Six From Eleven
Scottsville 16th October
Three of the nine races in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday were run over 1400m and stopping the clock in the fastest time amongst these was LONDON CALL in the pinnacle stakes. Backed into favouritism at the track, Mark Dixon’s charge made all. He kept on strongly at the business end of the race and beat the always handy veteran PUNTA ARENAS by a half. London Call has now won six of his eleven career starts.
The faster of the two 1200m races was the MR74 Handicap won by Sporting Post’s each way value bet ROY’S AIR FORCE. Supported throughout the afternoon into 5/1 from 14’s, the well weighted son of King’s Apostle raced in midfield for most of the journey. He began to take closer order 400m out and won going away from MASTER SAM (handy – led 250m) by a length and a half.
The two races over 1000m were both maiden plates and quickest home here was the newcomer VISION TO KILL in the girl’s affair. Not the quickest into stride when the gates opened, the daughter of Kildonan raced in midfield early on. She took up the running as they approached the 200m marker and despite racing green won with authority by a length and three quarters.
The 3yo SPRING IN SEATTLE was always clear when winning the maiden plate over 1400m very easily by three and a half.
Fairview 17th October
They raced on the poly track on Monday where the easiest victory on the card was recorded by GRUMBLE when getting off the mark in the opening maiden plate over 1000m. Nicely positioned in fifth as the nine runners came off the bend, the son of Great Britain was visibly cruising and drew clear with ease after striking the front 200m from home.
Two of the afternoon’s eight races were run over 1300m and in the fastest of these, a conditions plate, we saw a clever tactical ride from Charles Ndlovu aboard FLASH MCQUEEN. In the rear early on, the former KZN campaigner circled the field on the bend and struck the front early in the straight. She ran on strongly over the final 350m and with the benefit of first run, she beat her much more fancied stable companion KANARA by a length and a quarter.
They also ran two races over 1600m and quickest home in these was ROSSLYN CHAPEL when winning the MR70 Handicap. Easy to back at 11/1 on the off, the son of Right Approach was always handy. He moved up to dispute matters as they approached the 200m marker and after a thrilling tussle with STORMING HOME, he only got the verdict by a short head.
The 4yo REEVAS QUEEN was finishing best of all when running on into fourth in the MR59 Handicap over 1200m.
What’s Going On
Durbanville 18th October
For the third midweek meeting in a row at the country course the going was officially changed to good after initially being posted as good to soft! Whereas the change came after a couple of races in the previous two midweek meetings, today’s change occurred prior to the off of the first race.
Four of the seven races were staged over 1400m and stopping the clock in the fastest time amongst these was LEISURE TRIP in the graduation plate. Sent off joint second in the betting market at 4/1, Andre Nel’s charge was soon positioned close to the speed. She quickened well 400m out and in a race where six of the seven runners were separated by just a length and three quarters, she got the verdict by a short head over LADY OF THE HOUSE.
Surprisingly the faster of the two 2000m races was the maiden plate (the other was a MR78 Handicap) won by BEAUTIFUL GIRL. In the rear when the nine runners entered the home straight, the daughter of Seul Amour ran on best of all over the final 500m and won going away from the more fancied COLORADO GIRL by a half.
The one remaining race was a MR80 Handicap over 1600m and here we saw a comfortable victory for the Brett Crawford trained UNION JACK. Usually one to run on stoutly from off the pace, the son of Captain Al adopted a change of tactics here and raced handy. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 300m pole and after quickly going clear won well by a length and a half.
After switching for a run 250m out, NIGHTINGALE LANE won the second division of the maiden plate for 3yo’s over 1400m going away by a length and a quarter.
Greyville 19th October
Quickest home in the fastest of the four 1200m races (a MR62 Handicap) on the poly track on Wednesday afternoon was KING DJANGO. A close up second to HARRY DA WHEELS in his third run after a rest last time out, the son of Go Deputy raced in midfield for most of the journey. He began to take closer order coming off the bend and with the rest some three and a half lengths adrift he beat the running on SPECIAL ENCOUNTER by a length and three quarters.
The only other distance to stage more than one race was 1600m where the faster of the two maiden plates for 3yo’s was the boy’s affair won by the red hot favourite TERABYTE. Soon up handy, Dennis Drier’s charge was ridden to lead going through the 300m and kept on strongly in the closing stages of the race to beat the running on ENCHANTED DRAWING by a half.
In terms of merit ratings a graduation plate topped the bill and here the Dean Kannemeyer trained IMPALA LILY showed good improvement. The 15/10 favourite DAWN CALLING was the first to make a move and on striking the front 100m out she looked to have done everything right. Running on stoutly from midfield though, the daughter of Trippi ran on best of all and in what proved to be a real thriller she got up in the very last stride.
In the rear after being a little slow into stride, SEA URCHIN was finishing best of all when third in the MR74 Handicap over 1400m.
