Horse Chestnut Stakes success for Pathfork

Sandown Stud’s increasingly successful sire Pathfork is having an excellent season in 2023-2024 and the champion son of Distorted Humor enjoyed yet more big race success when his three-year-old son Main Defender downed a top-class field to win the G1 Wilgerbosdrift H F Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes (1600m) at Turffontein on Saturday.

Trained by Tony Peter, Main Defender had finished an unlucky third last time out but bounced back to winning ways when he captured Saturday’s R1 500 000 feature.

Under Calvin Habib, the gelding unleashed a wicked turn of foot which saw Main Defender pull clear in the closing stages to claim his biggest win to date by an emphatic two and three-quarter lengths.

In the process, Main Defender accounted for six G1 winners led by reigning Horse Of The Year Princess Calla.

Bred by Jagessar Limited, Main Defender has now won seven of just nine starts, with Main Defender having already won four graded races.

As well as the 2024 Horse Chestnut Stakes, the Pathfork has also won the G2 Betway Joburg Spring Challenge, G3 Betway Graham Beck Stakes, and G3 Betway Got The Greenlight Stakes this season.

Main Defender, who is out of the Judpot mare Alessia, was an R140 000 purchase from the 2022 Cape Yearling Sale.

He joins G1 Betway Summer Cup winner Royal Victory as a G1 winner this season for his sire Pathfork, Ireland’s Champion 2YO Colt of 2010.

From the family of El Gran Senor, Northern Guest, and Redoute’s Choice, Pathfork is also the sire of speedy G1 winners Mighty High (Allan Robertson Championship) and Pearl Of Asia (Mercury Sprint).