Michael Spenser-owned Free Wheeler overtook race favourite White Dragon on the stretch before going past ‘Clothes Horse’ to win the coveted 2018 Kenya Derby title Sunday at Ngong Racecourse, Nairobi.
— Consolata Makokha / The Star

Trained by Dr. Patsy Sombe, the Summer Ready To Run Sale graduate Free Wheeler led a top four sweep for the trainer, who entered six fillies in the race. This is the first time ever in the history of Kenya Derby for one trainer to scoop all the first four places.

 James Muhindi aboad Pharaoh's Advocate (L, Pink) racing to catch up with Francois Herholdt (R) jockeying Free Wheel during Kenya Derby on April 22 at the Ngong Race Course / CONSOLATA MAKOKHA(p)

James Muhindi aboad Pharaoh's Advocate (L, Pink) racing to catch up with Francois Herholdt (R) jockeying Free Wheel during Kenya Derby on April 22 at the Ngong Race Course / CONSOLATA MAKOKHA(p)

Free Wheeler stayed close to he leading light Clothes Horse in the opening 400m before taking a length’s advantage. Competition between the two horses, Free Wheeler jockeyed by South African Francois Herholdt and Clothes Horse ridden by Richard Kibet, was neck and neck till the last turn.

At the final turn, Herholdt set Free Wheeler down, widen the gap as Kibet sought to have Clothes Horse close in but instead the former opened the distance to two and a quarter lengths at the finish line. Free Wheeler covered the 2,400m circuit in 2:42.1 minutes.

Pharaoh’s Advocate by James Muhindi came in third - four and a half lengths - behind Clothes Horse. White Dragon closed the top four places sweep by fillies trained by Karen-based Sercombe.

Oliver Mutua-trained Bulawayo ridden by Paul Kiarie closed the top five, crossing the finish line two and a half lengths behind White Dragon. Navy Seal ridden by Lance Pagel was sixth, Winter Comet by Patrick Mungai seventh and Omaha Beach came eighth.

“ had a perfect trip and when I needed r, she was game. I was really happy with her. he’ a bit of a grinder. h got huge strid which quickened for me at the top of the lan,” said  Herholdt. “When we took the lead, she kept kicking when Kibet aboar Clothe Horse came to m. Huge effort by the whole stable. It was great, everything worked out perfecy,” added the South African.

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