Clairwood 14th July: Favourite backers got off to a nice start at the garden course on Saturday when PROTEST SONG (19) did the business in the opening workrider’s event over 1200m. Close to the speed throughout, the lightly raced son of Silvano took up the running as they approached the 200m pole and comfortably accounted for the much more experienced SANGREAL by two and a quarter.
There were a number of easy victories on the afternoon and none more so than that of BLACK TOGA (55) who made it three wins from four outings in the Juvenile Plate over 1450m. Taken straight to the front by champion jockey Anton Marcus, the son of Black Minnaloushe led throughout. He was always in command and cruised in by four despite being eased down in the latter stages.
The Gr1 Mercury Sprint over 1200m topped the bill and here it was nice to see the Western Winter colt WHAT A WINTER (109) find his best form. Confidently ridden by the talented Bernard Fayd’Herbe, What A Winter sat fourth for most of the journey. He quickened in good style going through the 500m and after striking the front 200m later he easily accounted for the recent Gr1 Golden Horse Casino Sprint winner DELAGO DELUXE by two and three quarters.
The final event on the card was a maiden 1900m and well supported when winning here was the Pissaro colt GOOD IDEA (38). Backed into 15/2 from 12/1 at the track, Good Idea was always positioned very close to the speed. He was asked to take up the running at the 200m marker and kept on strongly late to beat the costly to follow favourite SARATOGA MAGIC (5/2 into 17/10) by a length and a half.
Newcomer UMBRELLA THORN ran on well from the rear and had some good sorts behind him when finishing runner up to the talented Black Toga in the juvenile plate over 1450m.
Back On Track
Turffontein 15th July: They raced on the old stand side track on Sunday where the first of three favourites to arrive was PEANUTS (21) in the maiden event over 1000m. The son of Var got away well when the gates opened and soon up handy raced prominent throughout. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and with the rest well beaten he comfortably accounted for the well supported second favourite NATIONAL KEY (11/2 into 4/1) by a length and a half.
The best bet on the card for most was MEISSA (36) in the maiden 1600m and he didn’t let down his supporters. Runner up to the subsequent July fourth placed runner ETON SQUARE on debut in his penultimate start, Meissa raced fifth for most of the journey. He quickened well when asked for his effort shortly after passing halfway and after striking the front 450m from home, the 9/10 favourite went on to score easily by four and a half.
Another to win well in the maiden ranks on this card was BEE KEEPER in the 1600m event for 2yos. He raced in midfield early on and won going away from the favourite IMPRESA after putting his nose in front 150m out.
A MR88 Handicap over 2000m topped the bill and here it was nice to see the 3yo MAIN DANE bounce back to form. Allowed to drift right out to 13/2 from 3/1 favourite on course as money came for the top weight S‘IL VOUS PLAIT (33/10 into 15/10 fav), Main Dane raced eighth of the nine for the vast majority of the trip. Once in the long home straight though he quickly made his way through the field and after getting the better of the money horse 100m from home, he went on to score comfortably by a length
RADIANT WISDOM caught the eye running on well from the rear in her previous outing and she again finished strongly after taking a while to get going in the girl’s division of the maiden juvenile 1600m here.
The Right Way
Scottsville 17th July: A maiden juvenile plate over 1200m got proceedings underway in Natal on Tuesday and here Anton Marcus was on the mark when the favourite YOU’RE AMAZING (9) did the business. Allowed to ease out to 13/10 from 8/10 at the track as money came in the main for HUNTING BLUES (4/1 into 3/1), the daughter of Dylan Thomas was soon up handy. She was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and despite racing very green she beat the money horse fair and square by a length and a quarter.
In terms of distance the easiest victory on the card was recorded by the well tried DICHOTOMA (21) when opening his account in what was a rather moderate looking maiden event over 2400m. Confidently ridden by Jarred Samuel, Dichotoma raced sixth of the eight for most of the journey. He began to take closer order early in the home straight and drew clear easily to score by five and three quarters after striking the front 200m out.
Another to win particularly well on this card was the aptly named SHOWMETHEWAY (74) who came home smoking in the MR74 affair over 1000m. Always in touch with the leaders, Mark Dixon’s charge quickened well from halfway and with plenty in hand he won going away after striking the front 170m from home.
A MR91 Handicap over 1600m topped the bill and here we saw a nice performance from the improving PESSOA (60). On leaving the stalls it was the favourite ALWAYS AL who elected to make the running and he soon had the field well strung out. The well supported Pessoa raced second though and was always travelling well. He made his move as they approached the 200m marker and with the rest some nine lengths adrift, he got up nicely late to win going away by three quarters.
66/1 shot MISS MIRREN ran on well from the rear when fourth to You’re Amazing in the maiden juvenile event over 1200m.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Race 1: (14) Flashing Star 22 (NAP*)
Race 2: (2) Grande Alado 14
Race 3: (4) Air Pocket 40
Race 4: (7) Kwacha 64
Race 5: (3) Welsh Kitten 44
Race 6: (6) Placido 61
Race 7: (9) Gun Point 71
Race 8: (4) Davie Bowy 54
Race 9: (16) Tribal Party 18
Race 1: (14) Tobe’s Jet 21
Race 2: (10) True Imperium 14
Race 3: (13) Levanto 11
Race 4: (1) Variometer 70
Race 5: (4) Mannequin 80
Race 6: (10) Napoleon Dynamite 71
Race 7: (9) Caryl’s Law 74 (EW)
Race 8: (14) Acquiesce 62
Race 1: (4) Celestial Wind 15
Race 2: (7) Lee Time 6
Race 3: (1) Beulah 18
Race 4: (8) Man From Japan 40
Race 5: (3) Luno 68
Race 6: (3) Miss K 47
Race 7: (12) Count My Luck 63
Race 8: (16) Shepherds Purse 20 (NAP*)
Race 1: (12) Radiant Wisdom 20
Race 2: (1) House Of Wax 75
Race 3: (1) Shadow Mode 15
Race 4: (6) Lucky Gambler 12
Race 5: (6) Venture 62 (NAP*)
Race 6: (9) Come With Me 75
Race 7: (11) Penny Fare 48
Race 8: (8) Thunderball 36
Race 9: (1) Midnight Cat 37
Top rated winners last week included
Kirtling Towers won 11/2
Princess Rue won 11/2
Virgil Cane won 75/20
Oh So Easy won 3/1
Firm Approach won 19/10
Gemmayze Steet won 17/10
What A Winter won 14/10
Peanuts won 1/1
Umbrella Thorn (C Laird, KZN)
What A Winter (M Bass, KZN)
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Clairwood 14th July Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) What A Winter Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Black Toga Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) Good Idea
Turffontein 15th July Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Peanuts Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Meissa Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) Main Dane
Scottsville 17th July Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Showmetheway Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Pessoa Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Dichotoma