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Behind At Weight For Age

Turffontein 23rd December: The first maiden juvenile races in the province took place on Saturday and both divisions had very easy winners. The quicker of the two 800m scurries was the boy’s affair in which VAN HALEN couldn’t have been more impressive. Backed into favouritism at the track, the son of Oratorio put his head in front going through the 600m and after quickly drawing clear, he cruised in by seven and three quarters.
It was a similar story in the girl’s affair where Van Halen’s stable companion MISS BOOMERANG did the business. Also backed into favouritism, Corne Spies Charge led throughout. She was always in command and won unchallenged by four and a half.
Four of the afternoon’s ten races were staged over 1160m and stopping the clock in the fastest time amongst these was PURE BLONDE in the MR89 Handicap. Another to win from the front, Alec Laird’s charge led by a length and a half for most of the journey. He kept on strongly over the final 400m and although DONNY G did manage to make some headway, he couldn’t get closer than a length at the wire.
Titbits
Behind at weight for age, the 4yo CASCAPEDIA showed considerable improvement when easily accounting for her eight rivals in the pinnacle stakes over 1800m. Mike De Kock’s charge has now won four from five and clearly has a bright future ahead of her.

Horses For Courses

Scottsville 24th December: A maiden juvenile plate over 800m got proceedings underway in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday and here we saw a smart performance from the newcomer VAL-La-Ree. Freely available at 15/1 on the off, the daughter of Var led throughout. She was always in command and won without any anxious moments by four.
Three of the afternoon’s eight races were run over 1200m and stopping the clock in the fastest time amongst these was LONDON CALL in the bill topping pinnacle stakes. Another to make virtually all, Mark Dixon’s charge was allowed a 2,5 lengths advantage for  most of the journey. The visiting TALKTOTHESTARS did close the gap to a half over the final 200m, but he was held at the wire. London Call has now won seven of his ten outings over this course and distance.
The faster of the two 1600m races was the MR74 Handicap in which REDEEMER registered his second career victory. Having his first outing since relocating from the Western Cape Brett Crawford’s charge was drawn wide and raced in midfield early on. He put his head in front going through the 300m and won comfortably by two from the running on DARK MOON RISING.
Titbits
The 5yo SAINT MARCO ran on well from midfield when getting up late to win the MR84 Handicap over 1600m

More Than Enough

Greyville 26th December: Wednesday afternoon’s action took place on the turf where the first four races on the card were all staged over 1400m. The MR62 Handicap for the girls was the fastest of these and here the Kildonan filly CELESTIAL GOLD found her best form. Positioned in the rear when the race began in earnest, Celestial Gold ran on best of all and won going away by a length.
Next up were two 1000m races and in by far the faster of these SWAKOPMUND registered his fifth career victory. Easy to back at 13/1 on the off, Dennis Drier’s charge was soon positioned up with the speed. He ran on strongly in the short home straight and with the benefit of first run, he comfortably accounted for the running on CAPTAIN’S GIRL by two.
The remaining three races on the card were all run over 1600m and quickest home here was the 3yo ROY HAD ENOUGH in the feature event, the listed Christmas Handicap. Drawn wide, Frank Robinson’s charge wasn’t the quickest into stride when the gates opened and raced in the rear. Once given rein though he quickened well, and won going away by two and three quarters after striking the front 150m from home.
Titbits
After being slow into stride, EMPRESS VALLEY ran on well from the rear when third to the easy winner KAZAAR in the opening maiden plate over 1400m.

Plenty Of Heart

Kenilworth 27th December: In terms of prize money, the MR84 Handicap marginally topped the bill in Cape Town and in what surprisingly was the slower of the two 1000m events on the card, TRIP THE WILLOW registered her third career victory. Always one to run on stoutly from off the pace, this daughter of Trippi came from the rear and won going away.
By far the faster of the two 1400m races on the card was the progress plate for 3yo’s won by ELUSIVE HEART. Soon at the head of affairs, Glen Kotzen’s charge raced clear throughout. She ran on strongly over the final 400m and with a ton in hand won easing up by three and a quarter.
They also ran two races over 2000m and quickest home here was the progressive MADE TO CONQUER in the MR76 Handicap. Allowed to ease at the track as money came for BIG PARADE, Justin Snaith’s charge was always handy. He commenced battle with the money horse 200m out and asserted his authority late to score by a length and a quarter.
Titbits
Now a winner of two from five, the 3yo FRANKING won the MR64 Handicap over 2000m easing down by six and a quarter.

