Hall of Fame
Just five fillies have won the Cape Guineas. Of those, just two also won the Met – Empress Club and Renounce. Nearly three decades separate their achievement, which goes some way to giving perspective to the difficulty factor of pulling off this double.
Without even looking at Renounce’s track record, one simply has to read Champion jockey Stanley Amos’ assertion that “she was the greatest filly I ever rode”. For a jockey who rode thousands of horses in his 40-year career, that is quite a statement to make.
The first signs of her genius were displayed midway through her two-year-old season in the JWS Langerman Handicap, in which she took on colts, carrying top weight, and streaked away to win by 4.5 lengths.
As a three-year-old, her Cape summer season was simply sensational. On 16 January she won a prep race over 1400m by seven lengths. Five days later she won the Paddock Stakes by five lengths. And, if this wasn’t already sufficient achievement for one season, 16 days later she won the Cape Guineas by over three lengths. The runners-up included the mighty William Penn.
The following January, as a four-year-old, she once again recorded a spectacular hat trick. First up was the same 1400m prep she’d won as a three-year-old. Two weeks later she won the Met. For good measure, a week later she again won the Paddock Stakes, this time by eight lengths.
Less generously weighted in handicaps for the rest of the season than she was in the Met, she ran several highly creditable places. Against her own sex, at weight-for-age, in the Garden Province Stakes, she streaked to an eight-length victory.
Renounce defended her title in the following year’s Met, running a smashing second under 120 lbs, conceding 11 lbs to the narrow winner. Also in that year’s Met under big weights were Sea Cottage and Java Head, who were beaten 2.5 and 5 lengthsrespectively. Both of these were great runs at the weights, and serve to illustrate the quality of athletes against which Renounce was competitive.
Thoroughpedia (Oscar Foulkes)