HF OPPENHEIMER HORSE CHESTNUT STAKES (Grade 1)
Turffontein, Turf, 1600m
29 March 2014
Yorker beat Cape raider Capetown Noir by a whisker in a pulsating finish to the Grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday.
A high-class line-up and a thrilling contest paid fine tribute to South Africa’s greatest racehorse of modern times, after whom this R1-million race is named.
The country’s current champion miler, Capetown Noir, flown up to the Highveld earlier in the week, provided extra spice to what was always going to be a fiercely competitive affair. Trainer Dean Kannemeyer’s four-year-old started as the favourite, despite a wide draw of 10 in the 12-horse field.
From an even break, Wylie Hall headed the field, with Whiteline Fever, Pomodoro, Gitiano, Espumanti, Snowden, Yorker, Tellina and Capetown Noir, who was about six lengths off the leader. Pomodoro pulled to the head of affairs around the turn, with Wylie Hall and Gitiano tracking him, ahead of Whiteline Fever, Espumanti, Snowden, Yorker and Capetown Noir.
In the straight, Wylie Hall moved up to Pomodoro, with Gitiano and Capetown Noir unwinding on the outside of the track.
Yorker and Robbie Fradd burst through up the middle and dared his rivals to come and get him. His stable companion Tellina looked his biggest danger for a while, with Capetown Noir starting to put his stride together wide out. In the last 50 metres, Karl Neisius got Capetown Noir to fly and he made up several lengths, but just failed to head Yorker at the line.
Tellina was gallant in third place, half a length behind the winner, with Wylie Hall two lengths further back in fourth.
Extract from Tab News