Trainer Weiho Marwing turned out to have the Midas touch as his charge Hermoso Mundo became the first horse in South Africa to win the stayers’ “Gold Treble”.
The son of Ideal World became the first horse to win the Gold Bowl at Turffontein over 3200m, the Gold Vase over 3000m at Greyville on Durban July day and the R1.25-million eLAN Gold Cup, which he added to his treasure trove at the Durban course yesterday.
Hermoso Mundo only joined the Marwing stable in April and is unbeaten in three starts since then. The four-year-old gelding had to fight his way to the line in this Grade 3 race over 3200m but, ridden by Weichong Marwing, he did not give up. He went off as second favourite at 9-2.
Going into the closing stages it was the Geoff Woodru trained mare Zante who led the field, with Gavin Lerena in the irons and showing no signs of throwing in the towel.
Marwing, though, was not to be denied and kept plugging away at his mount. A stride or two before the post he got ahead in front to win by 0.15 lengths.
Third place went to Let It Rain with Fortissima in fourth.
It was quite a family affair and, speaking about the record, Weiho said: “I’m glad for the owners and I’m pleased I’ve done it with my brother.”
There were some worrying moments about 1000m from home when Royal Badge, who was travelling on the rail went wrong and jockey Richard Fourie had to pull him up. That caused a slight hiatus as all the other jockeys tried to stay out of trouble. So, when Hermoso Mundo turned for home he still had some five lengths to make up on Zante.
Meanwhile, favourite Kinaan also started to look dangerous as he moved up to challenge, but he had little more to come and faded to fifth place.
The race turned out to be a tri-umph for the Highveld trainers with third place going to another Marwing-trained runner, Let It Rain, with Joe Soma-trained Fortissima in fourth.
“The pace was quick, then slowed down, but I was always happy where I was travelling,” said Weichong.
Weiho Marwing said: “Firstly I would like to thank Alec Laird. He gave me the horse in brilliant condition.
“This horse amazes me. I haven’t even gotten to the bottom of him. He improves with every run.”
The two Grade 1 races for juveniles went to horses with bright futures.
The Premier’s Champion Stakes went to Glen Kotzen- trained Eyes Wide Open. The 6-1 shot flew up late to get the better of favourite Ancestry by 0.50 lengths. He only won his maiden last time but could not have been more impressive and we will be hearing a lot more about this Dynasty colt during the Cape season.
The Thekwini Stakes for fillies went the way of Lady In Black for Dennis Drier. Another Dynasty baby, she fought off the attentions of Rockin Russian by 0.50 lengths to keep her unbeaten record intact.
Sean Veale rode a great race to overcome a wide draw.
“All credit to the horse, I’ve rated her from Day 1. She’s very classy and I knew what I had under me.”