TRIPLE TIARA CLEAN SWEEP FOR BRILLIANT WAR OF ATHENA
Brilliant three-year-old filly War Of Athena joined the likes of champions Igugu, Cherry On The Top and last year’s heroine Summer Pudding as South African Triple Tiara winners when she scored a superb victory in Saturday’s G2 Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks (2450m) at Turffontein, to lift the Wilgerbosdrift sponsored series for three-year-old fillies.
An impressive winner of the G2 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas and G1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic at her last two starts, the Summerhill Stud bred War Of Athena appeared, barring stamina issues, to have Saturday’s Oaks at her mercy –and so it proved.
With stable mates Lotus and Sacred Lotus setting a strong pace up front, Muzi Yeni battled to get a good position early on aboard War Of Athena, who raced a dozen lengths off the front runners early on.
Turning for home, War Of Athena appeared to be cruising, with Yeni sitting pretty on his star filly.
Regally bred Silvano filly Sparkling Water tried to launch a challenge down the inside, but the Paul Matchett trained War Of Athena was always travelling too strongly, and 200m from home, with her jockey looking for challenges, the filly drew clear to win impressively, with Sparkling Water finishing a well held second, beaten two lengths.
In turn, Sparkling Water finished seven lengths in front of the third home Netta, with the field well strung out in the closing stages.
Now a winner of eight of just 14 starts (War Of Athena’s tally of wins include five at graded level), War Of Athena picked up the 2021 SA Oaks in a time of 156.38 seconds.
Owned by Roy Wentzel and Dr Rose Waterman-Wentzel, War Of Athena was a bargain R30 000 buy from the 2019 Ready To Run Stakes.
The filly is a tremendous advert for her G1 Cape Guineas winning sire Act Of War (Dynasty), from whose first crop she emerged.
Images: JC Photos