Punting takes big you-know-whats on the best of days. It’s when they are required to be of the crystal variety that most of us die-hards are found wanting.
The excitement of waking up on a Monday morning to a Flamingo Park brainteaser of 171 horses – more than twice they could hope for in the Cape on any given Saturday – was quickly tempered by two quick blows to the solar plexus in the seventh and eighth races that produced a tote double dividend of R804.
Up to then, the fancied runners had played ball – with many of us holding small percentage exotics.
Cliffie Miller’s Seattle Wonder wasn’t impossible to find.
A 4yo colt, he is a bit in and out at best, but was a course-and-distance winner at his penultimate start and with his handy galloping weight of 52kgs from a reasonable draw, he would probably have been an inclusion. That is, particularly for those who felt that Jacques Strydom’s visiting fancied pair of Frikkie and Desert Wisdom were beatable and had overstayed their welcome in the Diamond City.
The R110 000 Northern Cape Stayers had, after all, been carded a week earlier but the weather had played its part with the original meeting rained out.
On the day, the non black-type feature produced one of the top finishes of the afternoon, with Collen Storey extracting an extra bit of enthusiasm out of Seattle Wonder, to give the Moutonshoek bred son of Mambo In Seattle his biggest payday when collaring former KZN resident Saint Marco in the final strides to win by 0,25 lengths in a time of 149.79 secs.
Seattle Wonder, who shed his maiden over 1000m, is out of the one-time mile winner Countess Casey (Casey Tibbs).
He has won 3 races with 9 places from 21 starts and has banked R174 550.
The fancied Frikkie could do no better than a 12,50 length fourth, while stablemate and favourite Desert Wisdom never found a finish and ran four lengths behind that.
Cliffie Miller enjoyed a hat-trick on the day, as did Collen Storey who took his season total to 21.
The real bomb dropped in the next.
Zanjabeel, a maiden winner a year ago, bolted home at 100-1 from a poor draw under Dennis Schwarz. Having finished 82 lengths back in his last three runs, he was having his second run after a break, having run 37 lengths back on his return last month.
What will Corrie Lensley’s explanation be to the Stipes?
As Alistair Cohen chirped in the commentary – “you’d need a crystal ball to find this one!”