NOAH From Goa, a horse with great courage, changed the stable’s fortunes in what has up to now been a mildly frustrating 2015 Cape Summer of Champions Season. He posted a smashing win in the Gr1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas (R1-million) at Kenilworth on Saturday beating Brazuca, Nassa and Silver Mountain with under a length separating the first four.
Noah From Goa wants to win. He kept going hard to bag the Gr1 Cape Guineas. (Photos by Liesl King).
Mike and Mathew de Kock and the team have been disappointed that the likes of Muwaary, Entisaar and Noor have failed to lift a big Cape prize between them in the last few weeks, but days like Saturday bring all the magic back and make the hugely testing and see-sawing sport of horseracing worthwhile again for all who may have been downhearted.
Noah From Goa won this coveted classic trophy after having to travel 2000km from Johannesburg and with the training team under pressure and surrounded by extraordinary media hype about the quality of this year’s field which included the Cape’s all-conquering filly, Silver Mountain.
It’s never easy to take on the Capetonians in their back yard. The stable has only done it three times before in this three-year-old showpiece with the mighty Horse Chestnut (1999), the supremely talented Flight Alert (2002) and then the gutsy Domino Man, who displayed similar spirit and surprised everyone when he downed the superstar Dynasty back in 2003.
Anthony Delpech, perfect ride.
Said Mathew: “We had to make a race of it again. We always come to the Cape fighting. Noah From Goa is a hard horse to put your finger on. He gets better and stronger after every race. He showed courage out there today and well done to Anthony Delpech for a perfect ride.
“Congratulations to Noah From Goa’s great band of connections, there was a lot of banter going on this week and well done also to (assistant trainer) Clayton Mathee and (grooms) Richard, Bruce and Chamu who’ve been here all week looking after him. And I mustn’t forget New Turf Carriers for trucking him down to Cape Town.”
Delpech commented: “Noah From Goa was struggling around the bend, he was always on his wrong leg and that just shows what a good horse he is. He wanted to run to the outside in the straight but he focused, he wouldn’t lie down. In the Dingaans he never looked like winning but he did, he showed me that he knows how to win. He’s a small horse but he has a big heart! With 100m to go today I just said: ‘Go boy, let’s do it!’ ’’
Jehan Malherbe, speaking for the winning partnership of Mary Slack’s Wilgerbosdrift Stud, Mike de Kock, Gary Westwater, Chris Haynes, Gary Grant, Dr John and Amanda McVeigh and Noeline Malherbe, praised Wilgerbosdrift for breeding the winner and the third horse. He also paid tribute to Hassen Adams and his Grand Parade, who sponsored a glittering race day.
Mike, commenting from Dubai, echoed Jehan’s words: “A few years ago Mary made a bold decision to change some technicals on the farm, including farriery and feed and it’s certainly paying dividends as we can see from Wilgerbosdrift”s last few crops. Wilgerbosdrift has always been a top stud farm, they have great genetics and are well on the up!
“Winning is even sweeter when you race with good friends, well done to all and congratulations to my team. I am proud, the Guineas is one of the cherries of the Cape season!”
Mathew said that Noah From Goa’s immediate future will be assessed next week. “We’ll see how he pulls up from this race, he’s had a hard season.”
Noah From Goa is a gelded son of the ill-fated Tiger Ridge out of the five-time winning Fort Wood mare, Limerick. He was a R325 000 National 2yo Sale purchase and has earned stakes of R1 115 625 (plus the BSA Value Added Bonus of R152 500) in scoring his fifth win from six starts.