Graduates of Bloodstock South Africa sales covered themselves in glory when they claimed three feature races at Turffontein on Saturday. Not only did BSA graduates finish 1-2-3 in Saturday’s G3 Betway Graham Beck Stakes, they also filled the first three placings in Saturday’s G3 HSH Princess Charlene Starling Stakes.
With BSA graduate Zeus victorious in Saturday’s Listed Allied Steelrode Java Stakes, it truly was a Super Saturday for Bloodstock South Africa!
Star three-year-olds Main Defender and Sandringham Summit, the Equus Champion 2YO Colt of 2022-2023, put on a show when they fought out a thrilling finish in the 2023 Graham Beck Stakes (1400m), with the verdict eventually going the way of Main Defender.
The feature race was also a triumph for Varsfontein Stud, who raised the first three home, with Varsfontein breeders of both Graham Beck runner up Sandringham Summit and third place finisher Gimmeanotherchance.
The Tony Peter trained Main Defender made it five wins from six starts when he scored a short-head win, under Kabelo Matsunyane, in Saturday’s graded feature. Bred by Jagessar Limited, Main Defender had won the G2 Betway Joburg Spring Challenge by six and a half lengths previously and he clearly ranks as one of the best three-year-olds currently in training in South Africa. Racing for Messrs J J Habib, G, K & M M Nassif, Main Defender was a R140 000 buy from the 2022 Cape Yearling Sale.
The gelding, who has now earned R1 085 625 in stakes, is a son of inform Irish champion Pathfork and the Judpot mare Alessia.
Classy filly Egyptian Mau claimed her biggest win to date when she downed some promising three-year-old fillies to win the 2023 HSH Princess Charlene Starling Stakes (1400m) impressively. From the first crop of Wilgerbosdrift’s exciting young War Front stallion Fire Away, the Lucky Houdalakis trained filly made light of a layoff when she stormed home, under Craig Zackey, to win the Starling Stakes a shade cosily by nearly half a length.
Racing for David Shawe, the Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein bred Egyptian Mau, who had finished second in last season’s G1 Douglas Whyte Thekwini Stakes and third in the 2023 G2 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Slipper, was a R425 000 purchase from the 2022 National Yearling Sale.
Egyptian Mau, who has now won twice from just five starts, is out of the Fort Wood mare Savannah Cat -whose dam Kapen Cat is a half-sister to multiple champion sire Western Winter.
Zeus became yet another BSA buy to claim a black type feature race when he ran out a facile winner of the Listed Allied Steelrode Java Stakes on Saturday. Runner up in the 2022 G1 World Sports Betting SA Derby, five-year-old Zeus outclassed his opponents when he romped home to claim the Java Stakes by a widening five and a quarter lengths. Ridden to victory by Gavin Lerena, the Fabian Habib trained Zeus has now won eight of 21 starts, with all eight of his victories coming under the urgings of Gavin Lerena.
A son of ill-fated champion Soft Falling Rain, Zeus is owned by Tri-Deal Sixteen CC, Messrs D Chinsammy, S Govender, J M Kalil, E Naicker, G J Nassif, J Nassif, G Stravino, L Stravino and P G Stravino.
Bred by Wynand Nel, Zeus was a R70 000 buy from the 2020 National 2YO Sale. He is out of the Windrush mare Lil’ Bacio, who also ranks as the dam of G1 S A Derby winner Out Of Your League and G3 World Sports Betting Gold Cup runner up Paybackthemoney. An Erupt half-brother to Zeus made R1 200 000 when sold at the August Two Year Old Sale this year.
Bloodstock South Africa will be hosting its final live auction of the year, when they hold the 2023 November Two Year Old Sale on November 26th. The sale will take place at the TBA Complex in Germiston, with the one day auction set to get underway at 11:00 AM sharp.