Suzette Viljoen enjoyed her first success as an owner when her Pathfork gelding Marco Polo, owned in partnership with John Freeman, David Musikanth, Robbie Miller and Trish Knott, made a winning debut at Durbanville, at the lengthy odds of 50-1, on Saturday.
In the process, Marco Polo upstaged favourite and stablemate Rio Querari in the Itsarush.co.za Welcomes You Maiden Juvenile Plate to win by a neck going away.
His enthusiastic part-owner Suzette went on a spending spree on the following day’s Cape Yearling Sale, splashing out R570 000 for five yearlings. Viljoen’s purchases included Hoedspruit, a colt from the first crop of the former Snaith trained Horse Of The Year Legislate who cost R280 000.
A half-brother to former Met contender Awesome Power, Marco Polo was one of three winners on the day for trainer Justin Snaith, who also saddled Destin to win Saturday’s fourth, and Swift Surprise to land the sixth race.
The beautifully bred Sanskrift ,a 2yo Duke Of Marmalade own sister to the smart filly Santa Clara and half-sister to G3 Politician Stakes winner and new Cape sire Horizon, made an eye catching debut when running on nicely for second, getting only touched off close to home by a fast finishing Driving Miss Daisy.
The latter, a daughter of emerging sire star Master Of My Fate, had finished fifth on debut behind the highly rated Cousin Liz, but powered home smartly to win on Saturday and looks a smart sort in the making.
Driving Miss Daisy’s trainer Eric Sands had been concerned about the ground she had to make up, but admits the two-year-old is a nice filly, who was bred by Brian Finch.
Master Of My Fate enjoyed a double on Saturday when his 3yo daughter Blush Scarlet made much of the running to break her maiden, for Glen Kotzen and Morne Winaar, when victorious in Saturday’s fifth race.
The well related Blush Scarlet is a half-sister to former East Cape star Yoshie, whose 13 wins netted her more than R800 000 in prize money.