KENILWORTH, SOUTH AFRICA (January 11, 2014) – Beach Beauty, winner of the Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes (G1) and Capetown Noir, who captured the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) at Kenilworth Race Track on Saturday became the first two horses to earn automatic starting positions in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series.
Now in its eighth year, the Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive an automatic starting berth and paid entry fees into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
The Shanks Syndicate’s Beach Beauty (SAF), a 7-year-old Dynasty (SAF) mare, earned an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, by successfully defending her 2013 title in the Paddock Stakes with a 1 ¼ length victory over In the Fast Lane (SAF) in the 1 1/8 mile turf race for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up. Trained by Dennis Drier and ridden by Sean Cormack, the 22-21 favored Beach Beauty defeated 13 rivals in registering her 13th career victory. She was recently third in the Lanzerac Le General Green Point Stakes (G2) at about one mile on the turf on November 23 at Kenilworth.
In the Queen’s Plate one race later, Khaya Stables’ Capetown Noir, the 5-1 second choice, drew clear in the stretch to defeat the even-money favored Jackson (SAF) by 1 ¼ lengths and grabbed an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The Southern Hemisphere 4-year-old by son of US sire Western Winter, trained by Dean Kannemeyer and ridden by Karl Neisius, won his second race this season, following a fifth place in Green Point Stakes last November to stablemate Ice Machine, who was 12th today.
Following the race, Neisius told the Racing Post: "I was always confident, I got exactly where I wanted to be and in the straight I kept my eye on Jackson. I quickened past him and everything worked out perfectly."
Capetown Noir, the 2013 Cape Award winner as the top 3-year-old, now has seven career wins.