Greyville 27th January: This was the meeting originally scheduled to take place at Scottsville. A maiden juvenile plate for the girls over 1000m opened up proceedings and here we saw a comfortable victory for the well-supported joint favourite HEY DELILAH. Backed in to 2/1 from 15/4, the daughter of Crusade was soon at the head of affairs. She raced just a length clear for most of the journey before asserting her authority late to score by two and a quarter.
The MR77 Handicap over 2400m was shortened to 2000m and in what proved to be the faster of the two races over that distance, the visiting AMERICAN INDIAN registered his fourth career victory. More often than not seen racing up with the speed these days, Ormond Ferraris’ charge was very confidently ridden by grandson Luke Ferraris in the rear. He cut through the field quickly when given rein early in the short home straight, and cruised clear to score by 2,6 lengths after striking the front 300m out.
The maiden plate was surprisingly the faster of the two 1600m events and here victory went to the aptly named favourite VICTORIOUS MAN. Soon up handy in what was always a very tightly bunched field, Paul Lafferty’s charge quickened well when the race began in earnest and comfortably accounted for the always handy FRANKIE TWO SHOES.
The winner of the Gr2 Post Merchants last June, the 4yo SNIPER SHOT showed his well-being in his seasonal bow when gaining quickly late on to finish runner up in the non-black type Marula Sprint over 1200m.
Fairview 28th January: HIGHLAND HERO in the opening maiden plate over 1000m was the best bet for most on Monday’s poly track card, and he did the business in impressive fashion. Soon positioned up with the speed, the 4/11 favourite cruised clear in the short home straight and won easing down by eight and a half.
Another to win very comfortably on this card was PICK AGAIN in the faster of the two 1200m events, a MR66 Handicap. Soon at the head of affairs, Gavin Smith’s charge raced clear throughout. He was always in command and won without any anxious moments by three and a quarter.
Race four on the card was a maiden plate for the girls over 1600m and here the 3yo Fencing Master filly ARIKARA showed her appreciation for the extra ground. Highlighted running on stoutly over shorter on more than one occasion, Arikara was ridden with confidence here and raced in the rear. She ran on best of all at the business end of the race and won easing down by two and a quarter.
MASTER NEWTON had the rest well beaten when getting the better of SILKEN THREAD to open his account in the maiden 1300m.
Island Of Dreams
Vaal 29th January: Tuesday’s action took place on the classic track where victory in the fastest of the three 1000m races, a MR84 Handicap, went to the progressive ILHA DA VARLETTE. Now a winner of three from five, Geoff Woodruff’s charge was soon up handy. She was ridden to lead shortly after passing halfway and kept on strongly in the closing stages of the race to beat the running on STATE TROOPER by a length.
They also ran three races over 1600m and stopping the clock in the fastest time amongst these was RAGOON when landing the MR74 Handicap. Content to sit eighth of the eleven for most of the journey, Alec Laird’s charge quickened well 500m out. He got the better of the front running favourite JUBILEE LINE 60m from home and with the rest well beaten he won going away by two.
Race four on the card was an assessment plate over 1200m and here we saw a very comfortable victory for the lightly raced Potala Palace gelding RUSSIAN PRINCE. Always handy, Michael and Adam Azzie’s charge took up the running 250m out and won going away by three and a half.
In a race devoid of pace early on, FLYING FABLE took full advantage of her pull at the weights in the assessment plate over 1600m and won going away by three and a quarter.
Start Of The Legend
Scottsville 30th January: There were a number of very easy victories in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday, but none more so than that of SENTIDO in the fastest of the three 1200m events, a MR72 Handicap. Freely available at 6/1 on the off the son of Toreador was taken straight to the front by Lyle Hewitson and led throughout. He began to assert his authority going through the 400m and won going away by three and a quarter.
The two 1400m events were both maiden plates. The boy’s division was the quickest and here victory went to the Sean Tarry trained newcomer LAST OF THE LEGEND. Positioned eighth of the eleven coming off the bend, the son of Horse Chestnut quickened nicely in the straight and won well by a length and three quarters from another newcomer in MR FITZ (raced in the rear).
The only other distance to stage more than one race on this card was 1000m where the faster of the two was the MR68 Handicap won by the strongly fancied WOODSTOCK FESTIVAL. Always in midfield during the early part of the race, Darryl Moore’s charge ran on stoutly over the final 400m and in a thrilling three way finish, he only got the verdict on the nod.
Running on stoutly from midfield, the newcomer STAR VEGA was ridden to lead 80m out in the girl’s division of the maiden 1400m, and won going away by a length and a half.
