Gavin Van Zyl’s smart looking grey Var colt Isca set the trend for first-time winners of the Turffontein 1000m juvenile double feature on Saturday, when he put in a professional showing to win the R150 000 Listed Storm Bird Stakes in fine style.
With not much interest shown in them in the betting,and at starting prices of 6 to 1 and 8 to 1 respectively, the race was dominated by first-timers Isca and Brazuca.
In fact the shortest of the four first-timers in Corne Spies’ Kingoftheworld ran the furthest back of the quartet.
Kingoftheworld finished 8,75 lengths adrift in sixth and a length behind his stablemate Silvan Jazz (the only filly in the field) who was slow away and managed to make some ground at the end.
Paul Peter’s Mogok Master looked the right horse in the field and he was marked up as favourite to land a first stakes win. After a victory and a second at his first two starts, he looked to have the pace and experience to go close in the eight-horse field.
The placed maiden Just As I Said was the second favourite and at the weight differential was thought by many to have the edge.
But while both the top two showed plenty of pace, they were found wanting as S’manga Khumalo released Isca at the 300m and the nuggety grey took up the running chased by the green Brazuca.
With nothing getting to him, Isca galloped powerfully to register a good win by 2,50 lengths in a time of 57,70 secs.
Another first-timer, the Australian-bred Brazuca, who appeared to shift in late, ran on steadily for second, ahead of Just As I Said and the favourite Mogok Master, who was a rather disappointing six length fourth.
The KZN challenger Silver Kavalier ran downfield to make it a blank trip for the Mike Miller-Sean Veale combination as Toni Performs could do little better in the Ruffian Stakes.
Isca was bred by Mr W & Mrs N Ackerman, who also race him. He is a son of Var out of the unraced Brazillian-bred mare, Jolie Bele.