Vaal-based trainer Ashley Fortune took her next step to having her first runner in the R750 000 World Sports Betting Grand Heritage – the event with the biggest field in South African racing – to be run over 1475m at the Vaal on Saturday 29 September, when the game 5yo Mount Keith won at Turffontein on Saturday.
Taking the step up to the 1450m as a means of testing whether he was more than a solid sprinter, Mount Keith rallied strongly late in the third race, an MR 74 Handicap over 1450m, to hold off the challenge of Seventh Of June to win by just under a half length in a time of 88,92 secs.
The 7yo Front Rank stayed on for third cheque, a further 1,60 lengths off the runner-up.
Piere Strydom rode Mount Keith, a son Fencing Master (Oratorio), to his fourth win from 30 starts. The former Glen Kotzen-trained gelding has won 50% of his six starts since relocating from the Cape. Strydom got the best out of Mount Keith, who did not appear to be stopping and should be good for the extra 25m of the Grand Heritage!
Ashley Fortune said that plans were still ‘fluid’ for her three Grand Heritage entries, with other options available.
“We will wait and see what the handicapper feels about the merits of Mount Keith’s run. There is another 1200m on that day to consider for him. Tsitsikamma Dance, a two-time winner, has his first start for me on Tuesday in an Assessment Plate. He may just need it but is my most likely Grand Heritage starter. Rings ‘N Things will likely have her first run for me on 4 September. As a filly, it may make more sense to aim her for the black type option of the Gr2 Joburg Spring F&M Challenge at Turffontein on 6 October rather than the Grand Heritage. But all my trio are doing well and we will let things develop,” said SA’s newest Lady Trainer, who has made a sparkling start to her career.
To be considered for inclusion in the final Grand Heritage field, every horse nominated must have had at least a minimum of one run from the time of first entry up to and including the time of the final supplementary entry.
Base weights are determined by the handicapper prior to consideration of additional weights for Graded and Listed races. Additional penalties for highest Graded/Listed win in the last 18 months are: Grade 1 3kg, Grade 2 2kg, Grade 3 1kg, Listed 0.5kg.
Thereafter, where applicable, amended weights for runs between first and final supplementary entries will be published on a weekly basis until final weights are published. There is no sex allowance and no apprentice allowance.
Stakes are payable up to 15th position, provided 28 runners + 2 reserve runners are declared, with the first prize being R406 250. A maximum field of 28 horses can run.