Saturday’s G3 Victory Moon Stakes over 1800m produced a nail-biting finish in which Mike de Kock trained Sparkling Water got up in the last stride to win from Golden Pheasant and Asterix.
The game Golden Pheasant tried his heart out, running strongly in front as they came into the last 300m of the race, but Kabelo Matsunyane rode a perfectly timed finish on Mary Slack’s filly and she got her head down at the only place it mattered – right on the line – to deny the older horse a win.
Mike said: “Sparkling Water was well handicapped with a good pull at the weights today, a lot of them will have a turnaround at the weights with her in the Summer Cup, though the Cup distance will be more to her liking. This was a very courageous win from her and an accomplished ride from Kabelo, I think his first stakes winner, well done to him.”
He added: “Thanks to Mary, who agreed after the Oaks last year that Sparkling Water needed to mature. We sent her to Mauritzfontein for two months and she came back better and stronger. The stars alligned today, we had Mary on track for her second feature winner in a week, it was the Victory Moon Handicap which is special for us, and a great start to our association with Betway.”
Matsunyane said: “The race didn’t quite as planned, but I didn’t force her early on. I lost my balance towards the finish, I’m glad we could still produce a result. I am privileged to have ridden ths big winner for this stable and Mrs Slack.”
Sparkling Water is by Silvano from Slack’s dual Gr 2 winner Espumanti (Dansili), who retired after running in the Durban July of 2014. She’s won 4 races with 5 places from 9 starts for stakes of R511 629.