The Wilgerbosdrift based broodmare Halfway To Heaven had a fantastic weekend this week, with her son Hawwaam landing the G1 World Sports Betting Premier’s Champions Challenge on Saturday and Hawwaam’s older half-brother, Rainbow Bridge, winning the G1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge (1600m) at Hollywoodbets Greyville the following day.
Trained by recent birthday boy Eric Sands, five-year-old Rainbow Bridge duly made amends for his third place finish in the same race last year.
Making his first start since finishing second in January’s G1 Sun Met, Rainbow Bridge (23-10)went out, under jockey Warren Kennedy to set a slow pace, ahead of last year’s Gold Challenge runner up Cirillo (7-1), and defending champion Do It Again (93-20).
Kennedy timed his ride to perfection, with Rainbow Bridge pulling out more in the closing stages to withstand a strong late challenge from race favourite, and 2020 G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner, Vardy (5-2), and win his third G1 race by just under a length.
The favourite appeared to leave his challenge too late, after racing well off a slow pace, and had to settle for second, with dual Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again putting up an improved effort back in third.
Rainbow Bridge claimed the R265 625 in a time of 98.38.
Bred by Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein, Rainbow Bridge has now won 8 of 16 starts, with his previous triumphs including the 2019 G1 Sun Met and has now earned R6 308 125.
A half-brother to G1 winners Golden Ducat and Hawwaam, Rainbow Bridge is one of 25 stakes winners for Mauritzfontein’s Kingmambo horse Ideal World, whose daughter Vistula ran second in Saturday’s G1 HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes.
Images: Candiese Lenferna Photography