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TONY RUFFEL STAKES (Gr3)
9 FEBRUARY 2010
There’s been a lot of conjecture in the press and on the airwaves about the current class of three year old colts. Many are of the view that we’re dealing with a vintage crop, some are reserving judgement. There are those that point to Havasha’sindifferent performance on the sodden turf at Turffontein on Saturday against his elders, as a possible exposure of the crop, while others believe it was a below-par performance, that a line should be drawn through it.
Back in the class though, Tuesday saw a clash of all the other top three year olds in Gauteng, including the Dingaans (Gr.2) winner, Curved Ball; Graham Beck (Gr.3), Bulsara,and impressive Cape Guineas (Gr.1) runner-up, Galileo’s Galaxy. In receipt of a good pull at the weights, the latter started a short-priced favourite for Tuesday’s renewal of the Tony Ruffell Stakes (Gr.3) over 1400m, while the collateral form with Havasha saw R60 000 Emperors Palace Ready To Run graduate, Pierre Jourdan, drifting out to 4/1 from an opening call of 15/10.
In the end though, despite stuttering through “greenness” and forgetting he was in a race till the last hundred metres, when the jets fired, Pierre Jourdan won his race with an electrifying burst, getting up by what probably amounted to a neck from Galileo’s Galaxy (in receipt of 2kgs). For the time being, it would seem the National Three Year Old log is headed up by this one, (now four from five for Gary Alexander), Investec Cape Derby (Gr.1) hero Bravura, and Cape Guineas winner, Noordhoek Flyer. We’ll have to wait for the Durban season to see if Pierre Jourdan is the best in his class, but right now, as a R60 000 buy from the Summerhill draft at the 2008 Ready To Run sale, he’s a veritable bargain, having bankrolled over R1 million (that’s R200k per start!) for Gary Alexander and Summerhill patron, Emilio Baserio. Bred in a joint venture by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and Summerhill Stud, he’s a fine advert for his mother Vin Fizz, a Graded Stakes placed daughter of Qui Danzig.
In other news from the weekend, Imbongimade an impressive debut for the Dubai season, when he came from halfway back to get within two lengths of the winner in the $150 000 Jaguar XJ Trophy, spotting the latter 7kgs in the process. At levels, this was a five length winning performance, and given that he’d been off the track for almost eight months, it augers well for his chances later in the season. Mike de Kock tells us he was more than pleased with the effort, and he has a Graded Stakes event for $250 000 lined up for him in a few weeks. Another one carrying Sheikh Mohammed’s stamp.
TONY RUFFEL STAKES (Gr3)
GALILEO’S GALAXY (Aus)
CURVED BALL (Aus)
Gavin van Zyl
M Van Rensberg