Three winners each for jockeys Stuart Randolph and Anton Marcus were the highpoints of an enjoyable Sunday meeting at Scottsville. The day started in dramatic fashion with a minor betting coup being landed on a Paul Lafferty debutante.
Sean Tarry sent out Mythical Flight’s half sister by Trippi but the good-looking Mystical Maxi had no chance with the speed of Lafferty’s Silvano filly Volant. Apprentice Julius Mariba always had the chestnut in the firing line and after the favourite and Fleeting Kiss had shown the way, Volant shot clear at the 400m marker to win going away by 2,75 lengths in a time of 58,14secs.
A bewildered looking Lafferty said in the post-race interview that he had just gotten off a plane from England and that ‘it wasn’t client money.’ He sportingly wished whoever had backed her the best of luck. She had come in from 25-1 to 15-2. And we use the word, ‘coup’, a bit tongue in cheek, as we know it doesn’t take a fortune to shorten a first-timer.
The Maine Chance bred is out of a Roy mare Vecchia Signora, who won in Chile.
A Cape Premier Yearling Sale R300 000 purchase, Lafferty said that the original buyer had pulled out and that Markus Jooste had stepped in.
She looks very promising and the favourite should not be long in winning either.
Anton Marcus rode the first leg of his treble when winning the second race, a Maiden Plate over 1200m on the pacy Miesque’s Approval gelding Cools Style, who went off at 5-1 for Craig Eudey.
The Mike De Kock-trained Sher Dil was sent out a 15-10 favourite but was always under pressure and ran a fair third 2,75 lengths off the winner.
Sher Dil showed pace alongside Cools Style early on but at the 400m marker Cools Style bounced clear. Chris Erasmus’ Bezrin first-timer Crumlin ran a cracker when running on strongly late and the Golden Acres product should not be long in winning if maintaining this kind of form.
Cools Style was a nice R15 000 buy at the National Two Year Old Sale and was a first winner for owner Bennie Naidoo. He was having his fourth run.
The winner recorded a time of 70,53secs and won by a length.
It is a great pity that Anton Marcus didn’t make the effort to attend post-race interviews. While he was dumped after his win in the fourth on Cherry Tripper, Lafferty was waiting for him after winning the sixth race. No explanations were forthcoming either.
Dennis Drier’s The Flying Machine was installed 33-10 favourite to win the third race after a fair debut effort two weeks ago at Clairwood. But the Australian-bred never showed as the 9-2 chance Mountain Thunder showed pace alongside Highland Fling and Threshold as Sean Veale had Silk Master tucked off the pace.
With 300m to run Silk Master charged into the lead to win by 0,75 lengths in a time of 70,29secs. Silks Master is trained by Yogas Govender and was returning from a 329 day rest after chipping a knee on debut. Coy Boy ran on well at 66-1 to grab second place, while Mountain Thunder whould surely win soon as he earned another place cheque.
The well-bred Tarry first-timer Bravissimo drifted from 2-1 to 11-2 and ran accordingly. A breathless winning jockey Sean Veale declared the winner only 75% fit and said he is a ‘very good horse.’
The winner is a Plattner home bred, by Jet Master out of the very smart Belong To Me mare, Nothing But Silk. Time will tell whether his knee stands up to racing, but he is one to be with.
Anton Marcus stood in for the indisposed Ian Sturgeon in the fourth race, an MR 70 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1000m.
And the 2-1 favourite gave the champion jockey an armchair ride as she led all the way to hold Lamorna by two lengths in a time of 57,73secs. She dumped Anton Marcus after the post.
Cautiously described by trainer Dennis Bosch as a ‘small filly’, Cherry Tripper has won two from three and has done little wrong. She is by Var out of the Kabool mare, Cherry Wells. A R50 000 National Sale graduate, she was bred by Mike Sharkey.
Mike De Kock was to see another favourite go missing when the impressive recent maiden winner Emaliyami could no better than run seventh in the fifth race, a MR 69 Handicap over a mile.
Sent off an 11-20 favourite, the Aussie bred was given every chance in a handy fourth position as Al Nadira cut out the pace. Delpech sent her at the 400m marker, but she shortened her stride and fell right away.
The Alec Laird-trained second favourite Goose Valley came forward smoothly under Stuart Randolph to hold off a late challenge by Faire Silvano and Baronova. She won by a half length in a time of 100,39secs.
Bred by Wilgerbosdrift, Goose Valley won her 3rd from 24 starts for 6 places. She is by Right Approach out of the Fort Wood mare, Cape Lilac.
Anton Marcus was seen at his brilliant best on the 9-10 favourite Kolkata, who made all to win the sixth race, a Pinnacle Stakes over 2400m.
The smart son of Requiem found this company more manageable after fair runs in the Gold Vase and Gold Cup and a change of tactics worked a charm.
The lightly weighted Look After Me challenged late but Marcus is just too sharp to be caught in the final 100m of a 2400m race, and he plugged on to win readily by 0,75 lengths in a time of 155,29 secs.
The Klawervlei Stud-bred is out of the American-bred daughter of Capitol South, City Of Joy.
He has won 4 times for 10 places from 20 starts.
The De Kock-trained Dark Wind finished trailed off.
The Alec Laird-Stu Randoplh combination were on target again in the seventh race, an MR 98 Handicap run over 1400m, when the grey Go Deputy gelding Pessoa recorded a third straight win.
He ran on too well after dictating the pace, for the Bass coupling of Cherbourg and Shangha Kid.
Pessoa, who started at 17-10, has won 4 races and been placed 5 times from his 11 starts. He was bred by the Garlicki’s and is out of the three-time winning Ringaro mare, Printemp.
Sean Cormack took the Wendy Whitehead-trained Soleil Royal Africa to lead from Matteo and Golden Sled in the final leg of the jackpot, an MR 80 Handicap over 1400m.
At the 300m marker the pacesetter had fallen away as Golden Sled and Stunning Guy came forward, but it was Randolph who recorded a third win as he brought the 7yo Joe Pike wide out with a sustained run.
The combination of a drop in ground and some slow reward from the handicapper (he has come down from a high of 81 to a 69), was all the tonic the Modern Day gelding required. Trainer Des Egdes said afterwards that his charge could win again and was still full of life.
No star, Joe Pike has won 5 times and been placed on 6 occasions from his 32 starts. He was bred by Messrs Katz and Lewinson who race him.
Jockey Chris Taylor has made it a rollicking start to the new season and he upset many Pick Six calculations with a surprise win in the final event, a Maiden Plate over a mile.
The Grand was very slow away as Golden Dollar skipped off to set the pace. Raymond Danielson had the 6-10 favourite Swift And Strong just off the pace on the fence as Imperial Jet, Kalmia and Pop Home followed.
In the run for home Kalmia came forward under replacement jockey Sean Veale looking very strong as the favourite was also galloping on nicely.
In the meanwhile Taylor had been scrubbing away in midfield on Spitting Mad and he brought the battling 6yo maiden down the outside to run on the stronger and beat the favourite by a length in a time of 101,28secs. The winner started at 22-1 and it was a case of the Silvino beating the Silvano.
A Mike Pappas home-bred out of the All Fired Up mare Agro Annie who won twice in her racing career in the same silks, Spitting Mad had run 7 places and was having his 28th start. Jockey Taylor quipped afterwards that he felt the gelding could go and win more.