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Another One For The Judge

1986 Gr1 SA 2000 thriller

Potomac (Felix Coetzee) gets up on the inside to pip Model Man (Basil Marcus) after a ding dong duel

The ding dong tussle between Potomac (Felix Coetzee) and Model Man (Basil Marcus) in the Gr1 SA 2000 at Greyville on 7 June 1986 ranks as one of the great finishes of the 20th century.

It was Potomac’s last start of the season after a viral infection led to his withdrawal from the Oceanair Derby and the Durban July.

He was crowned champion 3yo colt of SA.

Thanks to poster Seattle Slow for requesting we publish the clip.

Enjoy it.

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27 comments on “Another One For The Judge

  1. Chris Swart says:

    Not often you get as many stallions in a three year old classic.
    Model Man
    Potomac
    Jungle Rock
    Eli’s Star
    Beaulieu

  2. DEAN DEMONT says:

    Race riding out of the top draw, if they paused the race with 100m to go, and said have a bet, I would have taken 6/10 Model Man all day.. wow, what a finish.

  3. DEAN DEMONT says:

    I wonder if you could get a finish when Jeff Lloyd won on a horse called White Tie Affair at Clairwood, one of the greatest rides to get up I’ve seen in my life..

  4. anton shepherd says:

    Wow, top class both , I remember my grandfather collecting on Potomac !! We had Royal Yachts full sister , produced Divine Force beaten about 10 l !!! Good memories , many thanks !!!

  5. Kevin says:

    What a race What a commentator, I was at that race, I’m sure. I got goose bumps watching that again. Thank you

  6. Mighty Crystal says:

    Hi Dean…i looked up White Tie Affairs record & Jeff never won on the him.I do though remember him winning on horse called Great White Way also in the famous Jaffee colours for David Payne at Clairwood as well…came from an impossoble position to get up and keep P6 tickets alive.

  7. Seattle Slew says:

    Thanks Mr Ed for putting this up. I was in Standard 5 when this race took place and I still remember it like yesterday. The clip has got Eric Denman’s TV commentary, which was absolutely fine, but Craig Peters’ on-course commentary was out of this world – still the finest and most dramatic piece of race-calling I’ve ever heard.

    I remember being horrified when Felix went so early – he had no choice because Beaulieu couldn’t keep up the gallop – and when Model Man drew alongside and looked to have headed him, I thought “that’s it” – but with hindsight, by stretching Model Man’s stamina to the limit, it probably made all the difference.

    Potomac is one of those forgotten horses who, due to not having trained on as an older horse, did not get to make as big an impression as he should have. I clearly remember the disappointment of seeing him scratched from the July because of his viral infection and when he came back as a 4-y-o, apart from a close second in the Greyville 1900, he was a shadow of himself. But I still remember him as one of the best 3-y-o campaigners I’ve seen. There aren’t many horses who have won a classic in each province, as he did. To the best of my knowledge, he is the only horse to have completed the treble of the Cape Derby (which he won by 7 lengths), the SA Derby (5 lengths) and the SA 2000. As far I’m aware, there are horses which have won two out of the three, but not the full house. I still remember him as one of those horses who solidified my love affair with the Argentine-bred imports back in 80s and 90s. If I have my facts correct, he was eventually exported back to Argentina as part of an exchange deal which saw a certain horse called Ilustrador come to SA……..and he wasn’t too shabby! 🙂

    A final thought: that was truly a vintage crop of 3-y-o’s. Lest we forget, horse of the year was Enchanted Garden, who ran an incredible third in the July while CONCEDING weight to the year-older Occult and Fools Holme. And Sea Warrior and Ecurie were high-class performers as well.

  8. Oscar says:

    Definitely one of the greatest races I have seen
    Thanks to all concerned for recalling this memory.
    It would be much appreciated if some one could share the great memories of the victories of Gatecrasher with us.
    Also one of the greatest races I had witnessed when Harry Hotspur ridden by Bert Abercrombie beat Brer Rabbit at Clairwood.

  9. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Mr Editor. Thank you for this one, indeed a great finish.

    Pls can you provide the link for the 2000 July. Another Marcus involved, I remember it took a while before the Judge declared the winner.

    1. Editor says:

      Cheers Cecil
      Here’s El Picha beating KB Shea on Young Rake
      Enjoy
      https://www.sportingpost.co.za/2020/04/el-picha-rothmans-durban-july/

  10. PL.NEL says:

    Absolutely wonderful action. Breather shift at 160 cost MM. Great riding by Felix.
    MM 2nd best locally bred stallion??

  11. Harold says:

    I recall this finish like it was yesterday. Potomac was a fabulous derby winning 3 year old. Model Man will go down as the best Kzn horse in the last 3 decades. Enchanted Garden a 3 year old filly beat Potomac in the Sun International before the Daily News.

  12. Dean Demont says:

    Mighty Crystal,that is correct yes. I knew it was a name with 3 words to it, he had to peel off the rail ,switch it twice around 2 horses,and vertually throw the horse accross the line to get up. I remember it was a Jaffee owned horse.

  13. Christopher Booysen says:

    Hey guys any footage on the Sea Cottage/Jollify dead hear.

