This sponsored Gr1 race was dominated by Jungle Rock, a late-maturing son of twice-champion sire Jungle Cove, and Another Treat, sent up from Natal by David Payne. Coming off the victory in the Dingaans, Jungle Rock attracted strong support on course to start favourite at 33-10 with Another Treat, voted Champion Two-Year-Old last season, quoted at 7-2.
Jungle Rock was slow into stride from the outside draw in a 16-strong field, but jockey Christie Blom immediately put the big grey colt to work to make up the leeway. He circled the field, hampering several horses in the process, before settling in third place behind Whisky Bravo and Ethereal. Another Treat raced about seven lengths off the pace in midfield.
Blom shot Jungle Rock past a tiring Whisky Bravo moments after the field turned into the 500m run-in. Jungle Rock gave his supporters an anxious moment by veering left when Blom showed him the whip 300m from home, but straightened up and ran on to win by 2 ½ lengths from Another Treat, who held fast-finishing Doubly Sure out of second place by a neck.
Jungle Rock, fast becoming the most popular horse in training on the Rand, returned to a tumultuous welcome although there was barely enough room for him in the No 1 box. The Southern Sun Classic victory was Jungle Rock's fourth from eight career starts and shot his earnings to R340.290.
The Sun Classic did not have a happy ending for jockey Blom, who was found guilty of causing interference on Jungle Rock and was suspended for three weeks.
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