The only 3yo in the field, the Curved Ball gelding Lets Play Ball played himself into contention for the R50 000 World Sports Betting East Cape Poly Challenge consolation bonus when he scored a well earned victory in Friday’s East Cape Poly Challenge 1400.
Bruce Le Roux bred the gelding who could only finish seventh in the slightly sharp 1200m first leg.
The Sharon Kotzen-trained galloper was one of only three horses in contention for the generous bonus – a condition of which is an appearance in all three legs.
With his opponents Breakfast Club (fourth) and Sao Paulo (last of eight) not featuring on Friday, the Sharon Kotzen team will be hopeful of a big run in the final leg – the R110 000 WSB East Cape Poly Challenge 1600 to be run over a mile on Friday 10 May.
Ryan Munger, who has a 100% strike rate from three rides on the gelding, had Lets Play Ball tracking the topweighted pacesetter and favourite Dawnbreaker all the way round.
Munger shrewdly forced the Gavin Smith runner to carry his weight as he pressed the challenge button early in the home straight.
In a few strides it was race over as the 8-1 Lets Play Ball gunned clear to beat the late finishing Lord Windermere – the least fancied of the Greeff trio – by 2,25 lengths in a time of 85,19 secs.
Dawnbreaker faded to finish a further 3,75 lengths back in third, with Breakfast Club a mediocre fourth.
“I opted to take Dawnbreaker on early with his big weight and it paid dividends. The mile will be an interesting task in the next leg,” said Munger.
The winner is a son of Gr2 winning Bush Hill stallion Curved Ball (Fastnet Rock) out of the six-time winning Street Cry mare, First ‘n Fast.