The clouds threatened but the rain stayed away from Kenilworth as the Wednesday meeting went ahead. A rather silly looking objection, a disappointing effort from two costly Mike Bass 3yo’s and another impressive display by a Mauritian apprentice were the talking points of an entertaining afternoon.
The objection by jockey Anthony Andrews in the sixth race caused a minor storm in the Tellytrack studio with legendary presenter Shaheen Shaw informing viewers that the ‘Tote’ had just phoned to say that the objection was by the second horse – not the fourth. This made little sense for those of us who had watched the race as the first two horses were miles apart.
But that’s another story. And who exactly is ‘the tote’?
Andrews was riding the favourite Lake Superior in the sixth, an MR 90 Handicap over 1200m, and there is little doubt that Cape champion apprentice Jason Smitsdorff had crossed him in the final stages – but it really looked a case of Andrews going for a gap that didn’t exist. The objection was overruled and it seemed a fair result for Bill Prestage, who trains the very smart General Assembly – who recorded his seventh win from 21 starts. A smart sort!
Prestage also trained the winner of the next race, an MR 77 Handicap, when Robert Kathi steered the Millenium Stud-bred Windrush gelding Just B Brave to an easy win. This was his second win from five starts and the R130 000 Cape Premier Sale graduate looks like training on into something rather useful.
It was a forgettable race for Mike Bass who sent out a highly vaunted Trippi coupling of Abercrombie and Paterfamilias. These two cost a total of R3,9 million between them and the Prestage warrior frankly made them look rather cheap. Abercrombie jumped slowly and Paterfamilias had no excuses. Shane Humby’s Talent Scout under Denies Lee almost caused a huge upset, while the Cape Town-PE ping pong ball Harry Hall ran his usual sterling race.
Apprentice Girish Goomamy, who rode a huge double on Saturday, got the meeting rolling and kept his excellent form on the boil when he rode a confident front-running race on the Piet Steyn-trained Albert’s Choice. The Klawervlei Stud-bred daughter of Albert Hall is out of the Argosy mare, Geraldine’s Choice and won the Maiden Plate for fillies and mares run over 1200m from a storming Babazeka.
The winner showed a lot of pace and ran down the middle inside, but drifted in and out in the latter stages without causing interference to any runners.
This was her 12th start and has now won once and been placed four times for stakes of R 60 320.The result proved a shock with R70 000 of the quartet pool being carried over
Klawervlei Stud bred the winner of the second – but it was probably the wrong Elley horse that won the PA opener. The stable’s Alberth Hall gelding Corny Al was far more fancied on the tote. Apprentice Jason Smitsdorff rode the first leg of his double when producing Dogmatism late to win this Maiden Plate over 1200m. The PA paid a minimum dividend of R6 after the first leg as Slip ‘N Slide hung on for second with the outsider Arguto dashing through for third place.
Trainer Stan Elley said the son of Doowaley had excuses and bad luck in recent starts and was not winning out of turn. To add to the puzzle, the winning apprentice admitted that he had not listened to instructions but had gone up the outside of the track. Elley said smilingly that this was a sign of a ‘good jockey’ and was most complimentary of his jockey. It is difficult to slate a winning ride, is it not?
It was a sentimental moment for the veteran Elley, who also trained the winner’s five-time winning dame Magic Girl, who is by Model Man.
The Pick Six opener produced a thrilling finish with the new sensation Apprentice Goomamy looking a likely winner inside the final 50m on the Piet Steyn-trained Windrush colt Shepherds Purse.
But it was the favourite Magic Falcon, for Vaughan Marshall under a powerful left-handed ride from MJ Byleveld who got his measure by a nose. The Maiden Plate run over 1600m produced the first favourable result of the day.
Brandon Morgenrood has put the sour memories of his Mauritius stint well behind and is banging out winners with regularity. He rode a well balanced and patient race on the Casey Tibbs gelding Golden Dane to win the fourth race, a MR 74 Handicap over 1600m.
The rather imposing Ramsden-trained Jet Master gelding Master Cooper had made the pace but tired as Morgenrood produced his mount at the right time. The recent maiden winner Man From Japan ran on well for second and should pay to follow when the going firms up.
The betting coup was landed in the fifth race, an MR 92 Handicap for fillies and mares, as jockey Devin Ashby rode a confident race down the rail on the Glen Puller-trained Takeyouroath to win easily. The Mellifont 4yo had been backed from 20-1 to 9-1 and won her third race from eleven starts from the pacemaking Madame Rooney. The favourite Rivatorio plodded into third place.
Such was the winner’s acceleration that jockey Ashby almost appeared to drop his rein in the heat of the moment as he glanced back at a hard-riding Morne Winnaar on Madame Rooney. A plan come together!