Talented three-year-old filly Lesedi La Rona, one of the better two-year-old fillies seen out in the Cape last season, bounced back to winning ways at Kenilworth on Tuesday when the Candice Bass-Robinson trained filly claimed the Play Soccer 6,10 and 13 Pinnacle Stakes.
Under champion jockey and title chasing rider Lyle Hewitson, the Drakenstein Stud bred and owned filly benefitted from blinkers and a tongue to record a smart two and a quarter length win over Crowded House, with tote favourite Charge d’ Affaires dropping out of contention close home to finish stone last.
Winner of her first two in a row, including the Listed Perfect Promise Sprint, Lesedi La Rona was dropping in class having contested the Listed Olympic Duel Stakes and Listed Sweet Chestnut Stakes at her two previous starts.
Trainer Piet Botha has only 18 horses in training but the former jockey/coffee machine businessman made it three winners from the past three Kenilworth meetings when he sent Optimum out to win Tuesday’s first race, the Itsarush.co.za Welcomes You Maiden Juvenile Plate, in convincing fashion.
One of three winners on the day for Danehill sire Oratorio, Optimum strode clear to beat the Oratorio sired first-timer Benicarlo by a length and a quarter into second place.
Benicarlo’s trainer Dean Kannemeyer has some smart looking juveniles to his name this season, and he had more two-year-old success when the Drakenstein Stud bred and owned Sir Michael romped home to shed his maiden by two lengths when victorious in Tuesday’s sixth race.
Sir Michael is the fourth South African winner, from only seven runners, sired by Drakenstein’s ill-fated G1 Racing Post Trophy winner Kingsbarns, whose daughter Queensbarns was beaten just a short-head, as tote favourite, when making her debut at Kenilworth on Saturday.