First Group 1 Success For Rafeef

Ridgemont Highlands’ sensational young sire Rafeef came up with his first G1 winner when Rafeef’s gelded son Aragosta won the G1 World Sports Betting SA Derby (2450m) at Turffontein on Saturday.

Aragosta also provided his red hot sire with a second graded win on Saturday with Rafeef’s son Master Archie having captured Saturday’s G3 WSB Man O’War Sprint earlier on the card.

Trained by Mike de Kock, also the trainer of Rafeef, the Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein bred Aragosta also reversed the form with Red Saxon, with the latter having beaten Aragosta into fifth place when they met in the recent G1 WSB SA Classic.

Under Richard Fourie, who was completing a rare SA Oaks/Derby double, Aragosta was given a patient ride as Derby Trial runner up Tabeuia went out to make the running.

Fancied runners Litigation and Red Saxon both failed to settle in running, while, in contrast, Aragosta relaxed well under Fourie.

As the front running Tabeuia dropped away, it was left to Zeus, winner of his first four starts and Aragosta to fight out the finish to Saturday’s SA Derby, the last leg of the South African Triple Crown, with Aragosta’s momentum carrying him past a game Zeus back in second to score by half a length.

It was another five and a half lengths back to third-place finisher London Roads.

A R220 000 buy from the 2020 National Yearling Sale, Aragosta has now won four of eight starts, having captured the G3 Sea Cottage Stakes earlier in the season.

Aragosta is out of the Galileo mare Miss Galidora, and is thus bred on a similar cross to that which produced Arrowfield Stud’s five-time G1 winning sire The Autumn Sun.