Kenilworth 5th May: Two 1200m listed events for juveniles topped the bill in Cape Town on Sunday and in the faster of these, The Somerset 1200, we saw another smart performance from the unbeaten ARMANDO. An easy four length winner of his only previous racecourse appearance, the son of What A Winter was backed into the red on course. Soon up handy, Armando quickened well 400m out and after striking the front 300m later, he won comfortably by a length.
Three of the afternoon’s eight races were staged over 1000m and in by far the fastest of these the favourite CLOUDS UNFOLD couldn’t have been more impressive. Content to idle along at the back for most of the journey, the What A Winter filly quickened in good style when given rein. She struck the front 100m out and with a ton in hand, won very cosily by a length and three quarters. Clouds Unfold has now won seven of her nine career starts.
The only other distance to stage more than one race was 1400m where the faster of the two maiden plates was the boy’s affair won by SIX DEGREES. Sent off second in the betting market at 2/1, Glen Kotzen’s charge was soon positioned close to the speed. He put his head in front shortly after passing the 300m marker and kept on strongly late to beat the serial maiden CRADLEOFGRATITUDE by a length and a quarter.
The favourite ANSE LAZIO only had to be pushed out before winning the 2500m maiden plate easing down.
Remember The Name
Vaal 7th May: All eyes in race three at the Vaal on Tuesday were on the full brother to Al Sahem AL MUTAWAKEL. Sent off second favourite at 26/10 to win this maiden event over 1200m, Sean Tarry’s newcomer raced fourth during the early part of the race. He quickened well when asked for his effort and won going away by two and a quarter.
Three of the afternoon’s eight races took place over 1450m and in the fastest of these, a juvenile plate, the Mike De Kock trained EHSAAN gained his second victory from just four starts. Sent off a rather uneasy favourite at 14/10, the Captain Al colt made all. He raced a length and a quarter clear for most of the trip before extending that advantage to two over the final 300m.
The MR68 affair was the faster of the two low grade handicaps over 2400m and here the 4yo Fort Wood gelding HORACE ran out a very easy winner. Ashley Fortune’s charge had adopted a change of tactics when winning over 2000m last time out and he again raced close to the speed here. He took up the running as they approached the 400m pole and cruised clear in the closing stages of the race to score by six and a half.
Racing off a mark some thirteen points below that of her former best, the daughter of Silvano CHARIOT OF GOLD ran on well from her handy position and cruised clear over the final 400m when winning the MR74 Handicap over 2400m by eight.
Turffontein 8th May: The bill topping MR84 Handicap was the fastest of the three 1450m events on the inner track on Wednesday and here the St John Gray trained LAKE KINNERET registered his third career victory. Always handy, the son of Kahal ran on strongly at the business end of the race and in what proved to be a real thriller he only got the verdict on the nod over the front running ARABIAN AIR.
There was an even tighter finish in the faster of the two 1200m races, a MR74 Handicap, where just a short head separated the first three home. The recent easy maiden winner CAPTAIN’S ALPHA was the first to make a move and struck the front 400m out. He kept on strongly all the way to the wire and that proved to be just enough to hold on to share with the more fancied GOLDEN LION (came from the rear). The always handy MOUNT KEITH was the close up third.
The two 1700m races on the card were both maiden plates and in the faster of these, the girl’s affair, TEHUANO opened her account. Backed into odds on at the track, the daughter of Dynasty ran on stoutly from her handy position and in another classic finish she only got the verdict on the nod over TUSCAN LIGHT (raced 6th – led 200m).
Easily ten lengths off the pace at the back turning for home, CORRIDO ran on strongly in the short home straight and did very well indeed to get up in the very last stride.
Powerful From The Front
Vaal 9th May: Six of the nine races at the Vaal on Thursday were sprinting events. The MR104 Handicap was not surprisingly the fastest of the three 1200m races and here it was nice to see ANGEL’S POWER back in the winner’s enclosure. Without a win since Apr’17, the son of Miesque’s Approval raced fifth in what very quickly became a strung out field. He ran on strongly over the final 400m and in a blanket finish he got the verdict by a neck over ALWAHSH.
The MR88 Handicap was by far the faster of the two 1000m events and here we saw a gutsy performance from GALACTIC WARRIOR. Taken straight to the front by 4kg claimer Juglall, the son of Querari led throughout. He kept on determinedly at the business end of the race and comfortably accounted for the similarly fancied ORAVAR by a length and three quarters.
Another to win well from the front on this card was CAPTAIN OF TORTUGA in the assessment plate. The best bet on the card for many, Ormond Ferraris’ charge was challenged by ROCKIN RUSSIAN 100m out and it looked for a moment like Sean Tarry’s charge might get the upper hand. Captain Of Tortuga found extra below the distance though, and with the rest some four lengths adrift, he won going away by a half.
Returning from a six month layoff here, DICKENS caught the eye running on from the rear when a three lengths fourth in the maiden plate over 1400m.
