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Prominent owners Drakenstein Stud, who had no fewer than three feature race winners at last weekend’s LQP race meeting, enjoyed further success at Kenilworth on Saturday.
This time it was the Drakenstein Stud owned 3yo filly Santa Clara (her owners’ only runner on the card) who prevailed, with the daughter of Drakenstein’s resident sire Duke Of Marmalade justifying 11-20 tote favouritism to land Saturday’s second race, the TAB Telebet 0861 000 82 FM 92 handicap over 1600m, in convincing fashion.

All the rage for the race following her fifth place finish in the G1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas at her most recent start, the Candice Bass-Robinson trained filly was given a patient ride by Aldo Domeyer.
Domeyer allowed his mount to stalk the front running Love Supreme, and, when asked to quicken, Santa Clara lengthened her stride and went away to collar the gallant Love Supreme and post a convincing two and a quarter length win over the front runner.

Runner up in a pair of listed races at two, Santa Clara holds entries in all of the G1 Cape Derby, G1 Majorca Stakes and CTS 1600 on Sun Met day at the end of the month, with her trainer suggesting prior to the running of Saturday’s race, that Santa Clara could well take her place in the Cape Derby.

Trainer Joey Ramsden always looked to have a strong hand in Saturday’s opening race, the Tattersalls Maiden Juvenile Plate, and he duly obliged –but not with his more fancied runner Ibra. The latter, who returned making an abnormal respiratory noise, could only finish third to her 13-1 stable mate Double Alliance (by the red hot Twice Over), who stayed on dogged to beat the 19-20 tote favourite Ground Control.

The latter was a first ride back for jockey MJ Byleveld, who had been off for four months following a potentially career ending neck injury.
Unfortunately, Byleveld (who has been pencilled in to ride Tap O’ Noth in the 2019 Sun Met) failed to make a dream comeback, with Ground Control’s runner up finish the best result the multiple Cape Guineas winning jockey could muster.

Trainer Brett Crawford has enjoyed an excellent start to 2019, and the popular conditioner was again to the fore at Kenilworth on Saturday, with Crawford winning races six, seven and nine with Depeche, St Vladimir and Para Handy respectively. The trainer did, however, suffer an unexpected setback when his Var Express, 11-10 tote favourite, could only finish seventh in race five after losing a shoe at the start. Var Express, who lost his left hind shoe in the race, returned lame after the race and this run is best ignored.

Another Crawford runner, Mushi Sterek, was favourite for Saturday’s eighth race, but that Stratum sired filly had to be eased out of the race by jockey Anton Marcus –although the stipes report recorded that nothing obvious was detected.

While she may not have beaten the greatest bunch, there was plenty to like about the style of Silvano’s Pride’s victory and this lightly raced sort (she was making just her third start) with a classic pedigree could well have scope for further improvement.

Bred and owned by Anthony Peter, Silvano’s Pride should be a valuable stud prospect –even if she never wins another race!

She shares her multiple champion sire Silvano with star fillies and mares Flirtation, Silver Mountain, Field Flower, Do You Remember, Orchid Island and Nightingale, and is out of a mare who hails from one of the hottest families in the South African stud book. Tuesday’s five length winner was produced by the Jet Master mare Mary’s Pride, a four time winning daughter of G3 Pretty Polly Stakes winner Jalberry.

Mary’s Pride, a full-sister to multiple Singapore scorer Mr Fantastic, is in turn is a half-sister to the graded winners Purple Diamond (G2 Golden Horseshoe) and Love To Boogie (winner of this season’s G3 Diana Stakes).

Jalberry, granddam of Silvano’s Pride, is an own sister to last season’s Equus Broodmare Of The Year Strawberry Lane, whose progeny include Cape Guineas hero Solo Traveller and last season’s G1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes winner Redberry Lane.