Confirming his status as one of the Eastern Cape’s most promising four year olds, Paris Perfect (by Muhtafal) out of Candle Princess, bred by our long-time friends Peter and Gail Fabricius, ran away with the laurels in the Merit Rated 75 Handicap over 2000m at Arlington on Friday. Recording his 10th career win, Paris Perfect again disproved the view that progeny of Muhtafal are not suited to distances over 1900m. Biding his time near the front for most of the race, he got down to busines in the home straight, breezing past race leader Moscow Circus to go away and win by what would’ve been a larger margin had jockey Gerrit Schlechter not eased him down at the finish.

With most people’s attention focused on the main races at Clairwood on Saturday, the Gold Challenge and Tibouchina Stakes, the final race on the card, the 1600m KZN Chapter Challenge Final (Merit Rated), produced a storming performance. El Padrino, a  son of Summerhill super sire Muhtafal, and out of a Desert Team mare Dot Dot Dash, owned by Summerhill stalwart and long standing Muhtafal supporter, Steve Sturlese, showed the rest of the field a clean pair of heels. Hanging back near the middle of the field, El Padrino accelerated with about 300 metres to go, and effortlessly passed the ever game race leader, Day Of The Piper, to win going away by over four lengths. In the post-race interview, his trainer, an elated David Goss revealed that he’d thought so highly of his chances in this race, that he placed a huge bet on him to win. When asked to reveal the exact amount, David Goss was rather coy, joking that he didn’t want the taxman to get his hands on it!

Meanwhile, on Monday at Turffontein, another Ready To Run graduate from 2006, Lisa Anne, by the late Summerhill sire, Rambo Dancer, and out of Forest Edge, owned by old friends and great Summerhill supporters Bruce and Jo Gardner, put in an impressive showing to win her first race, the Maiden Plate for Fillies and Mares over 1200m. Cutting through the field with effortless ease, she hit the front with 200m to go and went away to win, giving long-time friend and trainer Gary Alexander the first of his two wins at the track.