As Rain In Holland advances to the third and final stage of the Triple Tiara as a strong favorite after her emphatic victory in Saturday’s 1800m Grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic in Turffontein, Red Saxon dashed the Triple Crown hopes at Safe Passage in the WSBSA Classic.
On a day when the race had to be postponed due to lightning and a wet track that prevented execution of the last two races, the Duke Of Marmalade colt, 22-10 favourite, ran to a 3.25 win over Sprinkles (5- 1) with 33-1 shot Perfect witnessed another neck back in third place.
Fourth place went to Desert Miracle, who was in the race until the 200m, but then faded in the closing stages to finish 4.50 lengths from the winner.
For the full edition of Monday’s Racing Express click here
The winner was ridden by Richard Fourie and trained by Sean Tarry. However, in a hard-fought game on the line, Red Saxon, who took off 25-1 but paid R28.60 for a win and R5.40 for a place at TAB, was better off finishing 15-10 keep Safe passage neck and neck in the SA Classic, to give jockey Julius Mariba a fantastic First Division 1 win.
A length back in third place came Captain Lannister (33-1) with Super Excited (50-1) in fourth. That yielded a quartet payout of R22,598.50. The winner was trained by Joe Soma, who has now won this race three times. In fact, as Soma pointed out, he and Mike de Kock have alternated winning this race for the past six years.
De Kock won him in 2017 with Heavenly Blue, 2019 with Hawwaam and in 2021 with Malmoos. Soma won it in 2018 with Lobo’s Legend, 2020 with Got The Greenlight and again on Saturday. Soma also deserves credit for sticking to Mariba and not being persuaded to give the ride to a more prominent jockey.
“If anyone knows the horse racing story, I think I know it,” said Soma. “I’ve had a lot of breaks in my life, some I messed up and other times I took the chance.
“I just felt that if I’m a decent human being, Julius has worked really, really hard with this horse, we’ve changed the bit and I can’t thank him enough for the hours he’s put into it.
“He came out of nowhere, he believed in me, he went through a terrible time with me, it wasn’t easy for him to get these rides.
“By saying that, I hope he behaves the way he did. I know there will be great opportunities for him and I couldn’t be happier for someone like Julius because the talent is there and we need to see this more in the game.”
While Red Saxon took a hard-fought victory and Mariba bragged about S’manga Khumalo, Rain In Holland’s victory radiated pure class.
“I was actually a little concerned because she seemed to lack the aggression she showed in the Guineas,” Fourie said.
“Last time she was aggressive and wild, she really wanted to do it, but today she was relaxed. I actually got a little worried, I thought maybe she wasn’t herself.
“But in the race she’s just another filly. When she got to the 400m she was ready and waiting, she didn’t hit any flats like last time and she took command of the 300m quite early and just had to keep her mind on the job. †
Tarry was equally pleased with the performance of Rain In Holland, who took her second Class 1 win, coming her first in the Thekwini Stakes at Greyville last July.
“Not only do we have a Triple Tiara entrant, we also have a worthy one,” said Tarry. “She stays all day, so we’re not worried about the 2450m distance (from the SA Oaks). Now we’re just excited about this win.
“We’ll have to wait and see how she performs next, but we’re confident.”