Skip to main content

Saturday’ Gr1 Golden Horse Medallion over 1200 at Scottsville saw a repeat of June’s Godolphin Barb Stakes over 1100m when CTS graduates Tempting Fate (3-1) and Pray For Rain (15-1) stepped up a notch in class again, to fill the first two places.

The difference was that this was a significantly stronger field and, in addition, the hard-galloping colt Tempting Fate won with more authority.

Tempting Fate, moving beautifully near the standside rail throughout, was taken to the middle of the track to challenge the fast and free-striding Pray For Rain over the last 300m.

Pray For Rain shifted in and onto Tempting Fate with 200m to run, but the latter literally bumped him out of the way and ran on by to win in decisive fashion. Pray For Rain, not disgraced considering the powerhouse he had to deal with, stayed on for second ahead of Laying Up (22-1) and the 2-1 favourite, Erik The Red, who was under early pressure and can be forgiven in what looked to have been a below-par run first time at the Pietermaritzburg track.

However Erik The Red, even at his very best, would have battled to beat trainer Dennis Drier’s runner and jockey Sean Veale exclaimed: “Tempting Fate gives me gooseflesh every time I get on his back. He is the best horse I’ve ever ridden.”

This was a record eighth success in the Medallion for the veteran trainer and probably one of his finest. “This is unbelievable,” said Drier, shaking his head.

Tempting Fate was the single horse Drier had marked down as a ‘must-have’ at the 2019 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, but, when the bidding became spirited and he was about to put his hand down, owner Brian Airey urged him not to let up.

Drier eventually secured Tempting Fate at R550,000 and Airey put together a syndicate to pay for him – adding David Abery, Eric Buhr and Mark Currie to the partnership.

Drier trained both Tempting Fate’s sire Master Of My Fate and his dam Miss October, and he said about breeders, Avontuur Stud: “My word, I’ve been so lucky off that farm, it’s amazing!”

Tempting Fate, unbeaten in three starts, shows a stakes return of R312,000. Pray For Rain, a R425,000 Avontuur-bred from the same sale, has pushed his earnings to R135,625, with plenty of success ahead in his own career.