Rainbow Shines for Sands
Rainbow Bridge marked himself down as a top class sort with a super impressive win from way off the pace in the Grade 3 Highlands Stud Winter Guineas at Kenilworth.
He had cruised in on his sprint debut three weeks ago, but was taking a huge leap in class and in addition was drawn one from the outside of the eleven starters.
Despite that he found longshot support from 16-1 into 8-1, and swooped spectacularly over the final 200m under a far from punishing Richard Fourie ride to win by a length and a quarter going away.
It’s been a while since Eric Sands had a horse of real quality in his yard. He said that “it was a risk running him here, but he’s rising four, and we had to take the chance. He’s a special horse”.
Rocket Countdown was second and Love Happens third, but they were made to look very ordinary by the withering finishing burst of the winner.
That completed a feature race double for Fourie, as half an hour earlier Too Phat To Fly underlined the strength of the Cape season’s Grade 1 fillies feature form with a going away win in the female equivalent Listed Sweet Chestnut.
She was allowed to go off at 8-1 despite an impressive win in her warm up sprint, and ran on fluently to score by a length and a quarter over Rose In Bloom, who scored yet another Graded place. Favourite Platinum Class stayed on for third without ever looking dangerous.
Fourie said the winner “was caught three wide, but she was so relaxed, and quickened well when I asked her”.
Belinda Haytread made a welcome return to the winners’ enclosure aboard Love Of My Life in the workriders race. She won several Cape Hunt events in the 1990’s, but this was her first win in an official NHA race, after the rules about eligibility were changed recently allowing the longtime Bass employee to compete.
Apprentice Sandile Mbhele continued his steady progress with another winner. Bottom weight Ahoy Me Matey just outdid lightly raced Call To Account in the FM88 sprint after a titanic duel. The runner up was returning from almost a year off, and looks one to follow.