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Jockey Mark Khan won his fourth G1 South African Derby with a polished display on R300,000 CTS Ready To Run purchase Hero’s Honour at Turffontein on Saturday.

That Khan managed to win Saturday’s competitive 2450m marathon after only a week back in the saddle following injury, attests to his belief in himself and his gritty talent – he kept the rank outsider going strongly to win the prestigious classic and in the process made a dream come true for two owners in the partnership.

Bruce Gardner has bred Gr1 winners – including the Triple Tiara contender Takingthepeace who was born from Bruce and wife Jo’s mare Lisa Anne – but he’d never before owned one himself. Laurence Wernars, one of the biggest owners in the land, finally cracked a major after dozens of Grade 2s and Gr3s. Both were on course and delighted to lead in Hero’s Honour with another part-owner and long-time colour-holder, Greg Sadie.

Gardner said: “Laurence put this partnership together very quickly and professionally and I am very glad for him. Thanks to Mark Khan, who has made one of the comebacks of the century!”

Trainer Gary Alexander was equal in his praise for Khan, saying: “I queried Mark’s fitness when I gave him the ride and he said, ‘Don’t worry Gary I won’t let you down. This shows what a professional he is. We go back many years, we won the Derby together in 2002 with Timber Trader.”

Alexander added: “Well done to Mick Goss and his team at Summerhill, we keep getting good horses from them.”

Khan said: “I’ve won three previous Derby’s, but this one is special. There were people who said that I wouldn’t recover to return again, but I did my best.  It was a wonderful win, I am blessed.” Summerhill Stud lost Hero’s Honour sire Await The Dawn a few years ago, but there was always going to be fireworks from his one-and-a-bit crops, including Big Bear and now the Derby winner. Hero’s Honour was bred from the Galileo mare Grail Maiden, herself a four-time winner and Listed-placed in the Kenilworth Oaks. – Turf Talk.