Thunder Key WPOTA Diadem Stakes (Gr2)
(Photos : Gold Circle)
MUHTAFAL : THE GENERAL
Students of history might recall the utterances of the British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, in the Commons following the death of the Prince Imperial during the Anglo Zulu War of 1879. Remember, it happened in the aftermath of Isandlwana, the most ignominious defeat of a British army in history, and in the wake of opposition to the hostilities from Bishop Colenso, his daughters and their friends, which eventually led to the break up of the Church of England, as it was known.
“Who are these people?” the Prime Minister uttered (speaking of the Zulus), “who woo our woman, convert our bishops, defeat our generals, and this day have put an end to the greatest ruling dynasty in European history?”. Trepidation indeed, and a reflection on what is possible against the odds when you have the will and the capacity to surprise. Here was the greatest army on earth, which held dominion over two thirds of the earth’s surface and had never known defeat in all of its imperial conquests, dumped and upstaged by what was arguably the worst equipped, but undoubtedly the best disciplined army on earth.
Saturday witnessed a parallel. We have long proclaimed Muhtafalour general, the man we’d want to go to war with, and a fortnight ago, his son Arabian Mist revealed his own capacity to surprise, when, against the odds he overturned the pride of Gauteng’s sprinters in the Defy Merchants (Gr.2). On Saturday, Thunder Key did the same for Glen Kotzen in the WPOTA’S Diadem Stakes (Gr.2) when he put an end to the aspirations of the best in the Cape (some call it, “of Good Hope”).
If there’s a Muhtafal in the race, no matter his odds, remember what happened to the Prince Imperial.