Sporting Post: Glen Kotzen didn’t have a major arsenal of July Day ammunition but the Paarl-based conditioner picked his battles well. He had the Varsfontein-bred Judpot filly Final Judgement tuned to the minute and she showed terrific ability to lead all the way and cause the surprise in the R600 000 Gr2 Golden Slipper.
Kotzen has been down the Golden Slipper road before with Lady Windermere (2009) and Princess Victoria (2012) his recent successes in a race that is inevitably a precursor for better things to come – and what we saw from Final Judgement on Saturday, she looks one for the notebook.
Unlike the colts’ equivalent, the fairer sex contest had a few Group performers in the ranks and none less so than the Judpot filly Maleficent, who had caught the eye with a smooth course and distance win in the Listed Devon Air Stakes just three weeks earlier.
Backed into the red and considered the day’s exotic banker, Maleficent was in the box seat and beautifully placed for much of the 1400m trip by Weichong Marwing.
She was three lengths adrift of the longstriding Final Judgement on whom Stuart Randolph had grabbed the initiative from a 1 draw and led her field.
Into the straight, Final Judgement showed her character with a fighting display as she ground on relentlessly and withstood all challenges to hold a flying Dawn Calling to a head in a time of 83,22secs.
The runner-up ran a cracker and looks to be a very decent daughter of Trippi.
As does Dennis Drier’s Philanthropist filly Sail, who ran on best of the rest for third, with Gr1 Alan Robertson placer Visuality not disgraced in fourth.
Maleficent could do no better than fifth and simply failed to reproduce her good effort when running green but winning the Devon Air Stakes so well.
Final Judgement had actually been beaten 5,25 lengths in the Devon Air by Maleficent but comprehensively turned the tables here, going off at 20-1.
A thrilled Glen Kotzen said that he had been ‘lucky with Judpots’.
“Hugo Hattingh didn’t want to buy fillies at the sale but when she came up, she was difficult to resist. He and Peter de Beyer went in together and they have a really nice 3yo filly in the making!”
Interestingly Peter de Beyer also owned shares in both previous Kotzen Golden Slipper winners.
Jockey Stuart Randolph conceded that the favourable pole position draw had made all the difference and said that Final Judgement had showed the benefit of her track experience.
Final Judgement was bred by Varsfontein Stud and is yet another progressive daughter of Judpot. She is out of the eight time winning Proclaim mare, Final Claim. The dam won the 1997 Gr1 Garden Province Stakes.
She was purchased on the inaugural Val De Vie Yearling Sale for R500 000.
Final Judgement has now won 2 races with 3 places from 6 starts for total stakes of R469 500.
This excludes the BSA Added Value Stakes Bonus of R102 500.
Final Judgement’s victory would have made up for the disappointment of Woodhill Racing’s Shizam’s late withdrawal from the KZN Yearling Sale Million a few races later.