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Fortunes Support Phumelela Match Race

Pettigrew not happy about venue

Trainer Ashley Fortune has lauded Phumelela’s initiative to stage the Grand Heritage Match Race on Saturday 8 December down the Vaal straight track and says that the Fortune Racing Team was looking forward to what should prove to be a crowd puller.

Pettigrew’s Soldier On pips Dan The Man in the Grand Series Leg 1

“We are ready to take on Soldier On in a  R250 000 winner-take-all race. The Vaal straight was the original pitch for the Grand Heritage and we support Phumelela’s decision to hold the race there. It has been 28 years since the Divine Act-Brainteaser match race which created so much interest. These may not be top division horses, but the concept is a visually and tactically exciting one that should grab the public’s imagination,” she added in an interview with the Sporting Post on Sunday.

Mrs Fortune’s comments follow a report on Turf Talk that indicates that trainer Stuart Pettigrew is annoyed that the Grand Heritage Match Race has been scheduled for the straight course over 1475m.

It is reported that Pettigrew has given notice that his runner Soldier On, winner of the Grand Series Leg 1 at Turffontein, may not participate in the race.

“The Grand Heritage was planned for the Vaal and moved to Turffontein, now the match race is back at the Vaal. Soldier On’s owner Terry Kung and I have discussed the matter. We don’t believe this is fair and I don’t think we’ll race,” Pettigrew told Turf Talk.

The Fortune’s Tsitsikamma Dance beats Zouaves in the Grand Series Leg 2

Phumelela Racing Executive Clyde Basel said that he sincerely hoped that Pettigrew would change his mind so that the race can take place between Soldier On and Tsitsikamma Dance.

Basel said: “If Soldier On is pulled out, Paul Matchett’s Dan The Lad will take his berth, but the idea is to have the winners face each other in a straight contest.”

Pettigrew’s opposition to the move back to the original venue is rather  puzzling.

The 28 strong Grand Heritage was scheduled for the 1475m Vaal straight on 29 September. He entered and accepted Soldier On to run there. Why he would have an issue now defies fair reason.

“We are excited and looking forward to it. I really hope he doesn’t pull out and dampen the occasion for the public and the sponsors. There is so much negativity every week. When a good thing is happening at a happy holiday time of the year, we should all be getting behind it and aiming to pull a record crowd at the Vaal. Maybe it’s a bit of clever needle and gamesmanship on his part,” said Andrew Fortune.

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9 comments on “Fortunes Support Phumelela Match Race

  1. Chippy says:

    The Eldoriza and High Profile match race was awesome to watch.

    If I remember correctly Herman Brown got to choose the Clairwood track because Chris Snaith needed a flag start as High Profile wouldn’t go into the gates…

  2. STP says:

    Course is not the problem straight is the problem 1475m round the bend at the Vaal will be there,down the straight not sure will run, original race 28 horse no problem 2 horses not a true race, round the bend totally different people and the horses will enjoy it better we moved to inside track I never complained ran I don’t understand why we raced the race around the bend for the race now match race up the straight.If people do there job properly then next year we can have it at the right race track with 28 horses

  3. Chris Swart says:

    What’s best for the welfare of the horse and its preparation ahead should be the real question.

    Stuart has every reason to decline our accept the challenge and not race for the sake of the operator’s demands.

    They forget the state of the track when they express disappointment in his choice.

    I don’t believe you should take up a match against anyone without the odds tilted well in your favour.
    Stu will have learnt this phrase from his old boss Roy Magner

  4. Ian Jayes says:

    Nothing can be more detrimental than to have two horses of equal ability matched against each other and vigorously ridden to win. Usually you can throw at least one of them away afterwards.

  5. Andrew fortune says:

    We will come to ur training center if u want us to

  6. Ian Jayes says:

    Sorry, can’t make sense of this.

  7. Gavin Langeveldt says:

    No brainer.
    Doesn’t benefit anyone.
    I remember being there when Divine Act thumped Brainteaser by 6 lengths if I’m not mistaken.
    A total non event.
    I also remember Muis Roberts on Northern Princess beating Senõr Santa.
    These races truly don’t benefit anyone.
    In my humble opinion.

  8. Gavin Langeveldt says:

    Ian Jayes I don’t recall them throwing Senõr Santa away.
    Check you facts..

  9. Ashleigh says:

    Seabiscuit challenged War Admiral to a match race which took place on 1 November 1938. That was actually Seabiscuit’s second match race that year, the first one being against the lesser known Ligaroti on 12 August 1938. Seabiscuit was victorious in both, and went on to win several graded races after that. War Admiral raced twice more and won both starts before retiring to stud. Ligaroti also continued to race and win after the August match race.

    Senor Santa won 6 out of his next 7 starts after his match race with Northern Princess on 30 December 1989. They included the Computaform (twice), the Star Sprint, Chairman’s Stakes at Greyville, Natal Flying Champs and the First National 1600m. Northern Princess, the winner of tha match race only raced 6 times after that for two wins (Drill Hall stakes and Frank Lambert Stakes) and placed 3 times.

    Divine Act was in a match race with Brainteaser on 14 July 1990 at Gosforth Park. Divine Act won that and then had 7 more wins after that – 3 of them were in a row straight after the match race. Brainteaser won 4 out of his next 5 starts.

    Hardly write offs or throwaways in any respect, post match race.

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