Cape gelding Lord Randolph, the first horse to beat the flying Sunera (GB) in South Africa, had run three seconds in important sprints during the Natal season – twice to The Barbican in the Corcord Stakes (Gr3) and Stewards Cup (Gr3) and once to Bold West in the Grade 1 Gilbey’s Stakes. He enjoyed a change of fortune when just too good for a smart field of speedsters in the Grade 1 weight-for-age Natal Mercury Sprint over 1200m at Clairwood.
The Barbican raced to his customary position at the head of affairs and was still in front 200 out at which stage a number of runners closed with him in a desperate scramble for top honours. Lord Randolph shot into the lead and then had to withstand a strong late drive from King Kaul to win by a short-head with The Barbican a neck back. Merchants winner Enforce grabbed the minor placing with only 5 lengths covering the first 9 across the line.
Twelve months earlier it was Lord Randolph and King Kaul, second and third respectively, who chased Sunera home in this race. Bred by the De Clercqs at their Zevenbergen Stud, Lord Randolph, by Harry Hotspur out of Hospitality (USA) mare Party Hostess (USA), a family which goes back to Lancashire Oaks (Gr3) winner Irristable, was a R42 000 purchase at the 1983 National Yearling Sales. The six-year-old gelding has now won 11 races and R233 060 for Laurie and Jean Jaffee.
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