Work Rider’s Day
Vaal 31st January: All of the races on Thursday were workrider’s events and interestingly, three of the first four races were won by newcomers. The boy’s division was the faster of the two 1000m events that got proceedings underway and here we saw a smart performance from the first timer, GRINDELWALD. Not the quickest into stride when the gates opened, St John Gray’s charge sat in the rear early on. He ran on best of all when given rein and in what proved to be a real thriller, he got up close home.
All of the races on the card were maiden plates and it was also a St John Gray trained newcomer (PLEASE CALL ME) that won the faster of the two 1400m events, the first division. Another to come from the rear, the son of Call To Combat quickened nicely over the final 400m and won well by a length and a quarter. Four lengths behind the winner going through the 400m was PADDY’S LEGACY. He had raced at the back after being troublesome at the start and slow into stride. He also finished very strongly to take third beaten two and a quarter.
By far the easiest victory on the card was that of FACTOR FIFTY in the maiden plate over 1700m. Sent off favourite to win the lucky last, Alec Laird’s charge was soon up handy. She was ridden to lead as they approached the 400m marker and cruised clear in the closing stages of the race to score by thirteen!
The newcomer JUST DANCE won the girl’s division of the maiden 1000m easing down by two and a quarter.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Race 1: (4) Sun Up 7
Race 2: (4) Western Angel 53
Race 3: (3) Big Fish 8
Race 4: (8) Wish To Land 71
Race 5: (4) Leadman 52
Race 6: (6) In A Perfect World 50
Race 7: (9) Ribovar 49
Race 8: (9) Curved Light 32
Race 9: (12) Capaill 37
Race 1: (4) Without Limits 13
Race 2: (1) Hero’s Honour 57 (NAP**)
Race 3: (1) Over Sharing 19
Race 4: (1) Redberry Lane 73
Race 5: (7) The Honey Badger 18
Race 6: (10) Whatabeauty 40
Race 7: (2) Cascapedia 84 (nb)
Race 8: (7) Hakeem 62
Race 9: (6) Only To Win 51
Race 10: (8) Profit Ratio 50
Race 1: (10) Orferd’s Flash 4
Race 2: (2) Augustina 13
Race 3: (14) Procrastination 24
Race 4: (2) Cat Daddy 23
Race 5: (3) Sommersonne 18
Race 6: (8) Snapscan 48
Race 7: (7) Mythical Bolt 46
Race 8: (12) Run Fox Run 43
Race 1: (1) Krishnies Jet 18
Race 2: (5) Home Ruler 8
Race 3: (2) Amex 10
Race 4: (7) Father’s Frost 6
Race 5: (5) Haylor 76
Race 6: (8) Kingston Boy 58
Race 7: (2) Exclusive Quantity 49
Race 8: (2) Mighty Rock 11
Top rated winners last week included
Aloysius won 22/10
Strong ‘n Brave won 21/10
Rocket Fire won 2/1
Clouds Of Witness won 18/10
Victorious Man won 15/10
Flying Fable won 13/10
Indy Ice won 13/10
Highland Hero won 4/11
Factor Fifty (A Laird, Gauteng)
Ilha Da Varlette (G Woodruff, Gauteng
The number of races run over each distance is shown in brackets
*Denotes – Times taken by Clockwatcher
Greyville (poly) 27th January
Course Variant: 1,11s slow
1000m (2) Fleek 59,20
1200m (1) Di Mazzio 70,70
1600m (2) Victorious Man 96,92
1800m (1) O’ Keeffe 109,43
2000m (2) American Indian 122,30
Fairview (poly) 28th January
1000m (1) Highland Hero 57,85
1100m (1) Silva Key 64,84
1200m (2) Pick Again 71,03
1300m (1) Master Newton 78,26
1400m (1) Maverick Girl 84,02
1600m (1) Arikara 99,77
1900m (2) Rocksette 117,71
Vaal (classic) 29th January
Penetrometer 21 – Good
1000m (3) Ilha Da Varlette 56,90
1200m (1) Russian Prince 69,77
1600m (3) Ragoon 96,14
1800m (1) Horseplay 110,15
Scottsville 30th January
Penetrometer 24 – Good
Course Variant: 0,05s slow
1000m (2) Woodstock Festival 56,40
1200m (3) Sentido 68,14
1400m (2) Last Of The Legend 84,20
2400m (1) Cruise Cruz 153,42
Vaal 31st January
Penetrometer 22 – Going Good
Course Variant: 0,73s slow
1000m (2) Grindelwald 58,03
1200m (1) Lady Of Liberty 71,41
1400m (2) Please Call Me 84,48
1700m (1) Factor Fifty 107,55
2000m (2) Indy Ice 126,01
2400m (1) Fact 152,55