Pomp and Power came zipping through down the inside rail to pass long-time leader, Universal and win the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Cape Derby over 2 000m at Kenilworth racecourse on Saturday, 26 February.
The chestnut son of Vercingetorix was bred at Maine Chance Farms and is trained by Justin Snaith.
Snaith also saddled popular favourite Double Superlative, but that one lacked extra after racing handy and was outfinished to be third. Perhaps he regressed after a tremendous effort versus elders in the Cape Town Met and did not quite have the spring in his legs of freshened, stable-mate Pomp and Power on whom Richard Fourie rode a cagey and confident tactical race.
Full credit to the 9/2 priced winner who is a valiant/versatile thoroughbred able to sustain a strong gallop over a mile and, as it proved, also totally at ease over middle distances.
Pomp and Power is a winner of five from eight starts, including the Langerman as a two-year-old, the Concorde Stakes early at three and now this prestigious, Cape Derby.
Universal tried hard to go all the way but could not resist Pomp and Power’s surging finish. Still, there was honour in defeat for the Gimethegreenlight colt who looks set to have a highly productive career.
Pomp and Power has beaten Universal to win the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Cape Derby over 2 000m at Kenilworth racecourse. Photo: Chase Liebenberg
His trainer Adam Marcus was to gain some compensation later when odds-on favourite Princess Calla (by Flower Alley) romped in the Prix du Cap (Grade 3) over 1 400m – the Flower Alley filly proving much the best after a series of sterling placed efforts in stronger Grade 1 class races.
Cosmic Highway has always hinted at top notch ability, earning monster speed figures as a juvenile, and he enjoyed being turned back to sprints after a few admirable efforts up to 1 600m (including a tough beat second from a wide draw to Pomp and Power), as he took out the Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes (Grade 2) over 1 200m.
Sired by Gimmethegreenlight, the bay colt was unveiled in fighting trim by Dean Kannemeyer and duly put a decisive margin between himself and pursuers, Trip of Fortune and Rio Querari. Trainer Kannemeyer quipped afterwards, “Don’t try make them stay…’ as his decision to bring Cosmic Highway back to sprints was vindicated.
Rio Querari was not moving that fluently, according to jockey Grant van Niekerk and raced too far back to make an impact. Trip of Fortune closed ground smartly to sneak second in an exacta for the three-year-olds, but Cosmic Highway had the race sewn up thanks to a neatly judged ride by Keagan de Melo who used his mounts turn of foot to optimal advantage. Cosmic Highway started at 9/2 after being heavily backed through the rates in from 10/1.
Piet Steyn is a vastly experienced horseman with an expert eye for athletic specimens that don’t cost the earth. He achieved a notable 33/1 double with We’re Jamming (by Duke of Marmalade) in the Cape Nursery (Grade 3) and blinkered, Epsom Girl (by Pomodoro) going from “go-to-whoah” in the Fillies Nursery (Grade 3) over 1 200m.
“I liked them both very much” revealed Steyn who snaffled the juveniles for bargain sums of R15 000 each – a total outlay of just R30 000.
We’re Jamming used stalk and pounce tactics on a quick track, and when hot favourite Trompie unexpectedly caved in, was ideally poised to seize control. Epsom Girl tends to run a ziggy-zaggy course, but fitting blinkers has helped her to run straight and true – she dominated from the front to win untroubled.
The successfully staged Cape Town Seafood and Jazz Racing Festival concluded with a novel contest – the Work Riders vs Jockeys Challenge. The professional pilots dominated as The Tinkerman (De Melo) bolted in from Silent War (Fourie), Dean Street (Anton Marcus) and Masterful Guy (Van Niekerk) with senior jockeys’ mounts filling the first four placings.