Turffontein, Turf, 1600m, 11 April 2015

Majmu had a lot to live up to – but she did it with contemptuous ease, landing the Grade 1 Laurie Jaffee Empress Club Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.
— Tab News

Training maestro Mike de Kock has declared Majmu the best filly he has trained and that’s enough of a recommendation for any punter. She started the R1-million contest as 13-20 favourite and never looked like putting a foot wrong, hammering a talented field of fillies by 3.0 lengths, easing up as jockey Anthony Delpech waved his whip-hand about in excitement.

Assistant trainer Mathew de Kock said before the race that the daughter of Redoute’s Choice was “not race fit”, but would be well enough to give a good account of herself. Trainers of other good horses around the country will shudder to think of the big grey being fully wound up.

It’ll be interesting to see which of the three Champions Day races that she is entered for will be chosen at the end of the month: the 2000m Gerald Rosenberg Stakes (Grade 2), the 2000m President’s Champions Challenge (Grade 1) or the 2450m SA Oaks (Grade 1).

And which races will she be targeting during the KwaZulu-Natal winter season?

There was drama at the 1600m start at Turffontein, with the one stall gate of KZN raider Same Jurisdiction bouncing back closed as the horses sprang away – seemingly banging Duncan Howells’s filly on the nose. After a review of the start, the stipes declared Same Jurisdiction a non-runner.

Banbury was smartly away, ahead of Tamaanee, Smart Call, Arcetri Pink and Majmu. Tamaanee won the battle for the early lead, with Smart Call at her shoulder, ahead of Banbury, Majmu (three lengths back), Arcetri Pink, Not Sulking, Trophy Wife, Whatalady, Enchanted Silk, Same Jurisdiction, Hammie’s Hooker and Winter Star.

As the field rounded the bend, all eyes were on the blue silks. When would Delpech make his move?

Tamaanee struck out boldly for home, with Whatalady and Trophy Wife delivering challenges. But the grey ghost wafted by them at the 400m mark and it was all over bar the shouting. Delpech worked at his mount for a few strides, but once she’d gone four lengths clear the rider stood up in the irons and started celebrating.

Trophy Wife (20-1) galloped on determinedly to grab second spot and looks destined to win a feature race. Tamaanee (33-1) stayed on for third, ahead of Hammie’s Hooker (10-1, second favourite) who came from about 12 lengths back, at the tail of affairs, on the turn.

There was a sense of déjà vu about the Big T as the combo of trainer Anthony Delpech, trainer Mike de Kock and owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum’s blue silks landed a treble on the card: Race 1 with first-timer Shaama (11-20), another daughter of Redoute’s Choice; Race 5 with Anjaal (33-10), a son of Lonhro, and Race 7 with Majmu. All three horses were bred in Australia.

Extracts from Tab News / JC Photos (p)