Lame Excuses

Anton Marcus' rather mixed-up afternoon at Clairwood on 22 April.

R2 Skywalk Luke

Skywalker! Marcus looks pleased as he returns to the winner's box on Skywalk Luke.

Our champion jockey Anton Marcus rode two winners at Clairwood today but would probably rather have stayed in bed. Besides a botched start on the fancied Delago Deluxe in the seventh, he rode five horses that were just not striding out.

We love statistics, but this was a strange Sunday in the Marcus household. He rode nine horses at Clairwood, of which two won, one was slow away and five, yes five, were not striding out.

Anton Marcus was the most talked about man in the Stipes’ boardroom with his name plastered all over the official Stipendiary Stewards report for the day. And conspiracy theories aside, none of it was his fault.

The KZN starter has had his time being castigated by the media and he found himself in the spotlight again. Delago Deluxe started favourite for the sixth race, an MR104 Handicap over 1200m. Marcus labelled the start ‘a debacle’ and said that he had thought it was a false start as his mount had his head ‘on the ground.’

The Stipes report makes reference to this incident:

DELAGO DELUXE (AUS) : Restless in the stalls and as the start was effected he threw his head down and thereafter lost one length.

Either way, why was there not a review called and how did the champion jockey get it so wrong? Whatever the case, punters drew the short end of the stick if Marcus was correct as the three year old could not match the late finish of 25-1 shot Maliyakhe, who got the better of the rejuvenated The Shark.

Marcus managed to win two races in any event, and both for Charles Laird. Skywalk Luke, like most of the Trippi offspring that we have watched, looks a promising sort and he won the second race, a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1200m, going away. This was the Klawervlei Stud-bred’s third start.

sports coach clwd 22 apr

Bokke! Sports Coach is back to his near best to win the eighth race.

The one horse we may have expected to be not striding out on the day was Sports Coach. The Jet Master gelding has had plenty of soundness issues, but he was full of beans to win the MR88 Handicap run over 1200m. Formerly running off a merit rating of 107, shrewd punters would have given him a chance off an 86!

Let’s take a look now at five of Marcus’ rides for Charles Laird (2), Kom Naidoo, Glen Puller and Jeff Freedman.

In Race 1 :

In view of the performance of OIL GREY (A Marcus) (5,95 lengths) the Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine this filly. OIL GREY : Not striding out left hind.

In Race 5 :

Jockey A Marcus the rider of DICHOTOMA (13,35 lengths) reported this gelding took no interest in running in the latter stages.  The Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine DICHOTOMA

The Veterinary Surgeon reported: DICHOTOMA : Not striding out left hind.

In Race 6 :

Maliyakhe clw 22 apr

False start? Maliyakhe(far side) gets the better of The Shark to win the seventh race after a contentious start.

In view of the performance of BIG WINTER CHILL (A Marcus) (11,30 lengths) the Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine this gelding.  

The Veterinary Surgeon reported : BIG WINTER CHILL : Not striding out left hind.

In Race 9 :

Approaching the 800 metre mark INDIAN CONNECTION (B Lerena) shifted out slightly, carrying COUNTESS BACARDI (*J Mariba) outwards who in turn carried KHETHA (R Danielson) and PEACE PLAN (A Marcus) outwards.  This resulted in  BEAUBEZ (*K de Melo) and PEACE PLAN (A Marcus) making contact.At approximately the 200 metre mark PEACE PLAN (A Marcus) became baulked for a number of strides and thereafter Jockey A Marcus did not persevere with his ride.  The Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine PEACE PLAN

The Veterinary Surgeon reported : PEACE PLAN : Not striding out right hind

In Race 10:

Jockey A Marcus the rider of LAVISH GAL (4,00 lengths) reported this filly changing legs continuously in the latter stages.  The Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine LAVISH GAL. 

The Veterinary Surgeon reported:  LAVISH GAL : Not striding out right hind. 

Now what are the chances of an afternoon going so pear shaped?

Theories are invited via our comments box.

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  1. Marcflowers says:

    I have learnt in life thereis no such thing as a co-incidnece. 5 horses all not striding out?
    The day after 2 odds on get beat at Kenilworth.
    Soccer pools nearly as big as horse racing pools.
    The writing is on the wall – horse racing in SA dead in 10 years – to many cheats …sorry I mean co-incidences.

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