Vaal 7th August: The Paul Matchett trained KINGDOM’S KEY (8/1 into 9/2) found good support to win the opening maiden event over 1200m at Tuesday’s sand meeting and he didn’t let down his backers. On leaving the stalls it was the easy to back joint favourite LEVANTO (18/10 out to 28/10) who elected to make the running whilst Kingdom’s Key raced close up in third. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 300m marker and kept on strongly in the closing stages of the race to beat the other joint favourite RA by a length and a quarter.
The talented MR TOBIN was thrown in at the weights in the pinnacle stakes over 1600m and he too made the bookmakers reach into their satchels. Always deep in the red, Mr Tobin raced at the back of the seven for most of the journey. He quickened with all his usual zest going through the 400m and under a well judged ride from Gavin Lerena, he got up late to deny the front running FORMATION (5/1 into 7/2).
The most impressive performance of the afternoon was undoubtedly that of SILVER SPECIALIST when registering his third career victory in the MR72 Handicap over 1600m. Positioned in the rear as the sixteen strong field turned for home, Roy Magner’s charge looked to have more than enough to do. After gradually working his way through the field down the long home straight though, he produced a nice turn of foot and went on to score a lot more easily than the official winning margin of a length and a half might suggest.
Another to win with a bit in hand was FOLLOW THE PIPER in the conditions event over 1450m. Backed into 17/10 from 2/1 late, Sean Tarry’s charge was taken straight to the front by Pierre Strydom and led throughout. He was always doing it easily and was only asked for any kind of an effort when the well supported CHERRY ON THE CAKE moved within striking distance. Follow The Piper quickened well at that point though and won very comfortably by a length and a quarter.
Racing on the sand for the first time since finishing fourth in September 2009, MADE OF MAGIC won the MR72 affair over 1200m by six and three quarters with some in hand.
Pillar To Post
Turffontein 9th August: Thursday’s action took place on the inner track where victory in the opening workrider’s maiden event over 2600m went to the 6/10 favourite MISTER CAT CLUB. Soon up handy despite being a little troublesome at the start, Terry Lowe’s charge raced prominent throughout. He was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 300m marker and just had enough in hand to hold off the running on HENRY HIGGINS by the narrowest of margins.
Race three on the card was a maiden event over 1600m and here we saw a comfortable victory for the well supported favourite WOOD NYMPH. Backed into 2/1 from 33/10 at the track, the daughter of Black Minnaloushe led throughout. She kept on strongly at the business end of the race and won well from the all out HOME TREE by a length and a quarter.
The 7yo DIRECTORATE was nibbled at to win the MR85 Handicap over 1800m and he didn’t let down his supporters. Another to lead from pillar to post, the son of Jallad kept on determinedly down the short home straight and comfortably accounted for the running on SPITFIRE RUN by a length and three quarters.
A MR90 affair over 1450m topped the bill and in what proved to be a real thriller HAVANA BEAT registered his third career victory. Positioned in midfield early on, Spike Lerena’s charge made his move coming off the strip and got up in the very last stride to deny the heavily supported STAR DANCE (33/10 into 16/10).
Usually one to race up with the speed, BUGLE CALL finished best of all when running on from the rear to take third position in the MR71 Handicap over 1450m.
Arlington 10th August: First up in Port Elizabeth on Friday was a maiden event over 1000m and here we saw a comfortable victory for the favourite NUNS NARATIVE. Allowed to ease out to 33/10 from 28/10 at the track, Nuns Narative was soon up handy. She was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and went on to win well from Varuna.
Another to win well was PINE VALLEY in the novice 1400m. Always handy, Yvette Bremner’s charge was ridden to lead at the 200m marker and went on to score with some in hand from the running on COSI FAN TUTI . The runner up had raced in the rear and finished well.
The easiest victory on the card was undoubtedly that of RAIN GAL who did the business for favourite backers in the MR86 Handicap over 1400m. Nicely positioned in fourth for most of the journey, Justin Snaith’s charge was always poised to strike. She did so going through the 1400m and drew clear easily in the closing stages of the race to beat FIGURE EIGHT KNOT by three and three quarters.
The non-black type Speedsters Stakes over 1000m topped the bill and here it was nice to see THREE CAPTAINS gain an eighth career victory. Racing a little closer to the pace than he had done in recent starts, Three Captains was always perfectly placed to challenge. The bookmaker’s favourite ICEMBERG got first run and on striking the front 200m from home, he looked to have done everything right. Three Captains finished best of all below the distance though and went on to score comfortably in the end by a length and a quarter.
