Veteran racecaller Clyde Basel doesn’t get too many close finishes wrong and it was an indication of the desperately close call between local hope Yorker and Cape raider Capetown Noir in the R1 million HF Oppenheimer Gr1 Horse Chestnut Stakes, that Basel leant towards the visitor. In the end Capetown Noir’s desperate low flying effort on the outside failed by a nostril.
Robbie Fradd, who leaves for the Australian Gold Coast and a new phase in his long and distinguished career on Monday, got first run on his colleague Karl Neisius, and that made all the difference at the end of the day.
Neisius rode a confident race on Capetown Noir, who was racing in midfield and unable to get on to the inside rail, as he appears to prefer to race.
After travelling very well throughout , Capetown Noir cost himself valuable round by having to look for running room and then coming to the wide outside.
By that time Yorker was on his way home and Capetown Noir stormed up only to lose the race in the shadow of the post.
The Sansui Summer Cup winner Yorker got the verdict by a short head (if not shorter) in a time of 96,73 secs.
He has won 5 races with 2 places from 12 starts. He took his stake earnings to R2 518 875
Yorker’s breeder Carl de Vos predicted over a year ago that Woodruff would win a Gr1 with Yorker. He came perilously close to registering his second Gr1 in the Met at his last start and went one better here.
Weighing out at about 17 hands, Yorker was bought for R1,8 million on the Cape Premier Yearling Book 1.
By Jet Master, he was bred by Varsfontein’s Carl and Amanda De Vos, and is out of the four time winning Al Mufti mare Little Indian.
Little Indian won from a mile to 1700m, and was trained by Geoff Woodruff for most of her career, before transferring to Harold Crawford in her later years.
Carl bought Little Indian from his farrier a few years ago.
He said recently: “It was quite fortuitous, but some of the best stories in racing usually are. My son was on an exchange programme in India at the time, and after Amanda heard that the dam was Little Indian, she said it was meant to be,” he laughed.
A return match in the KZN Champions Season between these two crack 4yo’s looks a mouthwatering prospect. Gold Circle will hopefully take the excellent Phumelela initiative to bring Capetown Noir up to Joburg and make sure that Yorker gets some petrol money to go to Durban.
Dean Kannemeyer summed up Capetown Noir’s loss in two words: ‘very stiff.’
His patron, Khaya Stables’ representative Lady Christine Laidlaw arrived on course in a helicopter and would have had a mixed day. She has plenty to look forward to on this showing.