Ridgemont Highlands’ leading young sire Rafeef was the toast of Turffontein racecourse on Saturday afternoon when his promising son William Robertson ran out a courageous winner of the G3 Tony Ruffel Stakes (1400m), while accounting for some of Gauteng’s most promising three-year-olds.
Trained by Corne Spies, the Ridgemont Highlands bred gelding looked a leading contender for Saturday’s R250 000 feature for three-year-olds, and William Robertson lived up to expectations with a breath taking win.
Under Ryan Munger, William Robertson jumped away well and went out to make the running, with Pyromaniac and Noble Striker racing just off the pace.
The Rafeef colt appeared beaten 300m from home, as stablemates Outofthedarkness and Prince Of Fire (also paternal half-brothers) settled down to fight out the finish.
However, Munger managed to extricate more from William Robertson, and, despite hanging in the closing stages, the latter managed to get back up and force his head down where it mattered most, with William Robertson claiming his first graded win by a short head.
A game second over 1160m last time out, William Robertson landed the 2022 Tony Ruffel Stakes in a time of 86.46 seconds. Outofthedarkness finished second, and was a neck clear of tote favourite Prince Of Fire, with Super Excited back in fourth spot.
Now a three time winner from seven starts, William Robertson was a R500 000 buy from the 2020 National 2YO Sale.
The first graded stakes winner for Rafeef, William Robertson (third in last season’s G1 Premiers Champion Stakes) is out of the three time winning Trippi mare Massachusetts-a full-sister to short-lived CTS Million Dollar winner Illuminator.
Image: JC Photos