Jack Milner: Rainbow Bridge proves his class with hard-fought win over Soqrat in Champions Cup.
The showdown between runners from the Eric Sands and Mike de Kock stables did transpire in the World Sport Betting Champions Cup over 1800m at Greyville on Saturday but while Rainbow Bridge was the Sands’ representative, it was De Kock-trained Soqrat who fought out the final 200m with the Sun Met winner.
But once again it was Rainbow Bridge who claimed the victory, despite hanging in during the closing stages. In the end, he beat Soqrat by 0.40 lengths with Cirillo another 1.75 lengths back in third. Just 0.15 lengths further behind in fourth was Twist Of Fate with much-vaunted Buffalo Bill Cody fifth, beaten less than three lengths.
Rainbow Bridge did have to survive a race review but in the end no further action was taken.
Twist Of Fate set a moderate gallop from Cirillo with Rainbow Bridge and Buffalo Bill Cody going, as the commentator described it, “eyeball to eyeball” in third.
Anton Marcus, deciding the pace was too slow, took Soqrat around the field and as they came for home he hit the front. Richard Fourie moved up on his outside and the two moved away from the field to fight it out.
Buffalo Bill Cody failed to quicken in the straight but, based on a line through Cirillo, he has to be better than this run. It may have been that his second run after a long layoff was his downfall but he will be back.
Fourie has now ridden Rainbow Bridge four times for four wins and commented: “He’s a top horse. I felt it when I first rode him as a young horse and I told Mr Sands he was a champion. This year has been a crack year with some top horses and he is always there, running his heart out. As you saw, he is not an easy ride, he hangs in all the time. But he is a quality horse.’
Sands commented that Marcus had ridden a clever race but was clearly proud of his charge. “It is great to end the season off like this. He will go back to Cape Town now.
“I would just like to thank Brett Crawford and his assistant here, Peter Muscatt. They looked after the horse as if it was their own horse.”
The Grade 2 Kuda Gold Bracelet went to Running Brave from the Paul Matchett yard who kept going under Muzi Yeni to hold off Camphoratus by a long head. Insignus ran third with Sabina’s Dynasty in fourth.