I Heard A Rumour
Arlington 10th September: Followers of the money got off to a flying start in Port Elizabeth on Monday when DEVIL’S DOLLAR did the business in the opening maiden event over 1400m. Backed into 3/1 from 9/2 at the track, the son of Grey’s Inn raced handy in what soon became a strung out field. He ran on strongly in the short home straight and after a thrilling tussle with the fancied DOUBLE NELSON he got the verdict by a half.
Just as he had been last time out the lightly raced SANDY CELEBRE was rumoured unbeatable in the MR70 affair over 1000m, and although it was by no means as easy as the money had suggested, he did nonetheless land the odds. Backed throughout the afternoon into 9/20 from even money, Mitch Wiese’s charge was soon positioned very close to the speed. He put his head in front going through the 500m and answering every call from Wayne Agrella he kept on strongly to beat a wall of horses by three quarters. The totally unfancied 4th and 6th placed runners in this race (BLAZING MOON and JOSE GOLD) both ran on well from the rear and were beaten less than a length and a half.
At the other end of the scale there were a number of surprises and none more so than the victory of WESTERN STAR in the afternoon’s feature event, a MR90 Handicap over 1400m. Sent off as the rank outsider of the nine horse party at 40/1 (op 16’s), Des Mclachlan’s charge sat close up in third for most of the journey. He moved through to take up the running as they approached the 200m pole and kept on strongly late to thwart the running on second favourite ACT OF SURPREMEACY.
Also worthy of note on this card was the performance of LYDIA LOPOKOVO in winning the MR72 Handicap over 1000m. Running on stoutly from the rear, the Var mare finished best of all and won going away after striking the front close home.
The former Natal campaigner TRIPLE VORTEX ran on strongly from the rear when third beaten a length and three quarters in the novice 1600m.
Quickening by far the best late, DANCINGINTHEDESERT won the MR73 Handicap over 1400m going away.
Two From Two
Vaal 11th September: Tuesday’s action at the Vaal took place on the turf where the best bet on the card for many GREAT WHITE did the business in the opening workrider’s maiden event over 1400m. Headed 400m out after trying to make all, Roy Magner’s charge rallied gamely in the closing stages of the race and in what proved to be a real thriller he got the verdict in a three way photograph by the narrowest of margins.
Much easier a winner in the maiden ranks on this card was TURBO TOM when opening his account at just the second time of asking in the 1000m event. Taken straight to the front by Derek David, the son of Toreador held just a slender lead during the early part of the race. On reaching the 400m marker though, he quickly skipped a couple of lengths clear and although the three form horses all chased hard, they failed to make any impression.
A MR76 Handicap over 1000m was next up and here we saw another smart performance from the unbeaten PHENOMENAL. An impressive five length winner on debut last time out, Dominic Zaki’s charge was soon up handy. She was ridden to lead going through the 400m and kept on strongly from there onwards to beat the all out MACLAINE by a length and a quarter.
A MR90 Handicap over 1400m topped the bill and here it was nice to see the veteran RYAN’S A LION take his tally of wins into double figures. Clearly still enjoying his racing, the 8yo as per usual sat in midfield during the early part of the race. He began to take closer order as they approached the 400m marker and after striking the front 200m later, he comfortably accounted for the 4yo CELTIC KING by a length.
Lightly raced NICE STRIDE ran on best of all when gaining his second career victory in the graduation event over 1200m.
Showing The Way
Scottsville 11th September: Despite returning from a 22 month layoff BIG CITY ANGEL (9/2 into 15/10) was all the rage to win the opening maiden event over 1200m and the son of Bezrin almost landed the gamble. Indeed, he looked to have done everything right on striking the front 300m out and only lost out on the nod to the nibbled at newcomer PYROTECHNICS.
The first of just two favourites to oblige on the ten race program was BLACK FLAME who did the business in the maiden event over 1950m. Backed into 18/10 from 28/10 at the track, Mike De Kock’s charge was always in touch with the leaders. She moved through to take up the running early in the home straight and drew clear easily in the closing stages of the race to beat the 25/1 shot VERY ATTARACTIVE by three and a quarter.
Race seven on the card was a progress plate over 1200m and completing a smart hattrick here was the 4yo son of Muhtafal SHOWMETHEWAY. Making only his sixth racecourse appearance here Mark Dixon’s charge was soon up handy. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and kept on strongly late to beat the rallying pacemaker ALBARAKAH by a neck.
The not so lucky last was a MR68 Handicap over 1400m and here a major upset was to be had when the friendless SQUADRON landed the spoils. Winning for only the second time in thirty six starts, Chris Erasmus’ charge ran on from the rear and won going away.
At the head of affairs from pillar to post, CHAVE DE OURA won well after finding good support in the second division of the maiden 1200m.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Flamingo Park Race 1: (9) Kate’s Emblem 10 Race 2: (1) Summer Loving 9 Race 3: (10) Royal Rajah 12 Race 4: (16) Shadow Pink 27 Race 5: (11) Silly Mid-On 25 Race 6: (6) Heyouneverknow 85 (NAP*) Race 7: (9) Are We There Yet 71 Race 8: (9) Kiriya 46 Race 9: (15) The Great Caruso 24 Vaal (Tues) Race 1: (1) Breathless 1 Race 2: (2) Midnight Serenade 79 Race 3: (6) White Whisper 23 Race 4: (7) Baron Zemo 28 (NAP*) Race 5: (3) Reality Show 13 Race 6: (14) Kwaaiwater 62 Race 7: (4) Sabadell 53 Race 8: (6) Emperor Augustus 47 Race 9: (1) Countess Bacardi 32 Durbanville Race 1: (1) Whistle For Gold 1 Race 2: (3) Taj Mahal Trip 13 Race 3: (1) Testing The Wind 20 Race 4: (1) Trade Emblem 25 Race 5: (4) Ruby Sunset 23 Race 6: (10) Halfway To Heaven 77 (NAP*) Race 7: (10) Tibisi 52 Race 8: (2) Lady Daylight 42 Race 9: (3) Gareth Grey 46 Vaal (Thur) Race 1: (4) Ruffle 26 (NAP*) Race 2: (9) Miesque’s Breeze 26 Race 3: (13) Presidio 30 Race 4: (1) Sugar Ray (arg) 27 Race 5: (14) Heyouneverknow 85 Race 6: (5) Zebulon 63 Race 7: (5) Berrymiller 40 Race 8: (6) Waltzing Duel 62 .
Top rated winners last week includedPilot Mike won 13/1 Big Daddy won 10/1 Stunning Jet won 9/1 Yer-Maan won 15/2 Are We There Yet won 11/2 Wings Of Fortune won 9/2 Readytogorightnow won 33/10 Royal Zulu Guard won 15/10 .
Notebook:-Lydia Lopokovo (Y Bremner, E-Cape) Phenomenal (D Zaki, Gauteng)
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Arlington 10th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Sandy Celebre Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (5)Western Star Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Pebble Path . Vaal 11th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Cohiba Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (5)Tiger Attack Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers . Scottsville 12th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Dodge City Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4)Squadron Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) Charro Negro