(Summerhill Stud Library)
When the handicappers of South Africa met in 2000, to pick the best horse of the previous century, they settled on the names of Sea Cottage, Mowgli, Colorado King, Hawaii and Horse Chestnut. While Hartford-born Mowgli was the only one to garner two votes (and might, for obvious reasons, be our sentimental favourite) there’s no denying, that for us at any rate, the best we’ve known was Sea Cottage.
That he’s been demeaned in having a race of only Listed status bestowed upon him, doesn’t detract from the merit of Fenerbahce’s sterling victory in Sunday’s renewal of the race that takes its name from the legend. A creditable second for this R425,000 graduate of the Emperors Palace Ready to Run Sale in November’s Ready to Run Cup, Fenerbahce showed admirable improvement in getting up to beat the Dingaans Gr2 second, Captain’s Table, while the fourth horse home in that event, Broadsword, finished third. The result franked the best form of Gauteng’s top three-year-olds of this season, and with Fenerbahce looking like a horse with improvement to come, and still racing a little green, Andrew Fortune may well be right in his post race interview, in proclaiming this a Derby horse.
Fenerbahce is among five smart purchases for our Turkish friends Fedai Kahraman and Berdan Yerlikaya, and he is the second decent Summerhill winner this week for the Gary Alexander stables, following Bhekinkhosi’s win in the top-liner at Turffontein mid-week.