Music To The Ears

Vaal 28th December: They raced on the classic track on Thursday where somewhat surprisingly six of the afternoon’s nine races were run over 1700m. The MR66 Handicap was the fastest of these and here we saw a very easy victory for the 5yo WEST COAST WARRIOR. Easy to back at 18/1 on the off Sean Tarry’s charge raced in midfield early on. He ran on well down the long straight and cruised clear to score by four and a quarter after striking the front 200m from home.
The only other distance to stage more than one race was 1000m where REBEL’S CHAMP was quickest home. At the head of affairs before halfway, the 7/1 shot kept on strongly at the business end of the race to beat the running on favourite MARMOOK by three quarters.
A MR79 Handicap over 1500m made up the afternoon’s fare and here we saw a smart performance from the highly regarded PIETRO MASCAGNI. Backed into favouritism at the track, Mike De Kock’s charge raced ninth of the ten for most of the journey. He quickened best of all when asked for his effort and won going away with some in hand.
Titbits
COSTA DA SOL ran on best of all when getting up late to win the MR78 Handicap over 1700m.

Top speedratings for this weekend include:-

Kenilworth (fri)
Race 1: (3) Elusive Kat 3
Race 2: (2) True Words 29
Race 3: (5) Miss Katalin 85
Race 4: (2) Star Evolution 12
Race 5: (10) Milden Spell 59
Race 6: (10) Adorada 83
Race 7: (2) Jo’s Bond 89
Race 8: (2) Streetfighting Man 19
Greyville (fri)
Race 1: (2) O’reilly 21
Race 2: (5) Ataturk 51
Race 3: (6) Land Of The Gods 14
Race 4: (1) Symphony In Seven 24
Race 5: (5) Fire The Rocket 53
Race 6: (2) Elusive Wolf 32
Race 7: (9) Gadget Man 67
Race 8: (6) Fantasy Art 45 (EW)
Race 9: (9) Dom Seguidor 37
Kenilworth (sat)
Race 1: (6) The Boston Rose 19
Race 2: (2) Be Yourself 1
Race 3: (6) Paddington 33
Race 4: (5) My World 83
Race 5: (12) Turbulent Air 92
Race 6: (1) Nother Russia 84
Race 7: (1) Legal Eagle 101
Race 8: (7) Doublemint 51
Race 9: (8) Pillar Of Hercules 75
Race 10: (6) Wedgwood 45
Scottsville (sat)
Race 1: (8) Tombola 15
Race 2: (7) Biometric 14
Race 3: (6) Electropop 14
Race 4: (1) Roman Courtesan 6
Race 5: (13) Caprivi 52
Race 6: (4) Seattle Oak 46
Race 7: (1) Muscatt 84
Race 8: (11) Dundrum 50
Turffontein (sun)
Race 1: (14) Poormanslady 10
Race 2: (3) Mackbool 21
Race 3: (3) Pera Palace 74
Race 4: (2) Social Order 76
Race 5: (10) Kilauea 88
Race 6: (6) Seerite 67 (NAP*)
Race 7: (5) French Navy 96
Race 8: (7) Witchcraft 78
Race 9: (6) Mario Lanza 21
Race 10: (1) Imperial Ounce 29

Top rated winners last week included

Pure Blonde won 13/1
Alraune won 5/1
Flight Club won 9/2
Making Miracles won 33/10
Pearl Jam won 17/10
London Call won 15/10
Pata Pata won 14/10
Mirwa won 19/20

Notebook:-

Cascapedia (M De Kock, Gauteng)
Pietro Mascagni (M De Kock, Gauteng)

FASTEST TIMES

The number of races run over each distance is shown in brackets
*Denotes – Times taken by Clockwatcher

Turffontein (stand side) 23rd December
Penetrometer 27 – Going Soft
Course Variant: 0,63s slow
800m   (2) Van Halen       45,60
1160m (4) Pure Blonde    67,26
1400m (1) Flowing Gown 86,80
1800m (1) Cascapedia    112,24
2000m (2) Horseplay       127,03

Scottsville (inside) 24th December
Penetrometer 26 – Going G/Soft
Course Variant: 0,38s fast
800m   (1) Val-La-Ree  45,92
1200m (3) London Call 67,60
1600m (2) Redeemer   94,89
1950m (2) Coys          122,77

Greyville (turf) 26th December
Penetrometer 21 – Going Good
Course Variant: 0,05s fast
1000m (2) Swakopmund       57,84
1400m (4) Celestial Gold      83,40
1600m (3) Roy Had Enough 95,94

Kenilworth (new) 27th December
Penetrometer 21 – Going Good
Course Variant: 0,98s slow
1000m (2) Pata Pata                  60,05
1400m (2) Elusive Heart            88,00
1600m (1) Glamorous Life        101,83
1700m (1) Tsitsikamma Dance 108,88
2000m (2) Made To Conquer    127,32

Vaal (classic) 28th December
Penetrometer 23 – Going Good
Course Variant: 0,18s fast
1000m (2) Rebel’s Champ         56,42
1500m (1) Pietro Mascagni        89,64
1700m (6) West Coast Warrior 102,47

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Midweek Tips 8-11 January 2018