THIS excellent snap courtesy of JC Photos captured the last moments of a spectacular finish to the Gr2 Investec Dingaans (R500,000) over 1600m on Summer Cup Day – Noah From Goa (left) and The Predator (right), side-by-side and going hammer-and-tongs for the line for some 250 breathtaking metres.
The duel of two fiddle-fit, quality three-year-olds was all the more riveting for also being a duel of two of the best South African jockeys of the modern era – Anthony Delpech and Weichong Marwing.
A classic, hard-fought finish to the Dingaans: It doesn’t come much better than this!
This was indeed one of those rare, explosive surges to the winning post in which time seems to stop for a few seconds and one is literally drawn into the action with two hard-grinding mounts and a pair of master riders who knew there would only be a nose in it at the end. Both Marwing and Delpech have decades of experience in judging nailbiters like these down to the last stride; both tried to maneuver a head-down first on the line for their individual partners.
As it happened Delpech came out tops in this battle for Mike de Kock’s stable on the plucky and progressive gelding Noah From Goa, who’d only been introduced to the racetrack on 17 September this year and was well prepared and pointedly taken through the ranks by Mike, Mathew and the Randjesfontein team.
“Noah From Goa came in fit and just inexperience beat the second horse. And what a great display of riding from the top two jockeys. Even in wheelchairs, Anthony and Weichong could ride most of the guys in the jockey room to sleep,” Mike joked.
Delpech said: “We scrapped from the 400m and every time I got to New Predator, he seemed to find more. I was pleased that my boy got his head down at the line and he showed plenty of class and courage. And these have got to be the best owners in the world.”
Bred by Mary Slack’s Wilgerbosdrift Stud, Noah From Goa was a R325,000 buy at the BSA National Two-Year-Old Sale and he races for Mary, Mike and partners John and Amanda McVeigh, Noeline Malherbe, Gary Westwater and the Equine Group’s Chris Haynes and Gary Grant.
Noah From Goa is by the deceased Tiger Ridge from the five-time winning Fort Wood mare, Limerick.
Mike and Diane de Kock with Noah From Goa’s part-owners Noeline Malherbe (middle), Mary Slack (owner-breeder), jockey Anthony Delpech and the Rah-Rah girls.