Famous Fillies | She's A Keeper

The first in our series at Kuda where we honour the fairer sex. Here we look at She’s A Keeper and her mother Gold Trip, after the running of the Listed KRA East Coast Cup.

Breeders often burn the midnight oil choosing names for their new-born foals and while they keep churning out the names in admirable fashion, they don’t always get it right. However, an example of someone who did is the Plettenberg Bay breeder Rob Knuppe, whose foal, born on 1 November 2016 is the aptly-named She’s A Keeper.

Race horse She's a Keeper at full gallop | Kuda

Now a five-year-old mare and herself destined for the stud farm. She’s A Keeper won her seventh time in only 14 starts when cantering home in the KRA East Coast Cup over 2000m at Hollywoodbets Greyville on 14 May. That took her career earnings to a touch over R700 000 but she will be worth her weight in gold once she retires.

She is by the sought-after sire Gimmethegreenlight, who himself was the first three-year-old in 40 years to win the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and whose most successful offspring is the five-time Grade 1 winner Got The Greenlight.

She’s A Keeper has always looked to have something special about her. She won her debut over 1200m in December 2020 and after making it five wins from six races she was thrown into last year’s Durban July, the country’s most prestigious race. There she finished 10th behind Kommetdieding, but bounced right back and won the Kuda Gold Bracelet (Grade 2) in her next start.

Race horse She's a Keeper with Jockey on her back | Kuda
Race horse She's a Keeper getting a nose rub | Kuda

She has had her share of injury and training setbacks through her career but her win in the East Coast Cup was testimony to the ability of her trainer Gareth van Zyl, while she was given a good ride by jockey Anton Marcus.

She’s A Keeper’s mother, Gold Trip, has been covered six times. Her first foal, a colt in 2014, was by What A Winter and called Sunny. Her second foal, by Silvano in 2015 was a colt named Au Some.

At that stage Drakenstein Stud were about to send her to a sale, but an African Horse Sickness outbreak saw the cancellation of the event. Knuppe, of the Missing U Syndicate, bought her and he described her “as a beauty from the day she was born. I own the share in Gimmethegreenlight so knew what I felt we needed,” he said of Gold Trip’s mating with Gimmethegreenlight.

The same mating was tried again in September 2019, but this time was unsuccessful. Which further shows that She’s A Keeper truly has lived up to her name.

Images courtesy of Chase Liebenberg

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