GREENLIGHT SHINES IN CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE
In what was billed the race of the season, the Joe Soma trained Got The Greenlight bested a field, which included reigning Horse Of The Year Summer Pudding and World Sports Betting Triple Crown winner Malmoos, to capture Saturday’s G1 4Racing Champions Challenge (2000m) at Turffontein on Saturday in convincing fashion.
A courageous winner of the recent G1 H F Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes, triple Equus Champion Got The Greenlight was slightly overshadowed by Malmoos in the betting for Saturday’s R750 000 Weight For Age race, with three-year-old Malmoos eventually jumping tote favourite for the 2021 Champions Challenge.
Long shot Divine Odyssey went out to make the running, ahead of Cirillo, with the top three fancies, Summer Pudding, Malmoos and Got The Greenlight tracking the pacemakers.
When Divine Odyssey dropped away, it was left to outsider Cirillo to kick on, and the son of Pomodoro tried to get away from his rivals.
However, Muzi Yeni mustered a strong late challenge aboard Got The Greenlight, and the four-year-old champion took command 100m from home and kept going gallantly to score by three-parts of a length.
While Malmoos proved disappointing back in fifth, it was left to fellow three-year-old Second Base to make a race of it, and the Johan Janse Van Vuuren trained gelding powered home late to get up for second, while stamping himself as a horse to watch during the coming season.
In turn, Second Base finished a length clear of a gallant Cirillo who took third, with Summer Pudding never really threatening back in fourth spot.
Connections of Second Base lodged an objection against the winner, but the objection was eventually overruled and the result allowed to stand.
The 2021 Champions Challenge proved a triumph for Varsfontein Stud’s More Than Ready horse Gimmethegreenlight, sire of not only Got The Greenlight but also runner up Second Base.
Bred by the Nadeson Park Stud, Got The Greenlight, now a five-time G1 winner, has now won eight of 16 starts for earnings of R3 150 500.
The colt, surely an attractive stud prospect, is out of the Commands mare Command Chi – a winning daughter of the stakes-placed Fusaichi Pegasus mare Chivana. Got The Greenlight’s third dam is the top-class mare Giovana, whose 8 wins included a score in the G1 Queensland Oaks.
Racing Image: JC Photos