Lady stopped the clock a split second faster than the up-and-coming colt King Of The World, who won the equivalent race for male runners on the day.
Ahlaam: Gutsy, gun to tape.
Ahlaam’s gutsy pillar-to-post victory under Anthony Delpech was another feather in the cap for his sire Asiatic Boy whose son Olympic Bolt won at this track, midweek.
Mathew congratulated owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and said: “I wish we could have more Asiatic Boy runners in the stable. He was a star we were very fond off and his offspring are all good, tough horses; three-or-four time winners.”