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          – Written by Mark van Deventer

“I can’t believe she was just a one- time winner going into this race, she’d been placed three times in Grade 1 races,” said trainer Glen Kotzen after filly, Hold My Hand finally, and deservedly, cracked her second career win from 15 starts in the Summer Fling Stakes, a G3 over 2000m at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth.


“Richard (Fourie) gave her a lovely ride,” commented Kotzen. Fourie has now been onboard at both her victories and his decision to make a mid-race move and get her somewhat closer to the pace cut out by Royal Invitation and Virginia Sweet proved tactically sound.


Hold My Hand came into the race with by far the highest OMR of 108 but her tendency to only get underway when it’s too late gave even her staunchest supporters cause for concern.


Fourie found the strategic solution. “She’s got a high cruising speed and I wanted to put her in the race earlier so that she would not have too much work to do.” explained the jockey. Indeed, Hold My Hand accelerated nicely once positioned between horses in the straight (running the final 400m in 24,2 seconds) and kept on to win by half a length from 25/1 rank outsider, Future Girl, who had stalked the 9/10 hot favourite and ran gamely at her first run back after a 134 day pause.


Afterwards, Kevin Sommerville from Drakenstein Stud, who have been savouring a purple patch, paid tribute to Kotzen Racing, noting that whilst Hold My Hand has tons of ability, she is not an easy filly to train.


Hold My Hand, by Gold Standard out of the Holy Roman Emperor mare Fly To The Moon, can now add a G3 victory to her resume, after placing in the Oaks, SA Fillies Guineas and Woolavington during the KZN winter season. Broadway Girl who progressed down the inner and Supreme Dream rounded out the order of finish, but they were 2.4 and 2.7 lengths back at the wire.





📸 Images Chase Liebenberg