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Scottsville – Track Running Fair

‘If good enough, they can win from anywhere’

The only handicap on the annual festival of speed Gr1 programme, the Tsogo Sun Sprint is a battle down the 1200m straight that has often produced its fair share of fairytales and hard-luck stories.

Garth Puller

Garth Puller

Years ago, the track’s draw bias was a hot topic with the racing operator making comparisons to Royal Ascot and Turffontein, and suggesting that we wouldn’t find a straight track in the world  that didn’t show some form of bias. That’s probably a fair assessment – so who knows who gets lucky from which gate on Saturday?

In 2018, the day’s Gr1 winners were carded in order of race at 14,15, 4 and 11.

“I feel that the historical bias has largely been eradicated, and if anything the middle to inside may offer the slightly better path. But it’s not a pronounced bias anymore and effectively this gives everybody just about a fair chance – which obviously makes for better racing,” says Summerveld trainer Garth Puller, who won the 1986 Gr1 Gold Medallion – or Smirnoff Plate – on the champion Bush Telegraph, beating Main Man on an  objection – see the pic below (courtesy:South African Racing Crowd)

A champion jockey of his time, Puller is the only man to have bred and ridden the winner of the Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint.

He bred the very smart nine-time winner Home Streaker, a daughter of Home And Dry (Joy 11), who he rode to victory for the late Colin Burroughs in the 1983 R40 000 SA Fillies Sprint. Piet Steyn, who is a lot greyer these days and still churning out winners from his Milnerton base, brought the filly up from Cape Town for her only outing in KZN that season.

Garth saddles Travelling Light for the Hollywood Syndicate in the Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship on Saturday.


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8 comments on “Scottsville – Track Running Fair

  1. Graham Hurlstone-Jones says:

    Can someone explain why we are getting a history lesson from Teletrack on past horses just as they are loading for a grade 1 ? I don’t understand…..

  2. Siven Pather says:

    Fellow racing enthusiasts – I am keen to get your views on the ride on Frosted Gold?

  3. Graham Martin says:

    Frosted Gold it appears did’nt get a good start and was behind a bunch of horses untill half way down the straight. Anton Marcus tried to get through a gap a couple of times but the gap closed on each occasion, he then pulled Frosted Gold to the outside at the same time losing ground, he now had a clear run and was finishing strongly but the finishing post came too soon, otherwise he would have won! This is a very good horse and will win next time on July day at Greyville. Eden Roc won’t beat Frosted Gold again!

  4. Graham Martin says:

    P.S.there was nothing wrong with the ride on Frosted Gold, it was bad luck!


    Siven Pather, Mr Martin’s rendition is exactly how it happened.

    I went against Frosted Gold, but just got lucky. Considering where he was early on, it was a remarkable performance.


    Graham H – I applaud Mr. Peter’s initiative to call back the past, but yes, his timing does appear to be a bit odd/off.

  7. Rian says:

    And so say all of us, poor ride

  8. Bob Kistnasamy says:

    I concur. Horse did not have luck in running.

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