Full marks to Rondeberg trainer Andre Nel for introducing the remedial tonic of a change of scenery for the 5yo Arctic Teon, who finally cracked an overdue first win at his eleventh outing at Greyville on Wednesday.
Not every trainer has the luxury of a satellite yard to farm the problem kids out to – but multiple Met winning-owner Sabine Plattner’s trainer obviously believed that the cost of a relocation from the Cape West Coast to KZN for the oft backed and frustrating gelding would be worth the spend.
In the end the flashy bay cracked it at his first try – albeit in the less than illuminating environment of a polytrack mile Qualified Maiden Plate, with some serial battlers in the ranks.
He was easy to back at 5-2, on support for Anton Marcus’ mount Calabash.
Punters have obviously grown weary – Arctic Teon has started as short as 1-3 in a career spanning two years, and had notched four second places over ground from his ten starts in the Cape.
We won’t get carried away, but the polytrack may be the surface to give Arctic Teon a chance to repay his long-suffering supporters.
He won well enough in the hands of Keagan De Melo, beating the longshot Vested Interest by 0,75 lengths. The fancied Calabash came on too late, but satisfied PA players by running third.
He showed enough speed to beat this bunch over a mile, but Arctic Teon gets his stamina leanings from his dam side – although his sire produced a 3000m Gr2 winner.
He is a son of the New Zealand – bred Fanatic Dane – a son of the great Danehill.
Fanatic Dane was sold as a yearling for NZ$325 000 – R3,7 million in today’s terms.
He only ran 7 times and won his first three starts on the trot – including an opener in a Kenilworth 800m juvenile scurry beating the lightning fast Johnny Reb, almost 18 years ago to the day. Next time he blew subsequent July winner Trademark out of the water by eight lengths.
His best came in the 1999 Gr2 Cape Merchants when fourth under Greg Cheyne behind the high-class Mike Bass sprinter, Eli’s Game.
Fanatic Dane produced two stakes winners from 116 foals – the best being the dour Carl Burger trained stayer Grey Cossack, who won the 2011 Gr2 Gold Vase and the 2008 Gr3 Flamboyant Stakes winner, Laser Fan.
Arctic Teon is out of the six-time winning daughter of Kenmare, Belle Grise, who campaigned in the same silks.