Jack Milner: The stars did not let the punters down at Greyville on Sunday with Grade 1 wins from Rainbow Bridge, Summer Pudding and Got The Greenlight.
Don’t forget, there’s a race coming up at the end of July – hope to see you then.
Those were the words uttered by trainer Joe Soma after Got The Greenlight won the Daily News 2000. Soma, of course, was talking about the Vodacom Durban July on 25 July.
Got The Greenlight, who went off at 28-10 and was ridden by Bernard Fayd’Herbe, easily beat pacemaker Padre Pio by 1.50 lengths. A short head back in third place was 15-10 favourite Golden Ducat with another 1.50 lengths to Shango in fourth.
Winning this race, Soma admitted, was on his bucket list and he certainly was confident the son of Gimmethegreenlight could do the job.
Fayd’Herbe said he had planned the race in his head. “I had an idea of how the race would pan out, and at the 1400m mark I was smiling to myself that it was all going according to plan.”
Padre Pio fought on gamely but could not match Got The Greenlight. However, Dennis Bosch’s runner fought doggedly to keep Golden Ducat out of second place.
Summer Pudding, who went off at 15-10, increased her unbeaten tally to seven with a 0.90-length victory in the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 but not before she gave her supporters heart flutters. She was not travelling easily throughout the race and jockey Warren Kennedy admitted he had kept her closer to the lead because of her tendency to hit a dead spot early in the straight.
When betting rival Lady Of Steel hit the front early in the straight with Summer Pudding going nowhere, the unbeaten run looked dead and buried.
“I was worried,” said Kennedy. “But when Bernard (Fayd’Herbe, riding Lady Of Steel) ran past us, it all changed.
“Summer Pudding loves a bun fight and once she saw a challenger I knew she would get there.”
The daughter of Silvano lengthened her stride and burst through on the outside to beat Driving Miss Daisy (13-1) by 0.90 lengths with Lady Of Steel another 1.20 lengths back in third.
When asked about plans for Summer Pudding, trainer Paul Peter responded: “She’s going to Mauritzfontein for a long rest.”
Rainbow Bridge (5-2) led from start to finsih to win the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge over 1600m, with Kennedy adapting well to the lack of pace. Once in the straight he skipped away and fro that point on the race was never in doubt.
Vardy (5-2), who sat at the back of the field for most of the journey and would not have been suited by the pedestrian pace, ran on well to grab second from Do It Again (9-2), who was always chasing.
Rainbow Bridge won by 0.90 lengths with Do It Again 0.40 lengths behind Vardy. Fourth place went to filly Clouds Unfold who was beaten 2.90 lengths.
The defeat of Golden Ducat resulted in a double blow. Had he won it would have meant that all three racing progeny of the mare, Halfway To Heaven, would have won Grade 1 races in the same weekend – Hawwaam (on Saturday) and Rainbow Bridge the other two.
The defeat also denied Kennedy a Grade 1 treble.
For the record, jockey Craig Zackey had a Grade 1 runner-up treble with Vardy, Driving Miss Daisy and Padre Pio.