Vodacom Durban July entries filled the top five places in Sunday’s R150 000 Listed The Sledgehammer run over the adjusted distance of 2000m on the Greyville turf.
Greg Cheyne took full advantage of a chance ride for the indisposed Keagan De Melo. He stepped into the breach for the Sabine Plattner team when riding a well-judged race to go from start to finish to win the feature rescheduled from Scottsville.
A son of form sire Querari, the 4yo Head Honcho was registering his first stakes win when he kept on powerfully to go all the way.
There were a few nervous moments for his connections after the Stipes called for a race review into an incident at the top of the home straight.
The camera is at an awkward angle but it shows Pack Leader checking off Head Honcho’s heels around the 400m marker.
It is possible that Pack Leader ran on to the leader’s heels and he did have every chance to get past Head Honcho.
Greg Cheyne kept his head down though and Head Honcho lasted long enough to hold off a determined challenge from Cape Derby third-placed Pack Leader by a short head in a time of 111,60 secs.
The Stipes said:
PACK LEADER (R Fourie) was steadied off the heels of HEAD HONCHO (G Cheyne) passing the 400 metre mark. A race review was called by a Stipendiary Steward regarding this incident and after reviewing the patrol videos from the various angles took no further action and allowed the Judge’s result to stand.
Dark Moon Rising was a further 0,75 lengths away in third, with favourite The Slade staying on for fourth.
Topweight Elusive Silva stayed on pleasingly for fifth and 3,55 lengths off the winner in his first start since running unplaced in the Sun Met.
Other July entries to run quiet races were Legend ( 7th and 4,30 lengths), Mambo Mime (9th and 4,50 lengths) and the slow-starting Wild Wicket (10th and 5 lengths).
A La Plaisance Stud home-bred, Head Honcho has won 5 races with 4 places from 13 starts for stakes of R410 500.
A son of Querari (Oasis Dream) Head Honcho is out of three-time winner School Captain (Captain Al), who also ran in the Plattner silks in her racing days.