Trainer Mike Azzie rounded off a superb weekend when he produced the Fort Wood mare Magic Smoke in hot form to register her first stakes victory with a smooth win in the R150 000 Listed Spook Express. The versatile galloper is equally at home on the sand and turf and staying appears to be her forte as she mature.
A minor tweak of tactics, change of surface and a step up in ground. That sounds like a lot of redesigning but the former sand pacer Magic Smoke settles well on the turf these days and produces a turn of foot that breaks the hearts of her opposition. Full marks to her trainer for finding her prime performance.
Mike Azzie’s yard is in fine form with 5 winners and 2 seconds from his 12 runners between Friday evening’s night meeting and the Sunday afternoon Hennenman Memorial meeting. He equalled his colleague Joey Soma’s Sunday feat with a well taken double, but irked Pick Six players as Moonlit Venice came up at double figure odds in the exotic opener to get the ball rolling with a minimum dividend of R30 after just one leg.
Joey Soma’s consistent cash dispenser Rodeo Sioux was all the rage to land another win in a feature field of only eight runners that lined up to honour one of the great gallopers of our time.
And Anthony Delpech wasted no time in taking Rodeo Sioux out to lead the way.
Turning into the home run Rodeo Sioux was still out front but the challengers were coming from all round, with the Mike De Kock mare Forgive No Forget looking the most dangerous of the lot.
Into the 300m the two went head for head in a thriller and looked to have the race to themselves with Richard Fourie battling to get Sky Pirate going down the outside.
But the royal blue and orange silks were ghosting through just off the front rank, and replacement jockey Raymond Danielson produced Magic Smoke at the 200m to cut the leaders down in a matter of strides to win going away.
Scoring in a time of 167,99 secs, she beat the gallant Rodeo Sioux by 2,25 lengths, with Sky Pirate running a nice third.
Magic Smoke has won 8 races, split evenly between the turf and the sand. With her 12 places, she has now earned R629 575.
She is Mrs Versatility having won her races from 1450m to 2600m.
Magic Smoke was bred by Nigel Page and is by Fort Wood out the four time winning Western Winter mare, High Places.
She cost R200 000 on the National Yearling Sale.
Magic Smoke looks to have hit a career peak and she will pay to follow.