Ridgemont Highlands stallion and Champion Sprinter Rafeef enjoyed a red-letter day at Turffontein on Saturday. The son of Redoute’s Choice celebrated his first Gr1 winner with Aragosta digging deep to win the R1 500 000 World Sports Betting SA Derby.
On a memorable day, South Africa’s leading first season sire of 2020/21, Rafeef not only produced a Gr1 winner over 2450m, his sons filled the exacta in a Gr3 1100m contest to demonstrate his versatility and exciting ability.
Going off at 4-1, Rafeef’s son Aragosta (4-1) benefitted from another superbly judged ride by the rampant Richard Fourie to get the better of 11-2 shot Zeus by a half length in a time of 158,14 secs.
Bred by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein, Aragosta is out of the Galileo mare Miss Galidora, who was placed over 2000m at 3 in the UK in 2 starts. She is a half sister to French Guineas winner Clodovil. She throws stamina into the mix!
Mike de Kock commented: “This was a dream day for Rafeef with success across the spectrum. He’s a uniquely versatile stallion that seems to suit most mares and it makes me proud to have trained him and now his first G1 winner. Not many would have predicted his first top-level winner to be a Derby winner and this shows what he is made of!”
Mike added: “It was once again a pleasure to train this G1 winner for friends Murray Makepeace, JJ van der Linden and the Malherbe family. And compliments to Mauritzfontein for breeding him.”
He mentioned Al Muthana: “He ran below best, the going was firm. He is definitely better on a soft track.”
The World Sports Betting SA Derby is a golden ticket qualifier for the R5 million Hollywoodbets Durban July to be run on 2 July 2022 at Hollywoodbets Greyville.
First entries for the Hollywoodbets Durban July will close at 11h00 on Tuesday 19 April. – extracts, Sporting Post.