Vaal 13th September: They raced on the sand on Thursday where victory in the opening maiden event over 1200m went to the 3yo son of Kahal COOKIE MONSTER. Sent off a strong favourite at 17/10, Roy Magner’s charge raced in midfield during the early part of the race. Once given rein though he quickened well and drew clear easily to score by four and a quarter after striking the front 200m from home.
The stable of Roy Magner were also on the mark in the Conditions Plate over 1450m when the well supported SHATTERED IMAGE registered her fourth career victory. On leaving the stalls it was the lesser fancied of Michael Azzie’s two runners SOLARIUM who elected to make the running whilst Shattered Image raced fourth. She was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 200m marker and in what proved to be a real thriller she only held on by the narrowest of margins from the faster finishing TILBURY.
Race six on the card was a MR80 Handicap over 1600m and here we saw a smart performance from the top weight DUAL ALLIANCE. Confidently ridden by Pierre Strydom, the son of Second Empire sat fifth for most of the journey. He was visibly cruising when asked to take up the running 200m out and with a ton in hand he cruised in by two and a quarter despite being eased down before the line.
A Pinnacle Stakes over 1450m topped the bill and here all eyes were on the Gr2 Emerald Cup favourite MR TOBIN. In the red at 7/10 on the off Sean Tarry’s charge raced in the rear early on. As per usual though, the Numerous gelding quickened in good style halfway down the straight and went on to score easily after striking the front 150m from home.
Running on from the rear after being squeezed out at the start, HONEYVIEW made up many lengths over the final 400m when fourth in the MR76 affair over 1000m.
Turffontein 15th September: Saturday’s action at Turffontein took place on the inner track where a major upset was to be had in the opening maiden 1200m when the rank outsider of the twelve horse party KING’S WILD opened his account. Freely available at 66/1 on the off, Chris Erasmus’ charge led from pillar to post. He kept on strongly in the short home straight and although the favourite QUAD BAY was very steadily reeling him in late on, he still had a half length to spare at the wire.
The easiest victory on the card was registered by FERRARI DAWN in the girls division of the maiden 1200m. Another to make all, Geoff Woodruff’s charge was always clear. She quickened well as they came off the strip and went on to score very comfortably by four and a half.
Another to win well in the maiden ranks on this card was JONOVICH when opening his account in the 2200m event. He got away well when the gates opened and nicely positioned in sixth was always well placed to challenge. The favourite PURE HONEY got first run as they came off the strip and on striking the front 400m out he looked to have done everything right. Running on best of all in the straight though, Jonavich quickly reeled him in and after he in turn struck the front 200m out, he went on to score very easily by three and three quarters.
The afternoon’s feature event was a Pinnacle Stakes over 1450m and here victory went to the 5yo son of Western Winter TENDER TWILIGHT. Easy to back at 11/1 on course, Ormond Ferraris’ charge sat towards the rear for most of the journey. He quickened well when Sherman Brown aimed him towards the inside rail coming off the strip and after quickly getting on terms with the leaders he went on to win very comfortably by two and a half.
Although never any kind of a threat to the winner, the newcomer SHEEN QUEEN ran on well from the rear when second to Ferrari Dawn in the maiden 1200m.
Kenilworth 15th September: As well as four favourites finding the winner’s enclosure in Cape Town on Saturday there were a number of upsets and none more so than the victory of BLARNEY BAY in the opening workrider’s maiden event over 1200m. Sent off as the rank outsider of the eleven horse party at 33/1, the son of Nysaean was soon up handy. He was ridden to lead going through the 200m and easily accounted for the running on LEO’S RUSH by three.
The first of the afternoon’s races for professional jockeys was a maiden event for 3yo’s over 1200m and here we saw a nice performance from the R1m purchase COUNT TO TEN. Sent off a well supported favourite at 28/10 (op 4/1), Count To Ten raced in the rear during the early part of the race. Once given rein though, she quickened nicely and went on to score with some in hand after striking the front close home.
The listed Sophomore Sprint over 1200m topped the bill and here we saw another smart performance from the Mike Bass trained TEVEZ. A very easy six length winner in his latest start, Tevez was sent off a strong even money (op 14/10) favourite here. Soon up handy Tevez was asked for his effort going through the 400m and finishing strongly in the closing stages of the race he comfortably accounted for the running on HALF MOON HOTEL by a length and a quarter.
