Mother Russia draws clear to win the 150th running of the Queen's PlatePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Mother Russia sweeps home as Power falters
Report: South Africa, Saturday
Kenilworth: L'Ormarins Queen's Plate (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+
Mother Russia (Mike de Kock/Anton Marcus) justified massive market support to run out a comfortable winner of the 150th Queen's Plate and give the country's champion trainer his first success in this 1m Grade 1.
Pocket Power managed only fourth in his record-breaking bid and is likely to be retired after one more run.
Mother Russia was just about the only horse punters really wanted to back and she wassupported from 3-1 down to 18-10 favourite. Anton Marcus, winning this for the fourth time, always had her handily placed and was cruising when he went on a furlong out to beat 20-1 shot Tales Of Bravery by two and a quarter lengths, with three-year-old Ebony Flyer three-quarters of a length back in third.
Diane de Kock, representing her husband who is in Dubai, said: "Mother Russia was very well so we were confident and she now goes for the J & B Met on January 29."
Pocket Power, who had won the previous four runnings, briefly looked dangerous in the straight but he could find no more in the final furlong.
Mike Bass said: "He had to lose his speed sometime and at the age of eight he is possibly happier at ten furlongs or a mile and a half.
"He will go for the Met and then I will probably retire him. He didn't disgrace himself today. This was one of the hardest Queen's Plates that he has ever run in."
Also on Saturday
TBA Paddock Stakes (Grade 1) 1m1f, turf, 3yo+ f&m
Emerald Cove (Justin Snaith/Felix Coetzee) sprang a 20-1 surprise when pitched against the older horses in the Paddock Stakes.
Felix Coetzee had her handily placed just behind the leaders and made his move afurlong and a half from home.
He hit the front inside the last 50 yards to hold Mike de Kock's strong-finishing 17-10 favourite Flirtation by three-quarters of a length.
Love Is In The Air was a head away third with the winner's stable companion We Three in fourth.
Snaith, who also won this with British-bred Dancer's Daughter three years ago, said: "This was no surprise. I worked Emerald Cove with my Cape Guineas winner Solo Traveller on Tuesday and she went much the better.
"She will come back here in three weeks' time for the Majorca Stakes. That race would be on the short side for We Three who was unlucky here - she had to keep switching, and so the J & B Reserve Stayers on the same day would be a possibility."