  14. Selwyn Elk says:

    Hi Oscar, In my opinion one of Gatecrashers (Kirsch Flambee- Surprise Party) most outstanding win came in the prestigious Newbury Stakes over 1200 meters at Greyville where he slammed a top class field of sprinters which included amongst others Ocean City, Embassy and Free Enterprise over a distance far short of his best,the stamp of a true Champion

  15. Barry Dunnett says:

    Mighty Crystal, I can’t help recalling that horse of the early 80s. I good horse, ridden by Dennis Bosch when carrying weight. And such a pity that the weights for jockeys weren’t what they are globally today. Dennis Bosch, David Payne would have had much longer riding careers.

  16. SelwynElk says:

    A little more trivia about Gatecrasher. The 1974 Bull Brand Jockeys International ran every November at Scottsville for 3 year olds over 1600m saw the long awaited clash of the two stars , Gatecrasher and the late Syd Lairds star Archangel.The betting suggested a two horse race with Gatecrasher deep in the red and Archangel the only other runner in single figures.The result left race goers stunned as neither of them were concerned in the finish! The race was run at a break neck pace with Soda Fountain breaking records up front and these tactics turned the form book upside down.Trainer Herman Brown still had the last say as his charge Caption (emergency acceptor) owned by John and Mary Lillie won the race, saving jackpot punters ( couplings applied at that time) but the place accumulator produced a gigantic dividend.Gatecrasher was ridden by an American jockey Michael Hole, who committed suicide in America not long after. Time proved the race to be all wrong as both Gatecrasher and Archangel were to become household names in the seasons that followed

    1. Editor says:

      Thanks Selwyn
      Interesting
      Michael Hole’s son Taylor a successful jockey in the States

  17. Selwyn Elk says:

    Thanks Editor,I was not aware of that, he must be in his 40’s?

    1. Editor says:

      Yes late 40’s, Selwyn

      Jockey Taylor Hole Rides 2,000th Winner
      Jockey earned first career win in 1992 at Rockingham Park.
      By BloodHorse Staff May 22, 2015

      Veteran jockey Taylor Hole picked up his 2,000th career victory May 22 at Pimlico Race Course, when riding Dr Bolt to victory in the sixth race.

      Dr Bolt, a colt by Cherokee’s Boy owned by Five Hellions Farm and trained by Donnovan Haughton, took the lead down the stretch and completed six-furlong claiming race in 1:13.27.

      After the race, the 43-year-old jockey was joined in the winner’s circle by his fellow riders and friends.

      “It’s a little surreal,” said Hole of the milestone win. “I took my time getting here, but it feels great.”

      When asked if he was relieved to have victory 2,000 behind him, Hole replied: “It is, but it isn’t. It’s very special. I just never focused on this one number. I just tried to do the best I could with every horse I rode. We’d get here eventually.”

      Hole reached single-season career highs of 198 wins in 2001 and $1.63 million in purse earnings in 2000. He ranked seventh at Laurel Park’s 2015 winter meet with 14 victories and is among the top 10 riders at the current Pimlico meet.

      On Jan. 17, 1992, Hole earned his first victory on his third career mount at Rockingham Park.

      Hole’s late father, Michael, was a British-born jockey who came to the U.S. in 1961 and rode 2,042 winners, mostly in New York and New England, before his untimely death in 1976. Hole followed in the business, working odd jobs as a Rockingham Park stablehand in the mid-1980s, then moved to the Maryland steeplechase farm of a family friend to learn professional riding.

  18. Selwyn Elk says:

    Hi Editor, pity there was no mention of his late fathers visit to South Africa, it was one of the highlights on our racing calendar at the time

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Selwyn
      Yes – suppose it was a minor event at the time

  19. Selwyn Elk says:

    Hi Editor, not really,it was an International meeting and attracted some big names over the years like Lester Piggott, Fernando Toro( won on In Full Flight) and our own Michael Roberts( won on Sledgehammer), besides The Smirnoff for 2 year olds and The Gilbeys Stakes both run over 1200m it was Scottsville’s biggest race meeting in those years

    1. Editor says:

      Agree 100%, but meant it in sad context of his Dad’s passing

  20. Selwyn Elk says:

    Hi Editor, just a misunderstanding

  21. Brucie Bonus says:

    Hey Selwyn
    Nice to read you still have a great knowledge of the game that we all shared and experienced in our lifetimes which we love so much and as memory serves me – the saying goes “those were the days my friend”
    I remember being at the1975 Rothmans Durban July and I wanted a clear view of the last 200metres so I got myself plum positioned right up against the rail just before the winning post as I did not want to miss any action and boy oh boy I didn’t miss the action, in fact I got such a fright when Gatecrasher got broadsided by Distinctly who was shying away from the screaming crowds on the rail, for a moment I could have touched Distinctly who I thought was coming over the rail and going to land on top of me, a split second frightening experience that I will never forget.

    Take care
    Bruce – (Old Davenport TAB)

  22. Pops says:

    Seemed like Fred Rickaby kept a first timer with a winning chance for cuz Lester Piggott to ride in the first race on Bull Brand day.And Piggott would always win on it.

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