A Pinnacle Stakes over 1000m was next up and here all eyes were on the Gr1 Mercury Sprint winner WHAT A WINTER. Thrown in at the weights in this his seasonal debut, Mike Bass’ charge found plenty of support on course and eventually left the stalls at the prohibitive odds of 1/6. As expected it was the speedy VARUSHKA who elected to make the running whilst What A Winter settled in midfield after taking a couple bumps very early in the race. What A Winter failed to quicken in his usual manner at the business end of the race and one can only assume that something was amiss. Victory instead went to the ultra consistent CAP ALRIGHT. He had raced second and took command 400m out as Varushka went in search of gas.
INTIMATECONNECTION and CULPA MEA both ran on well from off the pace when fourth and fifth respectively in the MR80 Handicap over 1000m.
Scottsville 16th September: A maiden event for the girls over 1000m got proceedings underway in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday and here we saw a very easy victory for the odds on favourite CAVIAR. Confidently ridden by Anthony Delpech, the daughter of Var sat fourth for most of the journey. She was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 400m marker and only having to be ridden with hands and heels in the closing stages of the race, she cruised in by five.
Another to win very easily in the maiden ranks on this card was KING’S BRIDGE. The first of three winners on the card for champion jockey Anton Marcus, King’s Bridge was always handy. He was asked to take up the running as they approached the 200m marker and went on to score by two and a half despite being eased right down before the line.
A conditions plate over 1400m topped the bill and here it was nice to see the talented FELIX THE CAT back in the winner’s enclosure. The runner up in the prestigious Gr1 Thekwini Stakes back in 2011, Duncan Howells’ charge sat sixth of the eight during the early part of the race. The field was always tightly bunched though and once in the straight she quickly made up the ground. She struck the front going through the 300m and kept on strongly late to beat the more fancied MISS IPANEMA (7/2 into 28/10) by a length and three quarters.
Also worthy of note on this card was the performance of ICE MACHINE in winning the MR93 affair over 1600m. Sent off a rather uneasy favourite at 14/10, Garth Puller’s charge was always nicely positioned just behind the leaders. He was visibly cruising as he took up the running 220m from home and with a ton in hand he coasted in by a length and three quarters. Ice Machine has now won five from nine and clearly won’t be stopping here.
WINTER PASSING ran out a very easy winner of the maiden event over 1400m.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Arlington Race 1: (1) Grande Alado 14 Race 2: (6) Double Nelson 27 Race 3: (11) Annie Be Quick 86 Race 4: (2) Macarthur Park 60 (EW) Race 5: (10) Run Rorkus Run 73 Race 6: (18) Dancinginthedesert 53 Race 7: (5) Crimson Glow 71 Race 8: (1) Vail 19 Clairwood Race 1: (2) Montelupo 30 Race 2: (11) Maria’s Boy 15 Race 3: (8) Balse 37 (NAP**) Race 4: (11) Swift And Strong 33 Race 5: (11) Maluti 50 Race 6: (10) Above Emeralds 72 Race 7: (13) Boogie With Cher 47 Race 8: (13) Defeat The Desert 47 Race 9: (2) Sunshine Rock 56 (nb) Race 10: (17) Manjur 47 Vaal Race 1: (9) Blazing Moon 50 Race 2: (3) Always Al 79 Race 3: (2) Phenomenal 58 Race 4: (4) Contador 48 (EW) Race 5: (7) Smart Girl 60 Race 6: (9) Go Indigo 95 Race 7: (1) Link Man 90 Race 8: (14) Beacon Flare 97 Race 9: (3) Variometer 75 Race 10: (9) Mr. Premier 90 Scottsville Race 1: (2) Ole Ole 20 Race 2: (1) Malkia 24 Race 3: (12) Panama Man 28 (NAP**) Race 4: (5) Luxardo 26 Race 5: (1) Langoustier 48 Race 6: (10) Showmetheway 84 Race 7: (2) Ice Diamond 73 Race 8: (6) Great Detail 49 Race 9: (5) Pashley 17 Race 10: (1) Regal Breeze 32 .
Top rated winners last week includedBlarney Bay won 33/1 Felix The Cat won 11/2 Are We There Yet won 11/2 Wings Of Fortune won 9/2 Showmetheway won 4/1 Readytogorightnow won 33/10 Great White won 3/1 Royal Zulu Guard won 15/10 .
Notebook:-Count To Ten (J Snaith, W-Cape) Dual Alliance (S Tarry, Gauteng) Ice Machine (G Puller, KZN) Tevez (M Bass, W-Cape) .
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Vaal 13th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (5) Immediately Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (5) Mr Tobin Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers . Turffontein 15th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (3) Mary’s Pride Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Tender Twilight Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) Changing Moon . Kenilworth 15th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (6) Cap Alright Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (2) Lake Arthur Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Texas Flood . Scottsville 16th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Caviar Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (6) Felix The Cat Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) Look After Me