Rainbow Bridge swept down the Kenilworth stand-side rail to triumph in the Cape Town Met (G1) over 2000m, getting the better of favourite Belgarion, who also came from the tail of the field, with 100/1 rank outsider, Sovereign Spirit outrunning his odds to sneak into the trifecta.

It was a clever strategic move by Luke Ferraris to steer the 6/1 shot to the outer given that the son of Ideal World tends to hang.

Rainbow Bridge turned on the afterburners when it counted to draw a length clear of Belgarion and thereby record his second victory in this prestigious race.

Inbetween, in 2020, he loomed up a likely victor only to get outrun by One World, but this year, he proved unstoppable after being ridden with more restraint.

Though known to show signs of temperament, Rainbow Bridge has actually been a paragon of consistency in high grade races, winning nine of 21 starts, including 11 places. Trainer Sands conceded that the absence of crowds due to the Covid Lockdown may have helped his charge settle better in the prelims, and he complimented Ferraris for showing impeccable race-riding judgement.

The young jock, who is third generation from a famous SA family racing dynasty, was scoring the biggest win of his career. He modestly said that “good horses get out of bad situations,” a reference to how Rainbow Bridge was forced to switch around traffic in deep stretch before launching that decisive surge.

In another sensational Grade 1, jockey Richard Fourie described Captain’s Ransom as, “the real deal, phenomenal and deserving of being called a champion,” when the heavily punted 7/10 fave blew away rivals in the 1600m Majorca Stakes. Market rival Clouds Unfold, a proven G1 winner, got first run on the young daughter of Captain Al yet could not match strides with this budding star.

A suitably amazed, Justin Snaith extolled her physical and mental virtues. “Her body recovers immediately, breathing goes back to normal, just no stress at all…” Captain’s Ransom, who won the Fillies Guineas in facile manner against her contemporaries in December, handled older foes with similar contempt. Clouds Unfold, attempting a Majorca hat-trick came up short, emerging though with honour in defeat. Kelpie and Chat Ching filling the lower placings.

Run Fox Run added to her stellar record by going gun to tape in the Cape Flying Championships holding off the flying finish of Rio Querari. Brett Crawford stated, “mission accomplished” as the Foxwedge mare realised the sought after G1 prize for speed merchants. Crawford believes that to win races at the highest level, preparations need to go through without so much as a hiccough, and that is what Run Fox Run enjoyed as she duly produced a peak performance for her 8th victory from 11 starts.

Run Fox Run, punted from 8’s into 9/2, received a typically assertive Anton Marcus ride stretching out chasing opposition, who she had stone cold going into the final furlong. Only Rio Querari made any impact, closing ground sharply, yet too late, leaving a discouraged Grant van Niekerk to ruefully unsaddle in the second box.

The true stayer Atyaab benefitted from a hot pace in the New Turf Carriers Western Cape Stayers (G2) seizing command and keeping going resolutely to topple Silver Host, a common banker on many exotic tickets. Conditioner Zietsman Oosthuizen travelled his charge down from Port Elizabeth on Friday in a ten hour road journey, sending out a super fit and gutsy thoroughbred to build on a Cape Derby victory attained at this course in 2019, when trained by Mike de Kock.

There are not many races on the South African program that genuinely test endurance. This 2800m event is one of the few marathons staged in Cape Town and the cracking pace took the younger, Silver Host out of his comfort zone, instead suiting the doughty Atyaab, sired by New Zealand sire Dundeel, a country renowned for producing quality stayers.

Kommetdieding proved much the best in the Politician Stakes (G3) over 1800m, justifying 22/10 favouritism and staying perfect from four starts. Legitimate made a bold late bid, despite hanging, but was easily repelled into second spot. Rascallion clocked in third, proving unable to match Kommetdieding’s acceleration.

The bargain buy Elusive Fort colt was neatly positioned by Sihle Cele before drawing clear to yet again win with authority and build on his burgeoning reputation. Whilst overcome with emotion immediately afterwards in the lead in, a composed Cele subsequently revealed great praise for his mount, “Kommetdieding reminds me of Edict of Nantes (former Derby winner) – just with a better turn of foot!” The jock believes this horse still has huge scope to improve, and seems teed up for a serious tilt at the Cape Derby which is his declared target in a months’ time, according to successful trainer, Michelle Rix.

Words: Mark van Deventer

Photos: Chase Liebenberg