The disappointment of having to make the tough precautionary call to scratch their Australian-bred star Run Fox Run in view of the prevailing going, turned into a celebration for the Ridgemont Racing Team at Kenilworth on Saturday when Nastergal came to the party and scored her first stakes success in style.

The withdrawal of two serious contenders in Brett Crawford’s Run Fox Run and the Marshall runner Canukeepitsecret reduced the R250 000 Gr3 Champagne Stakes field to just seven.

With a trio of representatives, Candice Bass-Robinson would have fancied her team’s chances of lifting the honours – and enjoying the distinction of saddling the final feature winner of the 2018/19 Cape season.

But it was the lesser fancied Nastergal who was to deliver the thrills.

With each of the seven runners hard against the steel 100m after the gates were sprung, Ridgemont-Highlands sponsored jockey Greg Cheyne’s initiative to, possibly reluctantly, take up the running on Nastergal was to prove a match-winning move.

The prospects of Cheyne’s calculated tactical gamble got brighter as the race went on and after the challenge of the fancied Dynamic Diana folded late, the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade finished her race strongly to hold off various flying challenges and win by 2,25 lengths in a time of 79,64 secs.

Ostinato came out of the pack to hold off Crowded House and Too Phat To Fly.

The fancied runners were outgunned.

Ross and Wayne Kieswetter were on hand to lead the winner in with Craig Carey.

It was their second home-bred success of the afternoon after their Dynasty colt Yorktown impressed when a runaway winner of his maiden earlier on.

Bred by Ridgemont, Nastergal is out of the unraced Black Minnaloushe mare, Royale Noir.

She is by Drakenstein Stud’s Cartier Champion Duke Of Marmalade and became the high-class son o Danehill’s fifth local and 41st individual stakes winner.

Nastergal has won 3 races with 7 places from 12 starts for stakes of R335 575.

Stipes report excerpt:

THE STARTER REPORTED:

LESEDI LA RONA (B Fayd’Herbe) was restless in the stalls.
THE STIPENDIARY STEWARDS REPORTED: (NS)

a) In view of the report from the Starter regarding LESEDI LA RONA, Trainer Mrs C Bass-Robinson will be advised to have this filly reschooled before her next engagement in terms of Rule 61.6.10.
b) Jockey R Fourie (DYNAMIC DIANA) reported that this filly did not stride out freely in running. The Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine the filly on her return to the unsaddling enclosure and submit a report.
c) Approaching the 100m LESEDI LA RONA (B Fayd’Herbe) and CROWDED HOUSE (*S Mbhele) brushed on two occasions when racing tightly between DYNAMIC DIANA (R Fourie) and OSTINATO (M Winnaar).
d) Leaving the 100m DYNAMIC DIANA (R Fourie) changed stride shifted out slightly and brushed LESEDI LA RONA (B Fayd’Herbe).
e) NASTERGAL (G Cheyne), the winner, was selected for the taking of specimens for analysis. Trainer Mrs C Bass-Robinson was advised. (LD)
f) OSTINATO (M Winnaar), the second placed horse, was selected for the taking of specimens for analysis. Assistant Trainer D McLachlan, acting on behalf of Trainer G S Kotzen, was advised. (CvA)
RACE CARD CHANGES / OTHER:

Jockey C Orffer rode INTOTHELIMELIGHT (AUS). The Club’s Medical Officer stood down Jockey K de Melo on medical grounds. (Rule 25.12 was not applied)
THE VETERINARY SURGEON REPORTED:

DYNAMIC DIANA (R Fourie) was examined post race and no significant findings were detected.
INTOTHELIMELIGHT (AUS) (C Orffer) returned making an abnormal respiratory noise.
SCRATCHED:

RUN FOX RUN (AUS) – Stewards permission. Subsequent to a gallop at Kenilworth this morning Trainer B Crawford requested in terms of Rule 53.10 to scratch this filly due to the unsuitability of the track conditions (Penetrometer 30). He made submissions regarding this request, which were reasonable and acceptable and his request was granted by the Stipendiary Board.
CANUKEEPITSECRET – not eating up. Rule 53.5 applies.

– Sporting Post

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