Trainers don’t usually heed technical advice from their owners but Alan Greeff happily gave credit where it was due after the talented newly blinkered Sail From Seattle gelding Seattle Joe got up in the last strides to win the R150 000 Epol Listed Dahlia Plate at Fairview on Friday.
Seattle Joe was an impressive winner on debut but had not put his best foot forward when travelling down to Kenilworth for Met day. He ran unplaced in the Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes behind the highly rated Arria and he did not appear to have his mind on matters when running third behind Frederick Fox in mid March,
Enter owner Mark Wright and the suggestion of blinkers. Whether Greeff accepted the suggestion out of exasperation or desperation is really irrelevant as he fitted them and saw an immediate improvement in the 2yo’s commitment.
On Friday he faced eight opponents and settled beautifully.
A few lengths off the action early, Seattle Joe raced maturely before running on strongly to beat the Snaith filly Sunset Tripp, who was hanging badly as a result of running green, by a quarter length in a time of 72,78 secs.
Frederick Fox kicked on well for third a further 0,25 lengths back with the maiden Blast running out of his skin for fourth.
The rest had no chance.
The well supported favourite Shine Like A Star was never going well and ran out of the money. A terrible disappointment but probably symptomatic of the Gavin Smith yard’s current general form slump.
Seattle Joe was the second Sail From Seattle to win on the afternoon and he was also the Greeff Cheyne partnership’s third winner.
Jockey Greg Cheyne, who is riding with such confidence, confirmed that the blinkers had done the trick.
“He has got quite a heavy head but doesn’t pull at all. He has also tended to lay in, but didn’t do that here. I believe he also wants further. This was a good performance and a promising one all round from the 2yo’s on the sticky going,” he said.
A winner of 2 races from 4 starts with 1 place, Seattle Joe took his earnings to R135 575.
Seattle Joe is owned by Mark Wright and was bought by his trainer for R160 000 on the National Yearling Sale.
The winner was bred by Dr Marianne Thomson’s Ambiance Stud and is by Sail From Seattle out of the one time winning Irish bred Raise A Grand mare, Tokyo Jo.
Seattle Joe looks likely to train on into a Guineas prospect for next season.