An ecstatic Yogas Govender yesterday become the first black trainer to win the J&B Met when his horse Martial Eagle powered into first place, beating out Hill Fifty Four and leaving the favourites in his dust.

The odds on Martial Eagle were an unattractive 75/1, until he surprised everyone and took the title in yesterday’s main event at Kenilworth Racecourse.

Age didn’t seem to have any negative effect either, with the seven-year-old’s victory turning yesterday into a dream come true for Govender.

He is the first black trainer to take top honours in the J&B Met’s long and illustrious history, but also the first black person ever to be associated in any way with the winning horse.

The pair notched up fourth place in the Queen’s Plate two weeks ago, with both achievements coming during Govender’s second year as a trainer.

Govender told KwaZulu-Natal media ahead of the race that he had his sights set on a good finish. He thanked Sabine Plattner, owner of the 2003 J&B Met winner Angus, for her support over the years. - Weekend Argus reporter