RAFEEF’s merit rating will be hiked after he won Saturday’s Hawaii Stakes over 1400m in good style from the seasoned Graded performer New Predator.
The four-year-old Australian-bred gelding went from Listed company to Gr2 ranks to post a quarter-length win under a confident ride from Callan Murray.
Mathew de Kock commented: “Rafeef took a big step up but he’s a top horse and we expected a good run. It’s bye-bye to his low merit rating now, but we have some options with him, like the Gr1 Horse Chestnut on Classic Day and a few features later in the KZN Champions Season. He will remain competitive because he’s lightly raced and still improving.”
He added: “This win secured Rafeef a place at stud and he’s got the looks to go with it. Everyone in the stable loves him!”
Murray, who may have made his moves too soon when Rafeef was beaten by Irish Pride in the Wolf Power Handicap, showed his character with a well-judged ride this time. He said: “We shouldn’t have got beaten last time, but I learnt my lesson and at least now Rafeef won a bigger race and he should go on to better things. I am grateful for the opportunities, thanks to Mr De Kock, Mathew and Sheikh Hamdan for their support.”
Rafeef is by Redoute’s Choice from former South African star sprinter National Colour. He was bred by Arrowfield Stud, NSW in partnership with Klawervlei Stud.