Galileo’s Night with Andrew Fortune aboard
This past weekend got off to a great start with the announcement of the winners at the East Cape Awards. Paris Perfect, son of Summerhill super sire, Muhtafal won the Champion Three Year Old Colt / Gelding title. This was just reward for the talented and hard-working colt who has shown that Muhtafal’s progeny are not just confined to sprints and the shorter distances.
Once again the gutsy little dynamo, Hear The Drums, a R45,000 purchase from the 2005 Ready To Run, came away with two awards, winning the Champion Older Colt / Gelding and Champion Sprinter titles, confirming his status as a superstar.
Congratulations to owners Peter and Gail Fabricius!
Around the country, the Summerhill runners showed their mettle yet again with some impressive performances. Muhtafal continues to prove why he is ranked in the top five sires in the country, with his progeny shining on the track. Not to be outdone though was the late Summerhill stallion Rambo Dancer, with his daughter, Oriental Dancer, confirming her status as one to watch for the future.
The fourth race at at Kenilworth on Saturday saw a stellar performance by the Galileo colt, Galileo’s Night, for long time friends of Summerhill, owners Johann and Gaynor Rupert. After a jostle early on, Galileo’s Night settled before snaking his way through the field, hitting the front in the closing stages and winning comfortably under a weight of 60kgs. He held off a gallant Steely Dane who was left to fight it out with My Best Friend for the places.
Other winners at Kenilworth were Desert Raider (Malhub) in the first and Sabrage (Muhtafal) in the ninth.
Then it was off to Turffontein where 2007 Ready To Run graduate, The General, by Muhtafal, recorded his debut win in the Graham Beck Wines Maiden Plate over 1000m. There was some jostling for the early lead as the runners made their way up the straight, but as the rest faded, The General kicked into gear and Mark Khan guided him to an impressive win going away by 2 1/4 lengths.
Oriental Dancer, daughter of the late Summerhill stallion, Rambo Dancer, held off the rest of the field to record her fifth win from 20 starts in the fourth. With Piere Strydom in the saddle, she was held back at the rear of the field, ready to pounce. Her chance came in the closing stages when she picked up her pace and ‘took off’, narrowly winning from the fast finishing Snap Decision.
Clairwood on Sunday saw another of Muhtafal’s progeny claim the laurels, as El Padrino won the first in comfortable style to record his fourth career win. El Padrino was bred by long-time Muhtafal supporter and good friend of Summerhill, Steve Sturlese and his partner Peter de Marigny, and is out of the Desert Team mare, Dot Dot Dash.