Recent World Sports Betting Guineas day proved a fruitful one for horses purchased and managed by Vermaak Equine.
Not only did Justin purchase both the third and fourth, Copper Mountain and Second Base respectively, in the G2 World Sports Betting Gauteng Guineas, but various other Vermaak purchased thoroughbreds made their presence felt on the big day.
Talented four-year-old True To Life showed her class when downing some very smart male rivals to land the G3 World Sports Betting Tommy Hotspur Handicap on Guineas day, while fellow buy Celestial Love put her hand up as one to follow in feature filly sprints this season. The day was perfectly finished off when the super filly Lady Of Steel came back to form for Gemma and Renier Breitenbach, the Qatar based couple who are assisted by Vermaak Equine in their racing enterprise.
All three horses are trained by Johan Janse Van Vuuren, who also conditions both Copper Mountain and Second Base.
Winner of the 2019 G3 Gauteng Tourism Authority Magnolia Handicap, True To Life picked up her sixth win when she flew up late, under a well-timed ride from Gavin Lerena, to lift the 2021 Tommy Hotspur Handicap.
After a stampede down the 1000m track, where anything had a chance in the final 200m, True To Life (33-10) grew wings from a few lengths off the pace and stormed through to nab Winter Stories (7-1) on the line, recording a time of 56.51 secs in the process.
The talented filly, who races for the Wernars family, should also make up into a wonderful broodmare when she retires to stud, with the well-bred True To Life lacking little in terms of pedigree.
Not only is she one of more than 70 black-type horses for the Drakenstein Stud based Duke Of Marmalade, but True To Life’s multiple stakes-winning dam, Mina Salaam, is a Medaglia D’Oro half-sister to
G1 Premier’s Champions Challenge winner Deo Juvente.
True To Life will likely now be aimed towards the G2 Senor Santa Stakes before a tilt at the G1 Computaform Sprint.
Lightly raced three-year-old Celestial Love (pictured below), a What A Winter filly whose dam is a half-sister to G1 Gold Cup runner up Balance Sheet, made it two wins from her last three starts when scoring over 1100m on Guineas day for owners Messrs J F & L M F Wernars & Mr H Willson & Mrs T J Wernars.
Vermaak Equine purchase the Hemel ‘N Aarde Stud-bred Celestial Love, runner up in the Listed Swallow Stakes on her penultimate start, for R120 000 at the 2019 KZN Yearling Sale, and she looks a very smart filly in her own right.
Mr and Mrs Breitenbach race the top-class filly Lady Of Steel (above) who stamped her ticket to the G1 Empress Club Stakes when she romped to a one and three quarter length win over 1400m on Guineas day.
The four-year-old daughter of boom sire Gimmethegreenlight will be bidding to emulate her own dam Fair Maiden when she lines up in the Empress Club Stakes, with Fair Maiden having won that race back in 2006.
Winner of the 2020 G3 Racing. It’s A Rush Acacia Handicap, the Lammerskraal Stud-bred Lady Of Steel has now won six of just nine starts and she looks set for bigger and better things!