Mary Slack’s Bonete made her well-anticipated debut in a Maiden Plate over 1450m at the Vaal on Thursday and doddled it by 4.75-lengths.
The good-looking three-year-old daughter of Querari and the stable’s 2012 SA Oaks winner Ilha Bela made a good break from her inside draw, moved up smartly in the straight and quickened away easily for jockey Randall Simons.
Mike de Kock, who made the trip to the country course, said he wanted to see her racing in the flesh. “Bonete has been showing us proper work at home and while there wasn’t anything of note among her rivals, we think she’ll go on with it. She is a Cape Fillies Guineas prospect, she’ll have to win again for that to happen but we have high hopes.”
Bonete is a half-sister to the useful four-time winners, Azores and Reunion, who are both by Flower Alley. Her grandam is the very accomplished Ilha Da Vitoria, joint Equus Horse Of The Year in 2006 and multiple G1 winner who, aside from Ilha Bela, produced Oaks Trial winner Ilha Grade and the high quality exported filly Santa Carolina. Ilha Grande, in turn, produced 2017 SA Fillies Classic winner, Orchid Island. They were all trained by Mike and ran in Mary’s famous black and scarlet silks.
Earlier, East Coast (Keagan De Melo) posted an eye-catching win from off the pace, his second career win from five starts and this one a step up from 1400m to 1700m. “I liked the way he won today, he has 2400m written all over him,” said Mike.
East Coast is owned by a partnership including Mike, Johnny Gerber, Colin Gordon, Charles Savage, Clayton Vetter and attorney Kevin Trudgeon, a newcomer to owners’ ranks.
Gordon said: “Jehan Malherbe and I were looking to buy a colt by The United States at the Cape Mistico sale in 2021. Ahead of the sale we thought we’d get East Coast for R50,000, but on the eve the sale one of his daughters, Sheela, won a Listed race on her debut. So East Coast went for R180,000, but we closed our eyes and stuck with him, we liked him a lot because he looks a bit like his dad.”
Both Vaal winners were raised at Wilgerbosdrift Stud.