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Why Don’t More Trainers Do It?

Singfonico wins under 'old' rating - and it's all legit!

If we had more trainers like Tobie Spies, maybe we would all be whinging less about field sizes as our equine athletes languish in their boxes and don’t pay their way.

While Brett Crawford and Justin Snaith lifted the training honours with a double apiece on a sunny Durbanville afternoon –  where field sizes were reasonable with 98 horses running over the eight races – it was the shrewdly strategized strike by the well-backed Tobie Spies trained and owned Singfonico which caught the eye.

Anthony Andrews steers Singfonico to a popular victory (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

The quick Bezrin gelding has been round the block. He has run 23 times at such diverse venues as Turffontein, Flamingo Park, Vaal, Kenilworth and Durbanville for his 3 wins and 5 places.

Backed from 5-2 to 13-10 on Saturday, Singfonico was never headed under regular man Anthony Andrews in the 1000m MR70 Handicap.

Carrying 56kgs off an MR of 62, he beat Skidoo by 1,50 lengths in a time 58,75 secs.

Fact of the matter is that when chasing Bwana home under sufferance last Saturday in an MR 93 Handicap over the same course and distance, and earning a 19 point penalty to 81, Singfonico was already in the weights for this meeting.

Only winners can be adjusted in the interim – he thus earned an ‘amnesty’ that his astute trainer-owner took full advantage of.

There was no breach of the rules. So why don’t more trainers try this potential ‘safe space’ and get a little more enthusiastic about running their horses more often?

Tobie Spies – the ‘old man’!

Spies Assistant trainer Johannes Dlamini confirmed that his charge doesn’t work particularly hard between his races and said that he was always confident when Anthony Andrews was aboard.

“And I am so happy for Mr Tobie Spies. He is the owner and the trainer – he is an old man and is supposed to be happy!”

The Bidvest McCarthy Toyota NI City sponsored Anthony Andrews said that his mount comes back far better than he goes to start.

He confirmed that Durbanville is also the perfect track for Singfonico.

“He has got a lot of gate speed. When we are in front at this track they tend to race in single file and leave us alone out front. At Kenilworth he fights them from the 800m. So it’s much more in his favour at this track. I hope they don’t give him a big penalty.”

Dream on Anthony!

Well done Tobie.

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6 comments on “Why Don’t More Trainers Do It?

  1. hilton witz says:

    Why run singfonico the previous week and risk getting a 19 pound penalty where you could just wait one week and just get the penalty for winning ?

    1. Editor says:

      He is limited to 1100m by looks of it, Hilton – and is particularly effective at Durbanville.

      Assuming Singfonico was ready for a run that afternoon of 30 March – there were no other suitable 1000m races on that day- they took their chances and earned a cheque in the process and then banked another yesterday.

      The Durbanville season doesnt last forever either.

  2. Roderick Mattheyse says:

    so does his rating go back down to 65, following the win or are the field going to be rated 19 pts higher for their close proximity to an 82? or does the horse get suspended for in and out running running to an 82 and 1 week later a 65?

  3. John Bryant says:

    I think the anomaly is rule 48.6.1.2 where the handicapper can only increase the MR and weight of a horse (after weights have been published) if it WON. Singfonico’s MR had already been increased to 81 as per the NHRA site. So running him off an MR of 62 is in contradiction of rule 47.3.2 – “a handicap, which shall be a RACE in which the weights to be carried by the HORSES are allocated by the handicapper for the purpose of equalising their chances of winning;”

  4. Roderick Mattheyse says:

    handicappers have chosen to leave everything as is – so if the race is run again next week Singofonico is not afforded the luxury that the derby field was in that they would meet each other on correct weight terms

  5. hilton witz says:

    what happened to the minimun 2 pound increase as per the nhra rules for winning a merit rated handicap?he should now be a 83 surely or those only guidelines

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