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Jockey Anton Marcus rode his customary well-timed finish on Hugo Hattingh’s filly Temple Grafin (7-1) to win Sunday’s the Grade 3 Umzimkhulu Stakes over 1400m from the favourite Santa Clara (33-10). Another fancied runner Silvano’s Pride finished third.

The first three past the post were all graduates of CTS Sales.

Marcus had Temple Grafin in fourth, the same number of lengths behind pacesetter Runaway Gal, and took her to the outside, near the grandstand fence, where she gradually built up to top speed with Marcus just flicking his whip. She ran on strongly to win by 0,40 lengths.

Trainer Glen Kotzen, in reference to last year’s Gr3 Debutante over 1200m, noted: “I thought Temple Grafin could have been mentioned by the on-course pundits on the strength of that win. She also finished second to the highest rated three-year-old filly in the country, Clouds Unfold, over this trip in the Grade 2 Western Cape Fillies Championship.”

He continued: “This filly never cracks a draw and we imagined she would have to go to the front from her draw but Anton Marcus then suggested instead of making it so hard on her why not give her a chance and drop her out.

Kotzen said that Temple Grafin had shown marked improvement in recent months: “Ant Mgudlwa rode Temple Grafin in work last season and he couldn’t believe how much she had matured when he saw her for the first time at Summerveld this season. She has really matured and grown bigger and stronger.”

Temple Grafin will be pointed next at the Gr2 KRA Fillies Guineas and Kotzen reckons the trip will suit her well.  “She is out of a Grey’s Inn mare who won third time out over 1900m. We just hope she cracks a draw for a change.

Bred by Fran Cowe, Temple Grafin is a R300 000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale graduate. She is by Duke Of Marmalade out of Inner Temple and has won 3 races with 2 places from 8 starts for stakes of R508 375