WILGERBOSDRIFT SA OAKS (Grade 2)
Final leg of the Triple Tiara
Turffontein, Turf, 2450m
27 April 2013
Cherry On The Top became only the second filly after the mighty Igugu to claim the coveted Wilgerbosdrift Stud Triple Tiara with her scintillating victory in the Grade 2 SA Oaks at Turffontein on Saturday.
She proved worthy of every bit of that respect, cruising to a two-length triumph to claim the R1million Tiara bonus for her owner Bridget Oppenheimer.
It was a real family affair with Mrs O - as she’s affectionately known - accepting the bonus cheque from her daughter Mary Slack, owner of sponsor Wilgerbosdrift Stud. Also, Mrs O’s Mauritzfontein Stud bred the winner from her top broodmare Carolina Cherry from a service by Wilgerbosdrift’s stallion Tiger Ridge.
The 2450m was taken at a slow pace, with the favourite’s rivals clearly plotting to ambush her with a sprint run-in. But the dark bay from the yard of wily veteran trainer Ormond Ferraris was just far too good in the end.
Cherry On The Top jumped away on terms from the rails draw and jockey Nooresh Juglall eased her into position behind the eager Moikavano, Rue De Rivoli, Secret Obsession and Princess Line. Second favourite Do You Remember was tucked in a few lengths behind.
The bunched field approached the final turn at little more than a canter, with Cherry On The Top just two lengths off the pace. In the Fillies Classic last month Juglall felt compelled to go early, getting plenty of criticism for his trouble, despite winning by six lengths. This time Juglall was all patience, waiting and watching as the front runners tired and a bunch of backmarkers moved up to challenge. With 250m to go, the young Mauritian rider shook the reins, the filly picked up her feet and the big crowd roared.
Do You Remember must be tired of watching Cherry On The Top’s rump disappearing into the distance. Geoff Woodruff’s filly was second for the third time in the Tiara races - some kind of record in itself, surely. Jet Bell (14-1), who trailed the field for most of the trip, ran on very well for third and Sky Pirate (15-1) was fourth.
Cherry On The Top has now won eight of 11 starts and many racing fans will be wondering why she hasn’t been nominated for the upcoming Vodacom Durban July. It’s possible the connections feel the three-year-old needs a rest after the extreme rigours of the eight weeks of the Tiara and will be a better winter season prospect as a four-year-old.
Mrs O isn’t keen to race her overseas.
Extract from TAB News