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De Kock has a Breeders’ Cup 2020 contender in Queen Supreme

By January 24, 2020No Comments

Mauritzfontein Ltd, Mrs. M F de Kock and partners’ Queen Supreme (IRE) powered past pacesetter Castellano (SAF) to win the Saturday’s Cartier Paddock Stakes (G1) by 2 ½ lengths at South Africa’s Kenilworth Racecourse, earning a trip to the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Trained by Mike de Kock, who saddled 2015 Kentucky Derby contender Mubtaahij, Queen Supreme is a chestnut daughter of Exceed and Excel (AUS) out of Call Later by Gone West. She made up seven lengths on Castellano between the third and second furlong markers to cruise home a winner, completing the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.08 over a course listed as good. Front and Centre (SAF), the 7-10 favorite, made a serious bid in the final furlong, but wound up fourth.

Connections of Queen Supreme confirmed to Josh Christian, Breeders’ Cup vice president of racing and nominations, that the filly would be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf thanks to the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.

Queen Supreme improved her record to five wins in seven starts in her first race at Kenilworth after six races at Turffontein. She broke her maiden in her first try last June, and after a defeat in a conditions handicap, reeled off four consecutive wins, including the Group 3, 1 1/8-mile Yellowwood Handicap on Nov. 2. De Kock then entered her against males in the Group 1 1 ¼-mile Summer Cup (G1) on Nov. 30, where she gave an excellent account of herself, finishing fourth, beaten just 1 ¾ lengths for it all.

One race later, Kantor, Blank, Sarkis & Yutar’s 4-year-old gelding Vardy (SAF) made a sustained bid in the final 300 yards under jockey Craig Zackey to capture Saturday’s L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) at a mile by 1 ¼ lengths over One World (SAF).

Vardy, a bay gelding by Kentucky-bred Var, out of Cupid (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF), is trained by Adam Marcus. The Queen’s Plate was Vardy’s sixth win in nine starts and his fourth victory at Kenilworth. He completed the mile in 1:37.00 over a course listed as good.

The win earned an automatic berth into the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

Now in its 13th season, the Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held this year at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., on Nov. 6-7.

As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the pre-entry and entry fees for Vardy and Queen Supreme to start in the World Championships. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a US$40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete at Keeneland. If not Breeders’ Cup eligible, the Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the pre-entry deadline of Oct. 26 to receive the rewards.

Michael F de Kock, Horse Racing Nation

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