Trainer Cliffie Miller celebrated his ninth Northern Cape Champion trainer title at the Kimberley Racing Awards on Friday evening and started the new season in style with Bright Flame a runaway winner of the R135 000 WSB Sprint on Saturday.
Sadly officialdom again failed to show the professionalism and grab the opportunities to publicise the titbits of good news for the racing public – like who was the Horse Of The Year and who won what at the Kimberley Awards on Friday evening.
What we can deduce from the stats was that Miller was the champion trainer and the only local to breach the R3 million mark in stakes.
The days of weekends off and publishing results when they are history on a Monday morning are long gone in this instant media world. Except in racing, possibly.
For the Hollywoodbets-sponsored Cliffie Miller and jockey Collen Storey the opening day proved a royal start as they registered a double, with the 5yo Kildonan mare Misty Heath grabbing an overdue second career victory in the third.
The WSB Sprint was a speed charged 1000m spectacle and the 5yo Bright Flame (11-1) is living proof again that we probably shouldn’t scratch where it’s not itching. After winning over the he was tried over a bit further – but is a mean prospect down the straight.
He exploded clear in the final 200m to beat the favourite Our Moon Shadow by 6 lengths in a time of 57,09 secs.
The winner’s fairer sex stablemate Burgundy Rose was a quarter length further back in third, with Basilius fading under his 63,5kg welterweight to run fourth.
An R80 000 National Yearling Sale purchase, the Riyo Std-bred Bright Flame is by Sail From Seattle (Gone West) out of the one-time winning Strike Smartly mare, Strike The Flame.
He has won 6 races with 8 places from 22 starts for stakes of R370 050.
A great start to the season was characterised by a good crowd and a nice vibe. Maybe we should be racing more often here on a Saturday.