There was no hanging about in Friday evening’s R135 000 Listed Gardenia Handicap run over 1000m at Turffontein. The speed queens were at full throttle from the jump, and it was hardly surprising to see yet another promising daughter of Var coming up trumps.
The Avontuur stallion sensation in fact sired both the first and second-placed runners in a furiously fast affair.
The gallant speed mare Mannequin came out carrying top-weight of 62,5kgs, and while she failed to register her thirteenth victory, she was hardly disgraced when finishing in third and just under a length behind the year younger Variometer.
Anton Marcus rode a top-class race when producing Louis Goosen’s flyer at the right moment inside the final 200m to register a heartstopping win.
The race panned out perfectly for the champion jockey as Mike Azzie’s super-quick La Volta dashed off to lead the enthusiastic mare Mannequin, with Three Nations and Miss Cantona (another Var!) in hot pursuit.
Marcus worked Variometer through as Mannequin challenged La Volta late, and in a nailbiting drive to the wire Variometer edged ahead to win by a short head in a time of 56,72secs.
Goosen’s shrewd move in fitting the blinkers to a filly endowed with plenty of natural speed was just the tonic required to change the place cheque scenario into something far more rewarding. She is also a far better filly on the turf.
The Backworth Stud product Variometer, is out of the Australian- bred Hennessy mare, Lady Electric, who won once over 1000m from just 2 starts.
Variometer is now a winner of 5 of her 17 starts, with 7 places for stake earnings of R469 675. She cost R140 000 at the KZN Yearling Sale.
All her victories have been recorded over 1000m and this was her third Listed win after the Ruffian Stakes as a 2yo, and the Bauhinia Handicap in her 3yo season.
She is always worth following over the minimum chop and should make a lovely broodmare in time to come.