Soma’s CTS “cheapie’ bags Gr1 SA Classic

Soma’s CTS “cheapie’ bags Gr1 SA Classic

March 09, 2020 / 6 months ago

Soma’s CTS “cheapie’ bags Gr1 SA Classic cover image
Got The Greenlight (nearest camera), wins the SA Classic (Candiese Lenferna)

Trainer Joe Soma posted the eighth Gr1 winner of his career when his R120,000 Cape Premier Yearling Sales purchase, Got The Greenlight, reigned victorious in Saturday’s SA Classic over 1800m at Turffontein. He beat Green Laser by 0.75 lengths with Youcanthurrylove in third and Leopold fourth.  

The Gimmethegreenlight colt looked smashing on parade, yet was allowed to go off a generous 14-1 and Soma said after the race: “When I saw him in the paddock on Saturday I was very pleased, he’s maturing fast now and he looked fantastic, I had a few other trainers remarking on his good looks before the race.”

He recalled his impressions of Got The Greenlight as a yearling, saying: “He was a beautiful young horse, light in the middle, weak behind and he splayed a bit, but those are things one has to forgive sometimes when a yearling makes appeal.

“We were a bit hard on him as a two-year-old, he raced seven times and won four, and then we gave him a break into the Gauteng summer. I knew he’d start filling out as a three-year-old.”

Soma said that Got The Greenlight’s Cape trip and his below-par run in the CTS Mile on Sun Met Day would’ve been one of the factors that put punters off, though he only finished 3.3-lengths in fifth behind the winner, Count Jack.

“We had all the travel issues, one of the toughest experiences I’ve been through as a trainer. After being stuck and having to be trained in quarantine for several week, Got The Greenlight was aggressive in Cape Town, he is normally laid back and while he was well for the race, he was obviously plagued by the strange experiences leading to the race and his foreign surroundings.

“Also he raced wide and got caught in the Southeaster that day. I don’t believe the 2nd, third and fourth horses will ever beat him again.

Soma thanked jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe for a top ride on Got The Greenlight and said: “Gavin Lerena went for Shango so we had a choice between Richard Fourie and Bernard, but Richard was going to have stable commitments and I believed Bernard’s style would suit our runner.

“I was impressed with Bernard’s professional approach. When he stepped into the paddock he knew all about Got The Greenlight and had studied his form, which made our pre-race planning easy. He’s a top rider.”

Got The Greenlight is owned in partnership by Soma, Dayalan Chinsammy and Hassen Adams, who bred the colt at his Nadeson Park Stud. Soma said that their charge will probably follow the Daily News-Durban July route, always popular with trainers of high quality three-year-olds.

Soma concluded: “I spotted Gimmethegreenlight as a potential top stallion in his early days, so we were chuffed to pick up this one so cheap. We’ve bought another 11 off his offspring since, all at decent prices.”

Bred by Lammerskraal Stud, Got The Greenlight is now 5 from 10 and he’s banked R1,683-million for his owners.