Martial Eagle and Capetown Noir landed the big races at KenilworthPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Martial Eagle swoops to cause J & B Met upset
Report: South Africa, Saturday
Kenilworth: J & B Met (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+
MARTIAL EAGLE (Yogas Govender/Aldo Domeyer) sprang an 80-1 shock when overcoming a poor draw to land the prestigious Grade 1 J & B Met by a neck from 22-1 chance Hill Fifty Four. Beach Beauty was one and a half lengths back in third.
Govender, 39, spent time with Michael Dickinson in America before taking over the near 100-strong private stable of Sabine Plattner in September 2009.
He said: "I told her that I would give her a Group 1 winner within three years but I didn't expect the Met. I had a feeling this horse could win and I would have had a big bet had he been drawn in the first five. But he was drawn 15 so I didn't back him.
"Six months ago he was just a decent horse with a sensitive back and we were going to retire him after this. But we got the back right and we can't retire him when he is enjoying his racing. He could now go for the Durban July."
This was only the second Met ride and first Grade 1 win for Domeyer, son of former champion jockey Andrew Fortune who was one of the first to embrace him.
The 2-1 favourite Jackson could manage only fifth and rider Karis Teetan reported: "He travelled well until I pressed the button. He was empty and it was very disappointing."
Also on Saturday . . .
Kenilworth: Investec Cape Derby (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo
Cape Guineas winner Capetown Noir (Dean Kannemeyer/Karl Neisius) completed the double, justifying prohibitive odds of 2-5, but he had to dig deep to hold 35-1 shot Dynamic with Sanshaawes a close third.
The favourite cruised to the front two furlongs out but in the final furlong his questionable stamina was tested to the full and he was all out to hold on.
Carmarthen-born Neisius said: "I got there earlier than I wanted because it was such a stop-start pace. I was then concerned about the stamina everybody had been talking about but he is game and he ran to the line."
Kannemeyer, winning this for the third time, blamed himself for the less-than-impressive performance, saying: "I may have just taken the edge off him when I galloped him hard over the race distance at the J & B Met gallops on Thursday of last week but his class got him home.
"He now deserves a rest and I will bring him back for the Durban season, starting his campaign in the KRA Guineas. I will enter him for the Durban July but we will think again if he gets handicapped out of it."
Kenilworth: Klawervlei Majorca Stakes (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+ f/m
Blueridge Mountain (Gary Alexander-Anton Marcus) made light of her poor draw to beat the strong-finishing Frequent Flyer by half a length.
The Giant's Causeway filly is trained in Johannesburg but she has been boarded with Joey Ramsden in Cape Town for the past two months and her passport could soon have "for export" stamped on it.
Derek Brugman, racing manager for owner Markus Jooste, said: "She might go as a travelling companion with Variety Club when he goes to America. With her pedigree the world is her oyster."