Heavily supported HOSTILE TAKEOVER ran on well from midfield when winning the MR69 Handicap over 1600m going away.
Turffontein 11th August: They raced on the stand side track on Saturday where a major upset was to be had in the opening workrider’s maiden event over 2000m when the friendless LIANA opened her account. Allowed to drift right out to 25/1 from 12’s at the track, Liana led throughout. She found extra when the much more fancied LUCKY GAMBLER challenged strongly 300m out and went on to score by a length.
Followers of the money were on the mark in the third though, a maiden event over 1400m when the heavily supported NEGEV did the business. Backed into 19/10 from 5’s, Louis Goosen’s charge raced prominent throughout. She took up the running as they approached the 300m marker and although the easy to back CONSERVATIONIST (28/10 out to 5/1) chased hard in the closing stages of the race, she won comfortably by three and a quarter.
With the scratching of JOANIE GEE, the 3yo JADE BAY looked like the right one in the novice 1160m and so it proved to be. Flying out of the pens as if possessed, Dominic Zaki’s charge was very quickly in command of a four lengths advantage. Both MOON OF RANGOON and DAWN LIGHT ran on strongly from midfield in the closing stages of the race, but try as they might they couldn’t get closer than a length and a half at the wire.
The best bet on the card for most was MEISSA in the graduation event over 1600m and he did comfortably land the odds. Backed into 15/20 from 11/10 at the track, Gary Alexander’s charge was always positioned close to the pace. He was ridden to lead going through the 500m and although EMPEROR AUGUSTUS and LASER BOLT both threw down determined challenges, he went on to score comfortably by a length and three quarters.
Fourth in the maiden event over 2000m, the well supported second favourite MAGIC PARCEL (9/2 into 28/10) was hampered late when running on from the rear.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Fairview Race 1: (7) Fleuriste 23 Race 2: (6) Paris Symphony 12 Race 3: (1) Syndicator 15 Race 4: (5) Annie Be Quick 60 (EW) Race 5: (4) Sudden Surprise 44 Race 6: (6) Indian Hawk 87 Race 7: (1) Fabiani 71 (NAP*) Race 8: (2) Phemba 42 Turffontein Race 1: (1) Aconcagua 7 (NAP*) Race 2: (6) Vivacious Star 78 Race 3: (1) Margot On Stage 20 Race 4: (1) Go Foxy 31 Race 5: (9) Miesques Breeze 26 Race 6: (1) Deliver The Power 83 (nb) Race 7: (5) Graphic Design 46 Race 8: (10) Yebhubhesi 57 Race 9: (11) Ferguson 45 Kenilworth Race 1: (3) Western Movie 18 Race 2: (18) Surfer Girl 16 Race 3: (2) Gooi Mielies 17 (EW) Race 4: (5) Maltese Falcon 34 Race 5: (15) Lookatmenow 24 Race 6: (12) Act With Honour 49 Race 7: (1) Lola Bud 49 Race 8: (1) Comtesse Dubois 72 Race 9: (17) Cool River 53 Race 10: (9) Disco Al 38 Scottsville Race 1: (6) Indira 7 (NAP*) Race 2: (4) Lord Al 28 Race 3: (2) Iceonic 19 Race 4: (8) Miss Filly 80 Race 5: (1) Mujaarib 62 Race 6: (5) Punta Del Este 75 Race 7: (3) Chieftan 57 Race 8: (10) Sweet Oliver 45
Top rated winners last week includedDawn Eclipse won 11/2 Pine Valley won 7/2 Nuns Narrative won 33/10 Largesse won 3/1 Hostile Takeover won 5/2 Wood Nymph won 2/1 Senator won 19/10 King Neptune won 3/10
Notebook:-Made Of Magic (St John Gray, Gauteng) Silver Specialist (R Magner, Gauteng)
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Vaal 7th August Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (3) Prime Mover Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (5) Mr Tobin Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers
Turffontein 9th August Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (1) Burnt Amber Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (6) Havana Beat Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Mister Cat Club
Arlington 10th August Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Three Captains Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (5) Rain Gal Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Drill Sargeant
Turffontein 11th August Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) La Volta Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Meissa Fastest Long 1900-3600 (3) Any Flag