Young assistant trainer Gareth Van Zyl would have been thrilled with the manner in which his soldier No Worries came through his Gold Vase 'prep' at Greyville on Sunday. The 6-year-old son of Kahal blew Mike Azzie's Vodacom Durban July hope Rabada away in a matter of strides to win the KZN Breeders Million Mile in fine style.
Although it came as no surprise to hear later that No Worries will probably be scratched from his July day commitment and aimed at the Champions Cup on Super Saturday rather, it was a great plan come together with jockey Warren Kennedy proving again that he has the nerve to carry the big days.
And for an owner there can't be many better preps than a mile stretch for a cheque of R625,000 – but that is what Brian Burnard was banking after Kennedy produced No Worries late to beat the highly vaunted Daily News 2000 winner going away.
It was No Worries' second victory in the generously endowed restricted race after he had won it during Clairwood's dying throes in 2014, and then ran fourth behind Bezanova last year.
The KZN Breeders big stakes day was a massive success again with Summerhill breeding the winners of five of the nine races, including a top two finish in the feature.
Despite Rabada being out at the weights, Mike Azzie's classy son of Brave Tin Soldier was backed into 18-10 favourite and the promising 3-year-old ranged up looking a winner inside the 350m.
The race was run at a snail's pace and turned into a sprint into the home run – but what's new?
With Rabada looking a winner in the closing stages, Warren Kennedy didn't panic and switched No Worries as the big chestnut found his stride and grabbed the youngster just inside the 200m to win going away by 1,50 lengths in a time of 98,47 secs.
Rabada ran his heart out and was full value for his runner-up berth. With the Million Dollar target into the July having gone awry, it will be interesting to see whether Rabada makes the final July line-up at all.
The ever consistent Malak El Moolook stayed on for third.
He has won 6 races with 15 places from his 40 starts and stakes of R2,877,075.