Work Rider’s Day
Vaal 20th October
The only race worthy of note as far as the clock was concerned at the Vaal’s classic track on Thursday was the opening maiden plate for the girls won by the newcomer AL DANZA. Allowed to drift considerably in the betting market (22/10 out to 9/2) as support in the main came for GOODNESS ME, Geoff Woodruff’s poorly drawn runner raced in the backend of midfield early on. She quickened nicely when given rein 500m out though, and after striking the front 170m or so from home, she cruised clear to score by four and a quarter.
Another to win with lengths to spare was STAR OF CAESOUR when getting off the mark in the maiden plate for the girls over 2000m. The field very quickly became strung out and although the daughter of Star Witness raced fifth she was easily seven lengths off the pace. Visibly cruising at the 600m pole though, Sean Tarry’s charge quickened best of all when the race began in earnest, and won going away by four and three quarters.
Race five on the card was a maiden plate over 1800m and here it was nice to see KING OF CLOTH finally exit the maiden ranks. Making his 39th racecourse appearance here, the 8/1 shot was always handy. He put his head in front 400m out and just held on by a neck from the running on 22/1 shot ARTIFICIO.
The 3yo BERDANINE ran on well from the rear when getting up in the very last stride to open her account in the maiden plate for the girls over 1000m.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Race 1: (1) French Captain 15
Race 2: (5) Vilanelle 19
Race 3: (7) Hernando’s Promise 21
Race 4: (13) Rush In 49
Race 5: (1) Villa Del Largo 84 (NAP*)
Race 6: (1) Green Lantern 49
Race 7: (9) Dream To Reality 52
Race 8: (12) Dance In The Woods 60
Race 1: (12) Momo 34 (nb)
Race 2: (1) Sun Dynasty 21
Race 3: (5) Imperial Topaz 13
Race 4: (1) Florrick 25
Race 5: (11) Hannah’s Answer 54
Race 6: (11) Penhaligon 87
Race 7: (13) Discourse 49
Race 8: (11) Black Forest 23 (NAP*)
Race 1: (3) Barak Lavan 22
Race 2: (3) Rock On Wood 28
Race 3: (3) Captain Courteous 49
Race 4: (6) Icy Trail 79
Race 5: (14) Make The Magnet 50
Race 6: (7) Elevated 65
Race 7: (9) O Tamara 50
Race 8: (1) Marinaresco 90
Race 9: (7) Barossa Valley 45
Race 1: (1) Ebony Knight 41 (NAP*)
Race 2: (8) Just A Jag 51
Race 3: (8) Fish River Canyon 19
Race 4: (5) Charming Charlie 18
Race 5: (12) Tales Of Mambo 53
Race 6: (13) Jackie’s Joy 40
Race 7: (7) Star Trek 48
Race 8: (10) Raging Fire 40
Race 9: (7) Kapitan 60
Race 10: (14) Sambora 44
Race 1: (9) National King 46
Race 2: (1) Lindelize 12
Race 3: (8) Dutch Harbour 55
Race 4: (2) Turbo 45
Race 5: (13) Galao 71
Race 6: (3) Blue Dawn 77
Race 7: (14) Welsh Emperor 90
Race 8: (12) Stir It Up 61
Race 9: (7) One Love 37
Top rated winners last week included
Crystal Glamour won 11/2
Roy’s Air Force won 5/1
King Django won 33/10
Roy’s Magic won 33/10
Harry’s Silver won 22/10
Candid won 2/1
Lebanese Tractor won 16/10
Terabyte won 1/1
Al Danza (G Woodruff, Gauteng)
Impala Lily (D Kannemeyer, KZN)
Sea Urchin (G Puller, KZN)
Vision To Kill (P Gadsby, KZN)
The number of races run over each distance is shown in brackets
*Denotes – Times taken by Clockwatcher
Scottsville (inside) 16th October
Penetrometer 24 – G/Soft
Course Variant: 0,13s fast
1000m (2) Vision To Kill 56,87
1200m (2) Roy’s Air Force 69,15
1400m (3) London Call 82,73
1600m (2) Luna Sea 97,16
Fairview (poly) 17th October
Course Variant: 0,16s fast
1000m (1) Grumble 58,30
1200m (1) Red Hot Lady 69,77
1300m (2) Flash Mcqueen 74,50
1600m (2) Rosslyn Chapel 96,86
1900m (1) Silver Rain 115,76
2200m (1) Dreamforest 134,68
Durbanville 18th October
Penetrometer 26 – Good
Course Variant: 1,23s slow
1400m (4) Leisure Trip 85,29
1600m (1) Union Jack 98,85
2000m (2) Beautiful Girl 124,43
Greyville (poly) 19th October
Course Variant: 1,63s slow
1200m (4) King Django 71,39
1400m (1) Tipo Tinto 83,84
1600m (2) Terabyte 98,52*
2000m (1) Jama 124,98
Vaal (classic) 20th October
Penetrometer 25 – Going G/Soft
Course Variant: 1,31s slow
1000m (2) Lebanese Tractor 59,15
1200m (1) Al Danza 71,46
1450m (2) Just As Frisky 89,66
1600m (1) Rubybay 99,33
1800m (1) King Of Cloth 113,73
2000m (1) Star Of Caesour 127,05