Horses / Horse News

Racing reporter
2 minute read
19 Apr 2016
10:04 am

Winter Series to kick off next Saturday

Racing reporter

The R1 million Winter Series for three-year-old colts and gelding and the R600,000 Winter Series for three-year-old fillies kick off next Saturday at Kenilworth April 23.

Image credit: Thinkstock

The Winter Series will forever be famous for unearthing the great Pocket Power. He landed the Winter Series “triple crown” in 2006. The rest of the country hardly noticed Capetonian excitement at this achievement, because, after all, he had apparently not been considered good enough to make the journey to the Champions Season in KZN.

However, maestro Milnerton-based trainer Mike Bass had deliberately kept the son of Jet Master at home due to his immaturity and the strapping bay gelding went on to become one of the all time greats of the South African turf, winning nine Gr 1 races, including the J&B Met three-times in succession and the Gr 1 L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate a record four times in succession.

Since the coming of age of Pocket Power, no true racing fan around the country has ever ignored the Winter Series races and has taken careful note of the winners.

Two years ago the Dean Kannemeyer-trained Power King went close to emulating Pocket Power, winning the first two legs and finishing a close second in the last leg.

In 2012 Variety Club one of South Africa’s greatest ever milers won the Gr 3 Tekkie Town Guineas before departing for the Champions Season in KZN, where he obliterated his contemporaries in the Gr 2 KRA Guineas before slamming the best older horses in the country in the Gr 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge.

A filly is yet to win all three legs of the fillies Winter Series, but some top class sorts like Covenant (2011) and Blueridge Mountain (2013) have won the Sweet Chestnut Stakes before departing for KZN.

The two series require horses to be tough and versatile as the legs have four to five week gaps between each other and each consecutive one has an accompanying increase in distance.

This season the colts and geldings Winter Series carries a R250,000 bonus and the fillies series carries a R150,000 bonus. The respective bonuses will be paid to the owners of any horse which is able to win all three legs of either of the series’.

The colts and gelding Winter Series will take place as follows:

Leg 1: R250 000 Tekkie Town Winter Guineas (Grade 3) 1600m, Saturday, 23, April 2016

Leg 2: R250 000 The Winter Classic (Grade 3) 1800m,

Saturday 21 May 2016

Leg 3: R250 000 The Winter Derby, (Grade 3) 2400m,

Saturday 25 June 2016

The fillies Winter Series comprises:

Leg 1: R150 000 The Sweet Chestnut Stakes (Listed)

1400m, Saturday 23 April 2016

Leg 2: R150 000 The Stormsvlei Mile (Listed) 1600m,

Saturday 21 May 2016

Leg 3: R150 000 The Winter Oaks (Listed) 2200m,

Saturday 25 June 2016