It is rare in life that a day feels better than perfect but Champions Day is one of them and will be remembered as such forever. Mike De Kock won 5 of the feature races in the 9 race card, and surrounded by her entire team, Mary Slack led in 4 of these champions for Wilgerbosdrift.
Berry Blaze got the day off to a fabulous start, coming back from a rest and running 2nd a short head in a group race – proving that her best is yet to come. The Group 1, Champions Challenge, was won by Europa Point., under an astute ride from Anthony Delpech (beating horses like Dancewiththedevil , who was thought unbeatable and Smanjemanje – who subsequently went on to run 2nd in the Vodacom Durban July).
Welwitschia found her form and dominated in the Grade 2 Camellia Stakes, while Ilha Bela, the daughter of the beloved Ilha da Vitoria, showed her class with a 6.25 length victory in the Group 2, Oaks. The day felt better than anyone could ever have hoped for, but Gorongosa proved it was not over when she put the cherry on top, but flying through to win the Group 2, Gold Bowl.
There were smiles all round as the farm team led in their home bred champion Ilha Bela, while Mary Slack, Mike De Kock, Jehan Malherbe and John McVeigh all stood proud as their foreign fillies proved themselves, and brought the trophies home. There has never been a more exciting day at Turffontein for the Wilgerbosdrift team, and we thank and salute all those who helped with the incredible success.