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Temple Grafin Upsets Garden Province Field

Trainer Glen Kotzen enjoyed notable success at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday when he saddled longshot Temple Grafin (40-1) to score a surprise win in the G1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes (1600m).

The four-year-old filly had finished fourth in last year’s Garden Province Stakes but had finished a well-beaten seventh in the G2 Tibouchina Stakes last time out and was expected by many to struggle to best the likes of Celtic Sea and Clouds Unfold.

Last year’s winner Celtic Sea (47-20) went off to set a slow pace, as Clouds Unfold was dropped out to the back of the field.

The defending champion kept going gallantly in the straight but was quickly challenged by G3 Poinsettia Stakes/G3 Prix du Cap winner Pretty Young Thing (14-1) and Temple Grafin.

It was the latter, under a strong ride by Keagan De Melo, who found most in the finish, with Temple Grafin running on to land her first G1 win by nearly three-parts of a length.

Celtic Sea showed tremendous courage to fight back for second, after making much of the running, with Pretty Young Thing claiming third spot, while finishing less than a length off the winner.

Now owned by the Wernars family after being secured privately by Vermaak Equine, the four-year-old Fran Cowe bred filly claimed the 2020 Garden Province Stakes in a time of 97 seconds.

Winner of the G3 The Debutante at two and G3 Umzimkhulu Stakes the following year, Temple Grafin has now won four of 17 races for earnings of R918250 and will head to stud this season where she will be covered by the Bush Hill Stud-based New Predator, a G2-winning, G1 placed son of New Approach.

A R300 000 buy from the 2017 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, Temple Grafin is one of 44 stakes winners sired by the Drakenstein Stud base Duke Of Marmalade – the Cartier Champion Older Male of 2008.

Images: Candiese Lenferna Photography