Work Rider’s Day
Turffontein 11th May: By just 4/100th of a second the boy’s division won by LIGHTHEARTED was the faster of the two maiden plates over 1000m that opened up proceedings at this work rider’s meeting. Easy to back at 11/1 on the off, Paul Peter’s charge was soon positioned close to the speed. He put his head in front 80m from the post and kept on strongly below the distance to beat the running on PIDGEON ROCK. The runner up found support and was flying late.
The boy’s division was also the quicker of the two 1600m maiden events and in a time 9/100th of a second faster than that of the girls, the favourite FLAPJACK opened his account. Clearly the one to beat on the best of his form, Flapjack wasn’t the quickest into stride and raced sixth of the eight early on. He ran on strongly when the race developed into a sprint 400m out and in what proved to be a real thriller he got the verdict on the nod over ROYAL PURSUIT.
They also ran two maiden plates over 2000m and here the girls were the quicker when the nibbled at WORDYNESS opened her account. At the back at the top of the long home straight, this 3yo daughter of Byword ran on best of all over the final 700m and won going away by a length and three quarters.
In the rear after taking a bump at the start, MISS SAMURAI was finishing best of all when a two length third in the maiden plate for the girls over 1000m.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Race 1: (5) Princess Blitz 10
Race 2: (3) Hidden Power 4
Race 3: (1) Finley Hill 15 (NAP*)
Race 4: (1) Elusive Green 10
Race 5: (5) Data Link 52
Race 6: (9) Chestnut Legacy 43
Race 7: (5) Dynasty’s Boy 44
Race 8: (10) Torio Lake 43
Race 1: (9) Thomas Shelby 19
Race 2: (5) Clear Horizons 12
Race 3: (1) Liquid Irish 13
Race 4: (10) Hidden Influence 48
Race 5: (9) Banjo On My Knee 57
Race 6: (14) Woodstock Fairy 69
Race 7: (11) Orpheus 88
Race 8: (7) Heart Of A Legend 87
Race 9: (9) Arizona Sunset 44
Race 1: (3) General Franco 27 (NAP*)
Race 2: (1) Mary Moon 10
Race 3: (7) Capkuta 18
Race 4: (1) Natural Jade 21
Race 5: (4) Boomps A Daisy 45
Race 6: (5) Rock On Wood 52
Race 7: (2) Crome Yellow 53
Race 8: (12) Duchess Of Prussia 40
Race 1: (2) Lion King 13
Race 2: (2) Glacier Girl 6
Race 3: (1) Blonde Vision 53
Race 4: (1) Dry Your Eyes 17 (NAP*)
Race 5: (10) Arlingtons Revenge 88
Race 6: (15) Only To Win 72
Race 7: (3) Zouaves 89
Race 8: (5) Bid Before Sunset 52
Top rated winners last week included
Captain’s Alpha won 17/4
Slay The Dragon won 57/20
Anse Lazio won 33/20
Eightfolds Lass won 11/10
Rio Querari won 8/10
Tehuano won 8/10
Dancing In Seattle won 8/11
Roll In The Hay won 5/8
Al Mutawakel (S Tarry, Gauteng)
Armando (B Crawford, W-Cape)
Clouds Unfold (C Bass-Robinson, W-Cape)
The number of races run over each distance is shown in brackets
*Denotes – Times taken by Clockwatcher
Kenilworth (new) 5th May
Penetrometer 23 – Going Good
Course Variant: 1,88s slow
1000m (3) Clouds Unfold 59,45*
1200m (2) Armando 74,11*
1400m (2) Six Degrees 90,82
2500m (1) Anse Lazio 161,61
Vaal 7th May
Penetrometer 22 – Going Good
Course Variant: 0,66s slow
1200m (1) Al Mutawakel 70,57
1450m (3) Ehsaan 87,44
1600m (1) Mutrib 95,87
1800m (1) Big Myth 119,71
2400m (2) Horace 149,66
Turffontein (inner) 8th May
Penetrometer 20 – Going Good
Course Variant: 1,17s slow
1200m (2) Captain’s Alpha/Golden Lion 72,56
1450m (3) Lake Kinneret 88,04
1700m (2) Tehuano 108,36
1800m (1) Corrido 113,80
Vaal 9th May
Penetrometer 22 – Going Good
Course Variant: 0,10s slow
1000m (2) Galactic Warrior 56,33
1100m (1) Double ‘O’ Eight 62.95
1200m (3) Angel’s Power 69,00
1400m (2) Captain Of Tortuga 82,36
1600m (1) Green Dragon 95,57
Turffontein (old) 11th May
Penetrometer 21 – Going Good
Course Variant: 0,01s fast
1000m (2) Lighthearted 58,07
1160m (2) Written In Stone 68,16
1600m (2) Flapjack 100,46
2000m (2) Wordyness 127,21