A cracking start-to-finish effort from Cup Trial runner-up Crowd Pleaser opened the July day feature programme at Greyville on Saturday when the smart Captain Al 3yo Crowd Pleaser won the R500 000 Gr2 Betting World 2200 in style.
The traditional July Consolation attracted a smaller field than usual, but the contest was wide open.
Crowd Pleaser was one of two 3yo’s in the ten horse line up and he showed his progressive ability with a smooth win from gun to tap under Keagan De Melo. He was the second winner in three races on the afternoon for trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren and the Wernars family.
Turning for home, De Melo let the colt stride off his easy lead and he was never under pressure, drawing away to beat the fast-finishing Royal Badge by 2 lengths in a time of 132,65 secs. The run confirmed his excellent Cup Trial second when he finished in front of July fancy Black Arthur as no fluke!
The gallant mare Trophy Wife came on late after a slow start to get third.
Trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren said that Crowd Pleaser’s racing style was admirably suited to the Greyville track. He would possibly be gelded and rested and then taken to Cape Town for the summer.
A R400 000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale graduate, Crowd Pleaser was bred by Normandy Stud and is a son of Captain Al(Al Mufti) out of the USA-bred one-time winner Happy Jean (Charismatic).
He has won 4 races with 5 places from 14 starts and took his earnings to R638 250.
Gr3 Betting World 2200 (SAf-Gr3)
Greyville, South Africa, July 1, R500k, 2200m, turf, good, 2.12.65
1 – CROWD PLEASER (SAF), 54.0, b c 3, Captain Al (SAF) – Happy Jean by Charismatic (USA). Owner Messrs J F & L M F Wernars & Mrs T J Wernars; Breeder Normandy Stud; trainer JJ v Vuuren; jockey K De Melo
2 – Royal Badge (SAF), 56.0, b g 4, Go Deputy (USA) – So Royal (SAF) by Kahir Almaydan (IRE)
3 – Trophy Wife (SAF), 58.0, b m 5, Tiger Ridge (USA) – My Squeeza (SAF) by Goldmark (SAF)
Margins: 2.00, 1.00, 0.25