Super Saturday for Rafeef

Ridgemont’s top-class stallion Rafeef was the toast of Turffontein on Saturday with the 2017 G1 Computaform Sprint responsible for both Saturday’s G1 Jonsson Workwear Computaform Sprint winner Thunderstruck and G2 Wilgerbosdrift Bridget Oppenheimer SA Oaks winner Frances Ethel.

Another G1-winning son of Rafeef, Aragosta, finished third in Saturday’s G1 World Pool Premier’s Champions Challenge, with the Ridgemont sire’s son Positive Attitude running second in Saturday’s Listed 4Racing Caradoc Gold Cup.

Thunderstruck became Rafeef’s second Computaform Sprint when he won on Saturday, with Rafeef’s son Master Archie having landed the Computaform Sprint back in 2022. (Both Thunderstruck and Master Archie were produced by daughters of Var).

Trained by Sean Tarry, four-year-old Thunderstruck was produced by Richard Fourie with a storming late run on Saturday, which saw the pair get up to win the 2024 G1 Jonsson Workwear Computaform Sprint a shade cosily.

Bred by Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm, Thunderstruck had won the G2 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes prior to his win on Saturday, with the Rafeef having also claimed the G1 Gold Medallion in 2022.

Thunderstruck, who has now won seven of 17 starts, was originally bought for R1 000 000 from the 2021 National Yearling Sale before his current connections bought him back for R1 241 000 at the 2022 May Online Auction.

Rafeef’s versatility as a stallion was underlined on Saturday with Thunderstruck scoring over 1000m and Frances Ethel victorious in the Wilgerbosdrift Bridget Oppenheimer SA Oaks over 2450 metres.

Progressive three-year-old Frances Ethel made it four wins from five starts when she claimed Saturday’s G2 SA Oaks. Under Kabelo Matsunyane (who has ridden in four of her five starts), the three-year-old powered home to claim the third leg of the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara in style, with Frances Ethel putting a length and three-quarters between herself and runner-up My Soul Mate.

Bred by Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein, Frances Ethel had won the Listed Ormond Ferraris Oaks Trial before Saturday’s Oaks triumph.

Frances Ethel, out of the Fort Wood mare Daphne Garland, was a R160 000 buy from the 2022 KZN Yearling Sale.

Rafeef also gained another important update to his female line when his close relative Celestial Legend won the G1 The Star Doncaster Mile on Saturday.

Out of Rafeef’s three-parts sister Sarraqa, Celestial Legend (by Dundeel) made it back-to-back G1 wins when landing the Doncaster Mile. Trained by octagenarian Les Bridge, the 3-year-son of Dundeel scythed between runners from near the tail of the field to defeat Godolphin’s Street Boss gelding Pericles by three-quarters of a length with a short-half-hed back to another 3-year-old son of Dundeel, Militarize, in third.

Coming off wins in the G2 Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill and the G1 Randwick Guineas, the Bon Ho colourbearer, whose granddam is South African champion National Colour, advances his record to four wins and two seconds from eight starts with earnings of $3,390,825.

South Africa’s Leading First Season Sire of 2020-2021, Rafeef is having another wonderful season in 2023-2024 with his flagbearers also including the graded stakes winners Mover And Shaker and Mrs Browning.

The son of Redoute’s Choice has an top-class draft on offer at the 2024 National Sale with Rafeef’s draft including a colt (Lot 157) out of G1 Golden Slipper winner Gilded Minaret, a half-sister (Lot 197) to G3 Three Troikas Stakes winner Sprinkles, and a half-sister (Lot 228) to graded stakes winners Magico and Magical Wonderland.