The weather delayed R150 000 Listed Secretariat Stakes produced a first black-type winner for Justin Vermaak’s Green Street Bloodstock when the Ridgemont Highlands-bred Leopold dug deep to get the better of the free-striding Vaseem late in the 1400m feature.
The feature was carried forward from the Saturday 21 December Turffontein card and was pinned as race 11 to the end of Saturday’s programme at the same venue – in the process probably losing some of its lustre.
With the field reduced to eight, SA Champion Apprentice Luke Ferraris took his chances and led them on the Mike de Kock trained Vaseem.
But just as Denis Schwarz looked to have made the right move down the inside rail on the weak 4-1 favourite Al Borak, it was Vaseem who stayed on strongly as Leopold came forward down the centre – taking his time and never appearing to really want to get to the leader, until he found his stride and changed legs late.
Chase Maujean took the opportunity with both hands and drove Leopold (11-2) powerfully to catch Vaseem (12-1). The pair grabbed the popular victory by 0,75 lengths in a time of 84,4 secs.
Green Laser (8-1) stayed on late for a well beaten third a further four lengths back, with Al Borak just not going through with his effort.
Trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren, a man who doesn’t smile a lot on television, said that he wasn’t a punter but had asked part-owner Laurence Wernars to take R50 000 to R4000 for him last Saturday. That was history and a chance gone begging!
Wernars was holidaying in the Maldives and the bet was null and void after the postponement. A hard luck story of note!
The Ridgemont Highlands-bred Leopold is a son of Pomodoro – the latter a son of seven times champion sire Jet Master. The winner is out of the Street Cry mare, Soulja Girl, who won once at 1800m.
His 5 runs have earned him 2 wins and 3 places with stakes of R160 875.
Leopold looks like he may need further than the 1400m to be most effective.