JESSICA Slack and her team from Mauritzfontein Stud, as well as Mary Slack and her Wilgerbosdrift team, with friends and supporters, came to Turffontein on Saturday to watch Nother Russia land a terrific back-to-back win in the Gr1 Empress Club Stakes over 1600m.
It couldn’t have been more exciting. Chase Maujean, enterprising on Geoff Woodruff’s in-form filly Al Danza, had stolen a march going through the 300m mark and Nother Russia had two lengths to find.
Jockey Craig Zackey wasn’t caught asleep, however. He was niggling at Nother Russia to stay in touch and she finally kicked into top gear and reeled in the leader, but he did admit that his mount had to work for it. “The task was tougher than I thought it’d be, but she was determined to get there. She’s a spoilt mare, but she deserves it, I love her!”
Mike de Kock said: “Nother Russia is tough, like her dam. She enjoys the long run-in at Turffontein and she’ll go into the R4-million Champion Challenge in top form. I’m not convinced about the Durban July, she’s probably done enough for stud. She’s not a big mare, but she’s big enough for me!”
He added: “It’s not every day a daughter buys a top mare like this from her mother and of course Mary didn’t even know Jessica had acquired Nother Russia until after the sale. It’s wonderful for the family. What a mare Mother Russia must have been to have produced this one super foal before she died.”
Jessica commented: “It was so wonderful to have everyone here today. Nother Russia is so special, we love her so much, she is heaven.”
Nother Russia, by Tiger Ridge, has won eight of her 17 starts, with eight places to boot. Another battle with Legal Eagle looms on 5 May, and we’ll be counting the days.