Mentor looked to have a bit to do in the Gr2 Hawaii Stakes over 1400m at Turffontein yesterday, but he handled the step up with class, leading all the way to see off Jaroslaw and Summerhill-bred Emperor Napoleon (Kahal) and Rebel King (National Emblem).
Under a confident ride from Piere Strydom, the 4-year-old dictated matters from Kiwinsky and Summerhill Ready to Run graduate Dynamite Mike (Fard) with Singing Sword in touch ahead of Succesful Bidder, Northern Wolf and Flaming Jet. Jaroslaw raced along the fence in midfield with Emperor Napoleon some way off them and Rebel King, given a patient ride in his first attempt beyond 1200m, turning for home towards the rear.
Mentor was still travelling comfortably in the straight and Strydom did not panic as the challengers came out, allowing his mount to travel within himself. Kiwinsky was soon under pressure as Succesful Bidder moved up smartly, Jaroslaw made progress towards the inside and Rebel King started to quicken down the centre.
Strydom got serious inside the last 200m and Mentor responded gamely, fighting off the determined Jaroslaw as Emperor Napoleon suddenly flashed up as a threat towards the outside rail. Mentor had enough in reserve though and he was nearly a length clear at the line.
Emperor Napoleon (Kahal) made a big impression over a trip on the sharp side for him. He has not been the most straightforward of characters to follow, but on this showing, he is back on track for races such as the Horse Chestnut 1600 and Gomma Gomma Challenge.
Rebel King (National Emblem) made late progress and was not disgraced in his first attempt at the trip. He may be better suited to faster ground than today’s underfoot conditions allowed and he should yet get to make his mark beyond the sprint ranks.
Extract from SA Horseracing.com