Jockey Sean Veale is a real competitor and his ride to get the better of Champion Anton Marcus in the sixth race was the highlight of the Greyville night meeting . Veale’s body language as his mount hit the line spoke of professional satisfaction at its’ optimum.
Marcus produced an uncharacteristic blank scoresheet from his seven rides and Veale spoilt the party just when things were looking up for him. The national statistics reflect that Veale trails Marcus by over 100 winners, but the great leveller of the individual moment proved again that every dog has his day.
Returning from a seven month rest, Marcus had Dennis Drier’s Kruger Rand out in a flash from his rails draw in the 1400m MR 79 Handicap and the son of Goldkeeper looked a likely winner at the 100m meter marker.
Veale had other ideas, however, and he got stuck into Yogas Govender’s Petite Master, who took off late from about five lengths off to catch Marcus and win going away by a half length and starting at 20-1. Veale punched the air in obvious delight. Petite Dane is lightly raced and the Plattner home-bred has illustrious parentage. He is by Jet Master out of the ten-time winning Danehill Petite Dane. His prior form has not been impressive, but he could improve.
Govender ‘s jockeys did him proud on the night, and Apprentice Donovan Dillon produced the stable double when winning the very next race on the Joshua Dancer six year old Posh Josh. The1400m MR 97 Handicap hosted a very competitive bunch, but Dillon rode a polished balanced race without the whip to hold the well-backed Brown Penny and longtime pacesetter Always Al. Posh Josh was winning his eighth race from 27 starts,and is a solid handicapper who invariably puts his best foot forward.
Glen Kotzen trained a confidence-boosting double on the evening. He opened the programme in the Maiden Juvenile Plate run over a mile. The enormous Victory Moon two year old Victory Cruise, who was confidently ridden by Sean Cormack, won his second outing at 11-2. He beat the Vaughan Marshall-trained favourite 16-10 favourite Act Fast, who should not be long in winning. Victory Cruise weighs all of 596kgs and Kotzen admitted that the Suncoast Ready To Run graduate had repeatedly caught his eye. He got him cheap too at just R80 000.
Victory Cruise scored a promising win as he had run three deep from his thirteen draw and he looks very promising indeed. Bred by Bruce Campbell, he is out of the Coastal mare Cruise Line,and thus should be even better over a bit more ground.
Kotzen then provided punters with a ready-made banker in the fourth race, a Maiden Plate run over 1900m. The Australian-bred The Real Nick started at 19-10 and Cormack had him settled in midfield some five lengths off the pacemaking Tough Takkie. He bounded clear down the inside as they swung for home and his long stride to carried him to an easy 2,25 length win in an admittedly weak looking race.
The Real Nick was winning at his sixth race and looks the sort that will improve into his four year old year. He is by Fusaichi Pegasus out of the Gone West mare, Western Hour. Jockey Cormack explained afterwards that the colt was a ‘real handful’ and that he wouldn’t be perturbed if the win was rewarded with gelding. He runs in the toyal blue, yellow and red of the Tripple H Trust and Hugo Hattingh and his wife Suzanne were on course to enjoy the moment.
A slow pace spoilt the spectacle of a good contest in the much anticipated second race, a Progress Plate over 1800m. Dean Kannemeyer’s Taipan was expected to cement his Vodacom Durban July aspirations but the go-slow put paid to that. Whiteline Fever led for the first 800m but Sean Veale commendably took the initiative and bounced the rather moderate five year old Trumpet Call into a big lead at the 1000m marker. This was the first inkling of a race and Veale had his colleagues paying attention as he streaked away.
Trumpet Call folded in the run for home and Bernard Fayd’herbe sent the former SA Classic winner English Garden for home and the son of Camden Park kept at it to beat Whiteline Fever and Rio Carnival. As a three year old, Taipan had it all to do, but was not disgraced in running a 2,65 length fourth.
English Garden has won four from seventeen for stakes of R2 040 000, but it takes a brave man to back him as he has his problems.
The R125 000 Listed Dahlia Plate run over 1200m was the feature event at Fairview and it proved another highlight for high-riding Avontuur stallion Var.
Allowed to start at a very generous 28-1, the Gavin Smith-trained Le Var was always up in the vanguard and he stayed on best under Francois Herholdt to win by 1,50 lengths in 69,62 seconds.
The favourite, Justin Snaith’s Cape visitor Terminator, who was receiving 3kgs from the winner stayed on best of the rest. He should be a hot order next time he lines up for a maiden race.
Le Var is owned by Messrs J Beukman and DS Durant and was bred by Mr Beukman. He is out of the two-time winning Western Winter mare Winter Parade
He is a R200 000 National Yearling Sale graduate. He has now won 2 of his four starts for total stakes of R125 625 and has earned every time he has gone racing.