The meeting that almost never was, eventually dished up some exciting racing at Durbanville on Monday. Jockey Grant Van Niekerk enjoyed a wonderful afternoon, riding four winners, including the 8yo Posh Boy, who relished the conditions to win the R125 000 Listed Settlers Trophy run over 2400m.
The feature field was scaled down to just six runners on a card decimated by withdrawals, but the racing was entertaining in front of a small Monday afternoon gathering.
Van Niekerk rode three of his four winners for his new stable, and Mike Bass will be pleased that the combination have now started ticking over after a fairly frustrating start to the new season.
The young jockey rode a cracker in the day’s feature on Posh Boy though, for Phillippi trainer Riaan Van Reenen, who was conspicuous by his absence at the post race interview. Van Reenen is a straight talking entertainer and always has plenty to say in his interviews.
With the withdrawal of Putney Flyer, Justin Snaith’s Cigar Boy was well supported to start in the red.
The race was run at a solid gallop with the enigmatic Nysean Bolt at last jumping with his field and taking up the cudgel early on.
He was tracked by Texas Flood, with Cigar Boy and Posh Boy further back.
Van Niekerk speeded matters up as they went through the bend and he put Nysean Bolt under pressure as Texas Flood tried to quicken. Cigar Boy was also trying hard to get into his stride up the outside.
With Nysean Bolt coming back strongly, Van Niekerk had ridden a pearler and he got the Two Oceans Racing runner to come back strongly and Posh Boy ran on strongly to win by a head in a time of 157,11 secs.
Nysean Bolt showed some heartening and long overdue improvement in second, while the 19 to 20 favourite Cigar Boy ran a very average third.
Posh Boy started a generous 12 to 1 in the small field.
The Gary Player Stud bred Posh Boy is by Manshood out of the three time winning Mistral Dancer mare, Nico’s Dancer.
He registered his ninth win with seventeen places from his 64 starts to take his stake earnings to R630 268.
The Two Oceans Racing owned Posh Boy has won his 9 races from 1400m to 2500m, and Van Niekerk certainly has an affinity with him, having been in the saddle in 6 of those victories.
While he has the enthusiasm, the question whether Posh Boy has what it takes to match strides with the better quality opposition in the Summer Season staying events that lie ahead, remains debatable.