imbongi guineas

Imbongi (Gold Circle)

IMBONGI has come on in leaps and bounds since being gelded and the son of Russian Revival  followed up his recent Gauteng Guineas win with an impressive victory in the KwaZulu-Natal equivalent, in the process picking up his second Gr 2 prize in three starts.

UMNGAZI was the first to break the line but he was relegated into second after a couple of furlongs by Hamlool as Modern Monet settled on the rails in third ahead of Russian Sage, ART OF WAR and First Honour. Profit Report, Kilcoy Castle and IMBONGI were further, tracked by Horatio and and Perfect Season. The Law was some way off the early lead with Ballito Boy and THANDOLWAMI even further back.

Hamlool was some three lengths clear turning for home with Modern Monet moving in quickly to challenge. IMBONGI made up ground very quickly towards the inside but found himself somewhat cramped for galloping room between these two. Russian Sage moved towards the outside for his run while Kilcoy Castle was slowly working his way into contention.

Russian Sage had got his head in front inside the final 200m and he looked to have got there at just the right time, with Modern Monet running a huge race on the inside. However, with Hamlool tiring late and falling away, jockey Anthony Delpech finally found himself with room to maneouvre and IMBONGI responded with an electrifying late burst to catch the front two and win going away, with Russian Sage finding just enough to run Modern Monet out of it for second place.

There can be few arguments about IMBONGI’S victory here as he accelerated in the style of a really good horse when asked for his effort and he won easier than the official margin of 0,75 lengths suggests. He had caused a massive upset in the Gauteng Guineas nearly two months ago, but his 50/1 price that day is now a distant memory and he is firmly established in the front rank of the country’s 3-year-olds. Trainer Mike de Kock will be hoping this win was a harbinger of things to come as he saddles Archipenko, a serious contender in today’s Audemars Piguet QE II Cup in Hong Kong.

Russian Sage had every chance and ran his usual honest race but simply found one too good for him on the day. This was no disgrace as he was having his first outing in three months and he will return to fight another day, with his supporters guaranteed to get a run for their money.

Modern Monet ran the race of his life as he was up in class here and, strictly on form, had a mountain to climb. He fought on gamely under pressure and on this performance, there are clearly races to be won with him.

Kilcoy Castle had a fair amount of ground to make up in the straight and he was running on well at the end, without threatening the leading trio. This was not a bad run by any means and it showed yet again that he is more than competitive at this level. He is yet to win as a 3-year-old, but he has been taking on the big guns and he will certainly find easier opportunities than this before the season is out.

Click here to watch video of Imbongi winning the KZN Guineas (Gr2) 2008.

Imbongi is a 3-year-old gelding by Russian Revival (USA) out of Garden Verse (SAF) by Foveros (GB). Bred by Summerhill Stud, he is owned by Messrs MD Fleischer, OV Leibbrandt, BS Clements RS & BA Napier & Summerhill Stud Syndicate (Nom: M J B Goss).

Winning trainer: Mike de Kock

Extract from SA Horseracing 

Race 8 - R300K - KZN GUINEAS (Grade 2)- 1600m

No

Horse

Jockey

Al/Bl

Kg

Dr

Fin

Dist

Time

3

IMBONGI

Anthony Delpech

A -

57.0

4

1

0.00

96.01

1

RUSSIAN SAGE

Richard Fourie

A -

57.0

10

2

0.75

96.15

12

MODERN MONET

Karl Neisius

A -

57.0

7

3

1.00

96.19

4

KILCOY CASTLE

Brett Smith

A -

57.0

6

4

1.75

96.33

13

PERFECT SEASON

Sean Cormack

A -

57.0

9

5

2.50

96.47

14

ART OF WAR

Warren Kennedy

A -

57.0

1

6

3.50

96.65

11

THANDOLWAMI

Stuart Randolph

A -

57.0

16

7

3.55

96.66

7

HAMLOOL (AUS)

Johnny Geroudis

A B

57.0

5

8

3.80

96.71

9

PROFIT REPORT (AUS)

Raymond Danielson

A -

57.0

14

9

3.85

96.72

5

GALAXY (BRZ)

Bernard Fayd’Herbe

A B

57.0

3

10

4.10

96.77

16

THE LAW

Brandon Lerena *0.0

A -

57.0

8

11

4.15

96.78

10

FIRST HONOUR

M J Byleveld

A B

57.0

12

12

4.90

96.91

8

HORATIO

Weichong Marwing

A B

57.0

2

13

6.15

97.15

15

BALLITO BOY

Gavin Lerena

A -

57.0

13

14

11.40

98.14

6

UMNGAZI

Anton Marcus

A B

57.0

11

15

14.40

98.72

2

TAN CAN

Scratched

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