The Eric Sands trained gelding Rainbow Bridge stamped his claim when he scored a cosy win in the G1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge (1600m) at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday.

The six-year-old was not only making it a hatrick of graded wins, but Rainbow Bridge also made it back to back Gold Challenge wins, with Sands’ charge having landed the same race in 2020.

A brilliant winner of the G2 Independant On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes last time out, Rainbow Bridge was all the rage for Saturday’s R1 000 000 feature (one of the top mile races in South Africa) and went off a hot tote favourite.

Cirillo went out to make the running, as the Hong Kong bound Luke Ferraris settled his dual Met winning mount midfield.

At the top of the straight, Ferraris (who has ridden Rainbow Bridge to his last three starts and wins) bought his mount out for a challenge, as Drill Hall runner up Catch Twentytwo launched a strong challenge down the inside.

However, the favourite found a bit more in the closing stages, and Rainbow Bridge drew off to score by a long neck. Catch Twentytwo caught the eye with a bold showing in second, and finished more than two lengths clear of third place finisher Chimichuri Run, with the latter flashing up late for third.

Rainbow Bridge took his tally of wins to 11 from 23 starts (he has eight graded wins to his name) in a time of 96.6 seconds.

Bred by Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein, the gelding, whose earnings stand at R8 105 625, is one of 26 stakes winners for the Mauritzfontein based Ideal World (Kingmambo).

Rainbow Bridge is one of three G1 winners out of G3 Prix Du Cap winner Halfway To Heaven, whose five time G1 winning son Hawwaam is set to stand at Wilgerbosdrift in 2021.

Race image supplied by: