South Africa's "Just Bluffing", well ridden by Patrick Mungai produced well calculated moves and killing speed to claim this years Spur Steak Ranches Kenya Derby at the Ngong Racecourse yesterday.
This did not just come by surprise. Man and horse marked the leaders as they exchanged places in an all colt show, before giving in to a "catch me if you can' race that rewarded David and Sydney Armstrong. And as the supportive crowd cheered, Richard Kibet was guiding "Pasha Sultan" trained by Joe Karari to challenging the leader in a breathtaking close finish but was left a length behind in a time of 2:37 seconds.
Even though Mungai saw this coming, he knew the tussle would be threatening. "He is well prepared and fit for the Derby" he said. The win has offered trainer Nuno Nur a debut Derby success since his start as a trainer. He says he had complete faith in this runner. In an earlier interview days before the big day, he seemed certain the Derby would be his. He had the confidence this colt could stay the course. Hot favourite, "Got A Hold On Me" Another South African landed third place while stable companion "King's Point" settled for fifth.
Earlier on, Trainer Nur had walked away with the Italian Cup through "Borodin" moments after "Star Attraction" finished third in the two-year-old classic race. This was won by the Patsy Sercombe trained "Soski" ridden by Richard Kibet. Kibet registered his double on "Fieldfare" for trainer Karari. She collected a treble in general. In another great race "Roxane" gave a superb run to win "The Usiku Kenya Gold Cup" for the George Drew Challenge Series, making it a double for trainer Oliver Gray. This stayer picked up from the half mark and maintaned a strong lead all the way home in 3.33.4 seconds. A great day of racing enjoyed by all.
The Alfajiri Breeding Futurity Stakes-(The Mervyn Ridley Challenge Cup) 1000m: Winner Soski Rider: Richard Kibet Trainer: Patsy Sercombe Distance: 4 1/4. 2.Russian Flame (Lesley Sercombe). 3.Star Attraction (Paul Kiarie)
The Asubuhi Italian Cup 1800m: 1. Borodin Rider (Patrick Mungai) Nuno Nur. Distance: 7. 2.Tiffany Blue (Josephat Kultiang). 3. Vidyavann (Jacob Lokorian)
The Mchana Handicap 1600m:1 Fieldfare (R Kibet) :Joe Karari Distance: 1 1/4. 2. Kijito (Jacob Lokorian). 3. Hot Desert (Henry Muya)
The Alasiri Arkle Trophy 1800m:1 Jamiesons Run (James Muhindi) Oliver Gray. Distance. 2. Revolution (Charles Mwangi). 3. Redfella (J Lokorian)
The Adhuhuri Handicap 1400m:1. Mpowered Mpire (SA) (Le Sercombe) Patsy Sercombe.Distance: 6. 2. Makubazi (Josephat Kultian). 3. Popaway (David Miri). 3.Ernamos (J Muhindi)
The Spur Steak Ranches Kenya Derby 2400m 1.Just Bluffing (SA) (P Mungai) Nuno Nur Distance: 1. 2. Pasha Sultan (Richard Kibet). 3. Got A Hold On Me (SA) (J Muhindi).
The Magharibi MAIDEN 1200m: 1 Westonian (SA) (Le Sercombe) Patsy Sercombe Distance: 5 1/4. 2. Wonnitestand (David Miri). 3. Royal Sioux (Henry Muya)
The Usiku Kenya Gold Cup ( George Drew Challenge Series) 3200m: 1. Roxanne (J Lokorian) Oliver Gray Distance: 13. 2. Skeleton Coast (SA) (P Mungai). 3. Century Lights (ZIM) (J Muhindi)