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Trainer Eric Sands looks to have something very special on his hands in the form of Rainbow Bridge.
The latter justified 9-10 favouritism, and captured his second leg of the Winter Series, when scoring a deceptively easy win in Saturday’s G3 Highlands Stud Winter Classic over 1800m on the winter course at Kenilworth.

Having won the first leg, the G3 Highlands Stud Winter Guineas, from coming the back of the field, Rainbow Bridge was up handy all the way in Saturday’s race –and, despite tugging hard through much of the 1800 contest, once again proved too strong for Selangor Cup winner Rocket Countdown.

The latter, who went down by a length and a quarter in the Winter Guineas, was beaten a length on Saturday –when giving Rainbow Bridge 1kgs.
Both Rainbow Bridge and Rocket Countdown look likely to be aimed at the Vodacom Durban July, although the latter currently lies behind six other horses on the reserve list at the moment.

Owned by Chris Gerber, the Wilgerbosdrift/Maurizfontein bred Rainbow Bridge was steered to victory by Richard Fourie, who admitted after the race he feared he had ridden a bad race. Fourie commented post-race, “I didn’t ride my best race. He is far better switched off and running at them, and has a very bright future.” 

Trainer Joey Ramsden dominated Saturday’s two remaining features, landing the Listed Highlands Stud Olympic Duel Stakes with Call To Account and the Listed Highlands Stud Stormsvlei Fillies Mile with Fresnaye.

Call To Account, who had been injured when unplaced in the 2017 Allan Robertson Championship, had made a pleasing comeback after her lengthy layoff and the 3yo Captain Al filly duly went on to land the second feature race of her career for owner-breeder Bernard Kantor. The latter is likely to be represented in Saturday’s G1 Investec Derby by recent G3 Centennial Celebration-MBNA Chester Vase winner Young Rascal.

The beautifully bred Call To Account, who had accounted for the likes of Kasimir, Dutch Philip, Purple Diamond and Princess Peach when victorious in the 2017 Princess Charlene Of Monaco Foundation SA Summer Juvenile Stakes, is out of a Giant’s Causeway daughter of Moon Dazzle –a stakes placed half-sister to German 2000 Guineas winner Pacino and Dupont.

Ramsden also saddled another well bred filly to land a feature on Saturday, in the form of Drakenstein Stud bred and owned Fresnaye (by Western Winter from the family of champion SA sire Fort Wood). The latter, third in both this year’s G1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas and G1 Cartier Paddock Stakes, picked up a well deserved feature race win when landing the Stormsvlei Fillies Mile by a length and a quarter over 28-1 outsider Cape Charlotte.

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