There was a perception among some before Saturday’s Group 2 Charity Mile at Turffontein that the 1600m would be Barahin’s absolute minimum trip and that he wouldn’t find it easy against a few proven milers, but he proved far too good under Callan Murray for Mike de Kock. Sometimes obvious pointers are overlooked. The form book shows that Sheikh Hamdan’s Barahin had won twice over 1400m as a 2yo, once defeating his star stable companion Soqrat in the Group 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe on the tight track at Greyville. Barahin had also been fitted with a pair of blinkers and made his return to a galloping track, two other factors very much in his favour.
“The blinkers made a massive difference,” confirmed jockey Murray after steering Barahin to an easy success over Chijmes, Flying Winger and Cascapedia. “We just tracked the speed and when we turned into the straight it felt like a 5f race the way he quickened up. I just held on to him, he extended to the line impressively.” De Kock, for whom the Charity Mile was part of a sensational six winners on the day, saw this as only the beginning of big things for Barahin, who is likely to go into the Summer Cup as favourite, with his first Group One win beckoning. “Barahin has always been a nice horse, in fact he’s a proper horse. He was unlucky as a 3yo to be bumping into Hawwaam all the time. But today the rain helped him, he’s never been the greatest mover or strider.
“The sting out of the ground was fantastic for him.” Mike said he has been “threatening to cut” Barahin, but for some reason has exercised a little restraint. “He’s a Mauritzfontein-bred with a really nice pedigree,” he explained. Mike thanked Sheikh Hamdan for his ongoing support and said: “He has been an unbelievable patron for South African racing.” On the same card, the 1800m Group 3 Yellowwood Handicap was a race that was always going to be at the mercy of Exceed And Excel’s daughter Queen Supreme and she delivered in thrilling fashion, challenging 400m out before pulling clear for Murray. “I knew what I had under me,” Murray said. “Queen Supreme is very smart out of the gates and she puts herself in the race. She makes my job easier, and she’ll improve in leaps and bounds.”
De Kock, greeting his fifth winner of the day, agreed and added: “She was very impressive today, she is getting better and better. “There is nothing better than to win with mates, the partners in this filly are JJ ‘Van Tingeling’ Van der Linden, Larry Nestadt, Jessica Slack and Jehan Malherbe. We bought her in Ireland. This is what it’s all about! “Queen Supreme is headed for a Grade One. She’s Paddock Stakes and Sun Met material, she’s that good. Our next stop will probably be the Paddock Stakes, though we’ll have to deal with travelling to Cape Town which is never easy.”