RISING SUN GOLD CHALLENGE (Grade 1)
Clairwood, Turf, 1600m
7 June 2014
Last year’s Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge at Clairwood produced what many considered to be South Africa’s ‘race of the year’, when dual Horse of the Year and now Hong Kong Champions Mile Champion, Variety Club, held off Champion Older Mare, Beach Beauty, by a length.
Yesterday’s edition looked to live up to its predecessor’s reputation as quadruple Grade 1 winner, Beach Beauty, returned in an attempt to avenge her defeat from last year and to add to her two Grade 1 wins already this season. Up against her were the two best Older Males in the country - triple Grade 1 winner and victor of this year’s Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, Capetown Noir, and the highest-rated horse in training in South Africa, Yorker.
Though Yorker had claimed the scalp of Capetown Noir three months ago in the Grade 1 Horse Chestnut Stakes in the second of his Grade 1 wins this season, Capetown Noir was sent off the narrow favorite on the premise that Yorker would be at his best over a longer trip.
In the end, however, none of that mattered as the grey gelding, King of Pain, stole the show in an unrelenting front-running performance, leaving the three favourites to complete the first four.
Beach Beauty darted out quickest from the gates and dived toward the inside rail to overcome her wide draw, while King of Pain galloped forward, moving across the runners to take up a position at the head of the race. Yorker was traveling easily on Beach Beauty’s heels while Capetown Noir was a farther two lengths behind.
The slow early pace had a number of runners, including Beach Beauty, throwing their heads and pulling for more rein, and though the tempo increased rounding the turn, it was evident that the stretch was going to consist of a three-furlong sprint for home.
Coming off the bend, jockey Bernard Fayd’herbe on King of Pain led the field toward the outside rail and gave him his rein. Beach Beauty looked to be the one cutting back the deficit on the leader the quickest, while on the inside of the diminutive mare, the colossal Yorker began to gear up his powerful engine. The pre-race hype looked to be materializing with two furlongs to go as Yorker and Beach Beauty drew level, taking dead aim at the lone leader. However, a furlong from home it became clear that King of Pain was not stopping. The victory gave trainer Joey Ramsden a second consecutive victory in the race.
Though hard to compare him against his internationally acclaimed ex-stablemate, King of Pain was one of the leading juveniles in his year, winning four of five starts, including the Grade 3 Langerman, where he defeated subsequent Dubai World Cup runner Sanshaawes into second. His biggest achievement before Saturday was as an early three-year-old when defeating Capetown Noir in the prestigious Grade 2 Selangor Cup. Though winless for some time since that victory, King of Pain was always highly regarded by his stable, being the only three-year-old to contest Cape Town’s biggest race in 2013 - the Grade 1 J&B Met. This was the four-year-old’s first start since February, when he showed a return to winning ways in a non-black type feature race over this same distance.
Rising Sun Gold Challenge (Grade 1)
|1||KING OF PAIN||B Fayd'Herbe||Joey Ramsden||60.0||10||0.0|
|2||BEACH BEAUTY||S Cormack||Dennis Drier||57.5||14||0.8|
|3||YORKER||A Marcus||Geoff Woodruff||60.0||5||1.0|
|4||CAPETOWN NOIR||K Neisius||Dean Kannemeyer||60.0||2||3.2|
|5||WHITELINE FEVER||P Strydom||Sean Tarry||60.0||3||3.5|
|6||JET BELLE||S Randolph||Glen Kotzen||57.5||9||4.2|
|7||CASTLETHORPE||G van Niekerk||Mike Bass||60.0||1||6.0|
|8||RIO CARNIVAL||* D Dillon||Charles Laird||60.0||11||6.1|
|9||ICE MACHINE||G Hatt||Dean Kannemeyer||60.0||4||8.1|
|10||SILVER AGE||I Sturgeon||Jeff Freedman||60.0||6||8.1|
|11||RUN FOR IT||K Shea||Justin Snaith||60.0||13||8.2|
|12||POMODORO||W Marwing||Sean Tarry||60.0||7||8.3|
|13||ASTRO NEWS||M Yeni||Charles Laird||60.0||12||9.1|
|14||JET EXPLORER||R Fourie||Justin Snaith||60.0||8||75.1|
Extracts from Brisnet