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.
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?
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.