Reigning South African champion trainer, Sean Tarry, was going for his fourth consecutive victory in the Johannesburg first leg of the SA Triple Tiara, but Mike de Kock arrived at the party with a class quintet of runners and turned the race into a fairytale advertisement for new generation racehorse ownership.
While her Three Troikas winning stablemate Fish River looked the natural stable elect, the superstitious few may have included the 20-1 Takingthepeace on some alliterative pointers – the letter M playing a part in the names of owners Murray Makepeace, Michael Shea – son of top jockey Kevin Shea – and Mathew de Kock, as well as jockey Callan Murray, who was aboard Takingthepeace for the first time.
Some of the more scientific shrewdies may also have taken a position on Takingthepeace’s scope for improvement at her first try at the mile. And the fact that, despite being confined to sprints – beyond her fourth to Fish River in the 1400m Three Troikas last time – she looks to have the blood to be effective over further.
With Aurelia Cotta taken out at the start, reducing the field to 12, Takingthepeace was dropped out to second last by Callan Murray as Pale Lilac led Cashel Palace and Silver Thursday, with the fancied Fish River tucked away in fourth. In the run for home, Takingthepeace had the entire field to get past and looked under pressure to find a top half finish as Cashel Palace and Folk Dance ranged up dangerously, with Silver Thursday staying on well. With her head turned towards the crowd, Takingthepeace drifted to the outside and started making ground – but still looking to need to get lucky to find the money.
As Weichong Marwing and Silver Thursday looked likely winners, Takingthepeace – still an awkward ride – eventually found her best finish to catch the winner in the final 100m and won going away by a quarter length in a time of 97,91 secs.
In a race of mostly good fortunes for the De Kock yard, the winner’s stablemate Silver Thursday ran second with the Alec Laird longshot Green Top in third. Folk Dance flattered briefly late but plodded late into fourth. Fish River had every chance but faded out to run close on 13 lengths behind.
Takingthepeace was purchased for R280,000 off the CTS Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale by Form Bloodstock. Bred by Summerhill Stud, the winner, named Sagano at sale, is a daughter of Visionaire (Grand Slam) out of the three-time winner, Lisa Anne (Rambo Dancer). Takingthepeace has won 4 races with 3 places from 8 starts for stakes of R800,125.
The dream rolls on – the R1 million SA Fillies Classic over 200m further on 7 April is next.