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No Bragga As First-Timer Goes Missing

Captain Al colt's excuses on well-backed debut

It will be a long time before the bookmakers recall the name Al Bragga without a warm glow spreading through their systems and in the first at Kenilworth on Saturday a massive gamble on the newcomer went spectacularly wrong.

Mike Stewart – disappointed

Michael Clower writes that Mike Stewart, who trains Red Rum-style on the beach at Noordhoek, may have a Summer Cup to his name but he operates at bargain basement level and scores with well-backed first timers about as often as Justin Snaith has a winner starting at 30-1.

The money poured on Andre Hauptfleisch’s homebred as if there was no tomorrow and the Captain Al colt’s price tumbled from 15-2 to 19-10 favourite. “It’s not my money but I don’t think he will get beaten,” said the trainer.

Yet the favourite lost ground at the start and never got into it, finishing with only one behind him and over 20 lengths off the winner Psychedelic. “He had shown plenty at home but Donovan Dillon said it was the ground and that the horse hated every minute of it,” said a mystified and bitterly disappointed Stewart. “I have worked Al Bragga in the wet, but in ground that was possibly not as wet as it is here.”

It was Kate Meiring and Juan Batt who solved the mystery. The course vets examined the colt on the instructions of the stipes and found him to be lame on his off-fore.

The stipes had a busy time and they also quizzed Snaith about the dramatic improvement of the 30-1 winner.

“He showed a lot of pace in his first two runs but at the end he died,” the trainer reported. “Now, with gelding and a little bit more fitness, he managed to finish the race – but I was surprised.”


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5 comments on “No Bragga As First-Timer Goes Missing

  1. Andre Hauptfleisch says:

    He who laughs last……..
    What a sh1t article ! Really scraping the barrel.
    Leave my “pirate” alone. Besides who doesn’t like rum ?
    The horse got injured at the start or near to the start.(we think as there is no replay available to study)
    If anyone with half a “horse-brain” (which Mr Clower obviously doesn’t) saw him go down to the start they would have seen a beautiful animal with an amazing stride. That is not how he came back.
    This is horse racing and we take it on the chin more often than not as an owner but when one talks from the pocket one comes across as a sour old twat. Reduce your bets.

    1. Editor says:

      We conveyed the message to Mr Clower – who had a chuckle
      Let’s not bash him – he is brand new in the game and obviously still learning the ropes

      Some reading matter:

  2. Graham Hurlstone-Jones says:

    The perfect storm…..The horse won well. I watch replays as they give you some insight as to horses price and Justin’s take on the horse showing pace I didn’t see but I did not see the gelding either, schoolboy error and the fitness thing….mmmm, 3 months off the track but fair enough, we know what gelding can do ( Pocket Power ! maybe another Sgt Hardy ?)…..The pattern then stood out. Got the treble although Mr Vargus would have been nice but Mr Puller horse at the back made 1% of the P6 pay…..The replay of race 1 on Saturday does not seem to be available ?, it would be interesting to see what happened to the fav ? Hot fav picking up an injury, the punters ( and owner ) got nailed…. Hawwaam comes to mind, it highlights the dangers yet again……….The perfect storm.

  3. Michael Jacobs says:

    Lol. Good light hearted banter from both sides. Well played!

  4. Charles Edward Bannister says:

    Don’t worry Bud I’m sure there is still a lot more to come. It’s not the start that counts but the finish.

    Charles B

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