Jockey Anton Marcus enjoyed a day to remember at Kenilworth on Sun Met day this past Saturday, with Marcus winning all of the G1 Sun Met aboard Rainbow Bridge, the CTS 1200 with Cirillo and the CTS 1600.
In the process, the veteran jockey (who has now three Met victories to his name) banked R7.85 million for his big race wins –not a bad day’s work.
Rainbow Bridge, whose trainer Eric Sands was winning the Met for a first time, turned the tables with tote favourite Do It Again, who had beaten the Ideal World four-year-old by three lengths when the pair ran first and third respectively in the recent G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.
While Do It Again never looked to be travelling well, the Andre Nel trained Head Honcho made much of the running and looked a big threat with 500m left to run.
However, Marcus had other ideas aboard Rainbow Bridge, and bought the four-year-old with a strong run down the outside, as Do It Again began a belated challenge down the inside.
Rainbow Bridge, however, had too much momentum for his Queen’s Plate conqueror, and stayed on to pick up the first G1 win of his career with a three-parts of a length win over Do It Again, with the game front running Head Honcho taking third place –less than a length off the winner.
The beaten favourite was not disgraced, and did well to come from far back to get so close but Saturday was not his day, and Rainbow Bridge deserved his big race win. However, jockey Richard Fourie was called in by the stipes after the race to explain his ride. The stipes record says: Jockey R Fourie (DO IT AGAIN) appeared before the Board with regards to his ride on this gelding. He explained to the Board that the gelding had not travelled to his expectation in the early stages and having raced with cover he had to encourage DO IT AGAIN from the 600m, which was far earlier than he had expected. This had resulted in him entering the straight about four lengths off the eventual winner, which was more than he had envisaged. DO IT AGAIN had then proceeded to hang out in the straight when encouraged. His explanation was noted.
Marcus, who had jumped off dual Met runner up Legal Eagle (fifth in Saturday’s Met), said after his Met win, “I had my reservations about the trip but he felt so good. Jumping off Legal Eagle was one of the hardest decisions I have made. I got lucky with Rainbow Bridge.”
The lightly raced Rainbow Bridge, who was bred by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein, races in the colours of late prominent owner-breeder Chris Gerber, who shockingly passed away last year.
A second Met winner for sire Ideal World, Rainbow Bridge has won six of eight (including both the G3 Highlands Winter Guineas and G3 Highlands Winter Classic), with Saturday’s Met win taking his earnings to R3 632 500.
Saturday’s G1 Gbets Cape Derby went the way of the Australian bred Atyaab (who provided jockey Diego De Gouveia with the first G1 win of his career) –the only runner on the day for former champion trainer Mike de Kock, while Candice Bass-Robinson sent out the talented chestnut Clouds Unfold (a daughter of the former Mike Bass trained champion sprinter What A Winter) to win the G1 Bidvest Majorca Stakes –ending the favourite Front And Centre’s unbeaten record in the process.
While Justin Snaith had no joy in the Sun Met, South Africa’s champion trainer did manage to win the G1 Betting World Cape Flying Championship for a second year running, when the Snaith trained Kasimir scored a decisive 1.75 length win in the 1000m sprint. Like the yard’s 2018 Flying Championship winner Sergeant Hardy, Kasimir is a son of deceased champion sire Captain Al –whose son One World bounced back to winning ways when he won Saturday’s R5 000 000 CTS 1600. Remarkably, progeny of Captain Al have won both the Cape Flying Championship and the CTS 1600 the last three years in row!
Visiting trainer Sean Tarry was another trainer to taste big race success on Saturday, when his 3yo colt Cirillo (a son of the Tarry trained July winner Pomodoro) won the R5 000 000 CTS 1200 for Chris Van Niekerk –who had also raced Pomodoro.
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