Trip of Fortune, Santa Maria the feature race winners at Durbanville racecourse

Santa Maria in action in Durbanville. Picture: Chase Liebenberg/Cape Racing

Santa Maria in action in Durbanville. Picture: Chase Liebenberg/Cape Racing

Published Oct 2, 2022


Cape Town - Trip of Fortune (Matchem Stakes) and Santa Maria (Diana Stakes) were the winners of the Grade 3 feature races over 1 400m on Saturday when the Spring season started at Hollywoodbets Durbanville.

Silver Operator and Trip of Fortune fought out a virtual knockdown brawl in the Hollywoodbets Matchem Stakes with the former, Vaughan Marshall’s runner edging the Grade 3 1400m contest by a whisker on a photo.

However, an objection was immediately lodged by the stipes on behalf of the runner-up against the winner who they felt drifted off a straight line and caused interference.

After deliberations, hearing evidence from jockeys Aldo Domeyer and Grant van Niekerk, plus viewing head-on video evidence of the bumping bout, the officials decided to uphold their objection and gave the Hollywoodbets Matchem honours to Trip of Fortune (Domeyer).

Trip of Fortune (by USA sire Trippi) had run some outstanding races when pitched at a high level earlier in his career. He now seems to be mentally stronger and genuinely keen to compete as a determined racehorse since a rest and gelding. Trainer Candice Bass Robinson deserved credit for her judicious handling of the Drakenstein Stud-bred four-year-old – now a victor in six of 11 starts.

Both horses bought top quality 1400m form into the race. Six-year-old Silver Operator won the historic Drill Hall Stakes at Greyville during the KZN Winter season, whilst Trip of Fortune clinched the Cape Classic at three.

The 33/1 outsider, Looking for Hounds ran way above market expectations to secure the trifecta slot with pace-setting grey, Russian Rock trying hard all the way to the line back in fourth.

Santa Maria, for the same Bass/Drakenstein/Trippi connections, unleashed a big finish to extend her record at Hollywoodbets Durbanville to a perfect three wins from three starts in the Grade 3 Hollywoodbets Diana Stakes over 1400m.

The final time was a full two seconds slower than the Hollywoodbets Matchem. She was all out to defeat favourite Chansonette by half a length, after that one had moved up with menace midway down the straight before rolling about towards the finish.

Going Up made a bold bid in the centre of the track to get third with Kwinta’s Light who had tracked pacesetting Tipsy Tarragon, keeping on for the lower quartet slot.

Santa Maria came out fresh to run particularly well, as is her wont. According to Drakenstein's manager, Kevin Sommerville, the daughter of Trippi with a daisy cutting action also prefers the firmer surface which currently prevails at Hollywoodbets Durbanville. All told the 14/1 longshot got the ideal set-up and duly seized the opportunity.

Winning rider Corne Orffer said afterwards: "She has a soft mouth so got her head up off the slow early pace, but she settled before the straight and then ran on well.”

This was Santa Maria’s fifth win from 13 starts, and given her powerful turn of foot, she can add to that tally during the Summer.

IOL Sport

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