The real power of Millard’s July hand was revealed when he sent out the unbeaten American-bred colt Fools Holme for the Gr1 Schweppes Challenge over Clairwood's 1600m. It was the colt's first race in more than seven months after having been sidelined through injury the week of the J&B Met, for which he had been the ante-post favourite.
An odds-on favourite for the sixth time in seven South African starts, Fools Holme looked a little above himself in the parade, yet was forward enough to take on a classy field of milers and in the end, carry far too many guns for them.
One of the smartest into stride, he was eased back into third spot on the paint as Rise and Rule went out to his customary position at the head of affairs, with Queen’s Plate winner Yamani among the backmarkers. This remained the order round the turn. Coming off the false rail Felix Coetzee sent Fools Holme between Rise and Rule and Bodrum to challenge for the lead. At the four hundred it was all over, the favourite extending his advantage to the best part of three lengths at the line.
Despite raving comments from most commentators, the Schweppes was not a true indication of Fools Holme’s ability. It was a false run race where Fools Holme raced handy behind pacemaker Rise and Rule, who set a somewhat sedate pace. Coetzee made his move quite early to score a comfortable win in slowish time. Mauritzfontein was second, ahead of Rise and Rule, who does not really stay a mile, but who beat champion miler Yamani for third - the latter had raced too far out and with the slow pace simply failed to make up ground.
Prior to the Schweppes Challenge, Fools Holme had earned a paltry R30.506 from his previous six wins, but less than two minutes after the pens were sprung, this had rocketed to R153 006.
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