michael destombesMichael DestombesNice boy, our friend Michael Destombes. Well educated, too. The Durban High School product (ageing at this stage, a contemporary of you know who) notched up his 5th big race triumph as owner (and in this case, breeder, too) as BOLD ELLINORE (by KAHAL) blew away most of the nation’s top female milers in the Gr2. Tibouchina Stakes at Clairwood Park Saturday. When she’s hot, BOLD ELLINORE’S really hot, and this weekend’s win recalled her fascile victory over six Grade One winners in last season’s Fillies Guineas. The Tibouchina win was the perfect prep for next month’s Grade One Garden Province Stakes on July Day, where she was pipped a nose on the post in the last stride of the same race last year.

And just to show he’s human, Destombes’ Kildonan went down in the very last stride of the Gold Challenge (Gr1) after looking home – and – hosed with a furlong to run. The same fate awaited the other Summerhill runner, VEILED ESSENCE, in the Cup Trial (Gr 3) earlier in the afternoon. The difference was, she came from motherless last, and just failed to give her stable companion (Appelate Court) 4 kgs at the weights. As small as she is, VEILLED ESSENCE has the heart of a lion, and we can only hope that Fred Crabbia is granted his dream of a runner in the Vodacom July the first Saturday in July.