Multiple SA champion Piere Strydom won the R1 million Gr1 Computaform Sprint for the fifth time this century when he rode a finely judged race to get the Cape raider Pacific Trader home for Brett Crawford under the lights at Turffontein on Saturday.
It’s unbelievable to think that Strydom is jetting off to Mauritius soon to seek his fortune as a result of a lack of support on the home front. The veteran’s genius judgement of pace and strength in the finish was all that stood between Yvette Bremner and a second victory in the race after Copper Parade – coincidentally ridden by Striker – won it in 2014.
Strydom had Pacific Trader out the stalls quickly and he tracked the lightning fast Princess Rebel all the way. At the 200m mark Strydom hesitated as he seemed to want to go in but then opted to come outside of the little chestnut speed machine.
Producing his peak career performance at his first start here, the 6-1 Pacific Trader responded and nabbed the 36-1 Princess Rebel on the line to win by a short head in a time of 56,66 secs.
Anton Marcus got the 3yo Chimichuri Run into the race late and he was just over a length back in third, with Yvette Bremner completing the quartet with longshot Quinlan sneaking into fourth.
Van Halen (4 lengths) and Trip To Heaven (4,25 lengths) ran decent races after losing the initiative at the start.
Strydom, whose previous Computaform Sprint winners include JJ The Jet Plane (2008), Private Jet (2009), Shea Shea (2012) and Copper Parade (2014), pointed out in the post-race interview that this race was won and lost at the start.
Brett Crawford, who was saddling his second Computaform Sprint winner after the outstanding Laisserfaire won in 2002, said that Pacific Trader didn’t do well in KZN last season.
“So this was always his mission after the Cape summer season and I must thank the owners, whose first Gr1 it was, as well as Mike and Mathew de Kock for accommodating my horses from Wednesday,” he added.
Bred by Ascot Stud, Pacific Trader is by Sail From Seattle (Gone West) out of the Cape Cross mare, Agbalat – an unraced daughter of Irish Gr2 2000m winner Tarfshi (Mtoto).
He was bought for R150 000 by trainer Brett Crawford on the 2016 CTS Emperors Palace Select Yearling Sale and took his earnings with his first group victory to R967 313. This was his fifth win and he has clocked up 4 places from 11 starts.
Gr1 Computaform Sprint (SAf-Gr1)
Turffontein, South Africa, May 4, R1 million, 1000m, turf, good, 56.66
1 – PACIFIC TRADER (SAF), 60.0, b g 4, Sail From Seattle (USA) – Agbalat (GB) by Cape Cross (IRE). Owner Messrs M J Maritz & F van Wyk; Breeder Ascot Stud; trainer BJ Crawford; jockey P Strydom
2 – Princess Rebel (SAF), 57.5, ch f 4, Rebel King (SAF) – First Wave (SAF) by Waldoboro (USA)
3 – Chimichuri Run (SAF), 58.5, ch c 3, Trippi (USA) – Spiced Gold (SAF) by Kahal (GB)
Margins: 0.10, 1.10, 0.10