On a red-letter evening for Drakenstein Stud, Smanga Khumalo produced recent Gr2 Dingaans winner Safe Passage under an animated left-handed ride to make it five wins on the trot with victory in the R1 million World Sports Betting Gr2 Gauteng Guineas at Turffontein on Tuesday evening.
After the disappointment of Desert Miracle’s defeat – labelled ‘a debacle’ by the champion trainer – in the fairer sex equivalent, Mike de Kock must fancy his chances of making it a SA Triple Crown double after the recently retired new Ridgemont Highlands stallion Malmoos’ dramatic success a year earlier.
“Safe Passage is a helluva horse – I still want to see him over a mile and a half. This horse has got freakish heart-rates. I’m very happy for Drakenstein on their feature double and they are supporting Gauteng racing,” added De Kock.
While the complexion of the race changed dramatically over the final 350m, it was an impressive performance by Safe Passage, who was produced from midfield by Khumalo.
When Khumalo changed the crop to his left hand, Safe Passage (4-1) straightened like a class act and went on too powerfully to beat the low-flying Pyromaniac (25-1) by 1,50 lengths in a time of 99,61 secs.
Outofthedarkness (10-1) should be a serious proposition over further next time as he showed smart acceleration to fly up for third, ahead of the winner’s tote favourite stablemate, Aragosta (4-1).
Another Drakenstein home-bred to catch the eye, Safe Passage is by deceased champion stallion Silvano (Lomitas) out of My Sanctuary (Antonius Pius), whose four wins included the 2013 Gr2 The Debutante.
Safe Passage has won 5 races with 1 place from 7 starts for stakes of R993 562.
A bonus of R2 million will be paid to connections of the horse that wins all three legs of the WSB SA Triple Crown.
Safe Passage will enjoy the step up to the 1800m in the second leg, which is the R1,5 million Gr1 WSB SA Classic run at Turffontein on Saturday, 5 March.
The third leg of the series is the R1,5 million Gr1 WSB SA Derby run over 2450m at Turffontein on Saturday 2 April.
TRAINER JOCKEY DISTANCE BETTING
1 ST 1 SAFE PASSAGE M F de Kock S Khumalo —– 4/1
2 ND 8 PYROMANIAC S G Tarry G Lerena 1,50 1,50 25/1
3 RD 5 OUTOFTHEDARKNESS J J van Vuuren K de Melo 1,25 2,75 10/1
4 TH 2 ARAGOSTA M F de Kock R Fourie 0,75 3,50 4/1
5 TH 7 SUPER EXCITED P F Matchett M Yeni 0,05 3,55 25/1
TIME OF RACE: 99.61 s
Tote Favourite 2 ARAGOSTA M F de Kock R Fourie 3,50 4/1
Original post by Sporting Post
Image: JC Photos