Trainer Tara Laing and jockey Raymond Danielson dominated proceedings at Fairview on Friday with a well taken hat trick. It was left to another lady trainer to take the feature honours when Yvette Bremner’s flashy chestnut Briar King beat only four opponents to win the R75 000 Guineas Plate run over 1600m.
Three scratchings decimated the feature and with only five runners starting, the 5/2 available about the smart Briar King looked a gift. But it was quite a sweat for his supporters in the end, as he feigned an uphill battle, before winning rather well.
With the Greyville night meeting scheduled for the evening, some of the Friday regular riders were not in town and this paved the way for the high riding Glen Hatt to take a rare flight to the Windy City. With a few place cheques and a great feature winning ride, he would not have regretted the decision.
Briar King was always up in the chase as King Of Indians disputed the lead in the small field.
Into the final 300m of the race, only Maturin could reasonably be discarded as Hatt was hard at work on Briar King and Aldo Domeyer coaxed some interest out of King Of Indians. The two went head to head with Kirkby Ninja taking forever to get going down the rail.
In a desperate tussle the favourite looked under severe pressure, but he came right back as he found his feet to win convincingly by 0,75 lengths in a time of 97,91 secs.
He races in the same ownership and white and purple silks as the 15 time winner, Celtic Fire. In fact the gelding hails from the same farm as that talented fellow, and is also by Bezrin, from a Centenary mare.
Briar King was bred by Golden Acres and is out of the twice winning Centenary mare, Royal Centenary.
He has run 11 times for 2 wins and 5 places.
He took his stake earnings with the win to R138 200.