Jack Milner: They did it! Malmoos decimated his rivals in the Grade 1 World Sports Betting SA Derby while War Of Athena destroyed her opposition in the Grade 2 Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks to claim the SA Triple Crown and the SA Triple Tiara respectively.
Both races were run over 2450m on the Standside track at Turffontein on Saturday and any doubts whether either of them would see out the distance were emphatically dispelled.
This was the first time the Triple Crown and Triple Tiara were both won at the same race meeting.
Luke Ferraris, although only 19 years old, handled Malmoos like a veteran as he brought the Mike de Kock-trained runner from seventh place to hit the front 400m from home. From then on, he just sailed away to beat Pamushana’s Pride by 5.25 lengths with Second Base a head back in third and anther 1.90 lengths to fourth-placed Shah Akbar.
“He’s changed my life, this horse,” said Ferraris. “It’s also a fitting win for Sheikh Hamdan. I’m very grateful for what he has done for me.”
Owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum passed away 10 days ago.
“I had a lot of butterflies before the race but the butterflies disappeared once the gates opened,” added Ferraris. “But once he started going through his gears the butterflies came back again.
“But there’s not much more I can say. He’s shown everybody what he can do.
“The way he put everyone away in the Classic, I has confident going into the race but in racing, anything can happen, so I didn’t want to shout about it.
“But I know what he can do.”
Retired veteran trainer Ormond Ferraris, who turned 90 last Wednesday, was on course to share in his grandson’s Triple Crown Triumph.
De Kock has also rewritten the record books as he has now claimed the SA Triple Crown for the second time. He won it in 1999 with Horse Chestnut and he has captured the SA Triple Tiara, in 2011 with Igugu.
“It’s a huge day for the stable, for South Africa and obviously for Sheikh Hamdan. He has left a huge hole in the lives of people in Dubai, his family and certainly our stable over here. So this is a fitting tribute and even send off, if you want, that he gets a Triple Crown winner over here,” said De Kock.
Talking about Malmoos, he added: “He’s the real deal. He has the looks, the pedigree and thankfully he will go to stud in South Africa.”
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