The Sporting Post best handicapped runner, the 36-1 Casual Diamond, finished best to score an overdue first stakes success to win the R150 000 Listed Laisserfaire Stakes at a sun-drenched Kenilworth on Saturday.
The lesser fancied of the Justin Snaith duo, Casual Diamond had run second in this event in 2017 and third in 2018, and was a courageous winner under an incident filled ride by Robert Khathi.
The hardworking jockey picked up a seven day suspension for causing interference to runners down his inside at the 350m marker. But he got the job done and caused an exotic blowout – for non SP readers, that is – on a day of well behaved results.
Mushi Sterek led Lesedi La Rona and Celestial Storm early, but in a stampede to the line Casual Diamond ran on gallantly to thwart Mushi Sterek by 0,75 lengths in a time of 65,76 secs for the 1100m.
The consistent Freedom Charter finished best of the Bass-Robinson quintet to run on well late for third.
Dennis Drier would have been pleased with the return run of the 13 week rested In The Stars, who was a head back in fourth.
The favourite Boomps A Daisy never showed and finished a 7 length ninth.
Bred by Eclipse Racing & Breeding, Casual Diamond is a daughter of evergreen Avontuur superstar Var (Forest Wildcat) out of the Al Mufti mare, Casual Jewel.
She has won 4 races with 7 places from her 19 starts for stakes of R383 375.
The Starter reported:
- a) IN THE STARS jumped awkwardly outwards, carrying MISS FLORIDA outwards.
- b) ICON PRINCESS was restless in the stalls.
The Stipes reported:
- a) The stewards requested that the riders of LESEDI LA RONA (A Domeyer) and CROWDED HOUSE (*S Mbhele) be reweighed, which caused a delay to the start of this race.
- b) Approaching the 350m, RUSH HOUR GIRL (O Noach) and FREEDOM CHARTER (B Fayd’Herbe) were carried in by ICON PRINCESS (D Ashby) which was bumped inwards by CASUAL DIAMOND (R Khathi) and became awkwardly placed on the heels of FREEDOM CHARTER (B Fayd’Herbe).
- c) Jockey R Khathi was charged with a contravention of Rule 62.2.7 in that as the rider of CASUAL DIAMOND he failed to ensure that he did not cause interference to runners on his inside approaching the 350m.Jockey R Khathi signed an Admission of Guilt and is suspended from riding in races for a period of 7 days. (Dates: 10/11/2019 to 16/11/2019 inclusive).
- d) Jockey K de Melo, the rider of NOUS VOILA, reported that this filly was not striding out and choked up in the running.
- e) Jockey A Marcus, the rider of NASTERGAL, reported that this filly was not striding out. The veterinary surgeon was requested to examine.
- f) In view of the performance of LESEDI LA RONA (A Domeyer), which tired quickly from the 250m, the veterinary surgeon was requested to examine.
- g) CASUAL DIAMOND, the winner, was selected for the taking of specimens for analysis. Trainer SJ Snaith was advised.
- h) MUSHI STEREK (AUS), the second placed horse, was selected for the taking of specimens for analysis. Assistant Trainer B Donnelly was advised.