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The Force Is With The Wentzels

Second Gr1 winner for Act Of War in eight days

Just eight days after SA Triple Tiara champion War Of Athena’s Gr1 Woolavington 2000 victory, Gauteng trainer Paul Matchett and his high-riding owners Roy Wentzel and Dr Rose Waterman-Wentzel clinched another top level success as Battle Force won a dramatic and hotly contested Gr1 Golden Horse Sprint at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday.

There were nailbiting moments for the connections as Battle Force first cast a front shoe on the way to the start and while being re-shod, cast a hind shoe.

He also raced with one nail in one of his front shoes.

It was finally decided to remove both hind shoes.

Craig Zackey and Battle Force sweep ahead to a thrilling victory (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

“He was a handful and we thought he may be scratched” conceded Roy Wentzel. “But Paul, to his credit, knows the horse well and suggested he run without the shoes.”

Craig Zackey had to waste all the way down to 52kgs  and said that he ridden at that level for at least four years.

“I had to lose 5kg in a week,” chirped the elated rider, who rode a powerful and beautifully balanced race to get the 16-1 shot up to nab Eden Roc (14-1) late. The winning margin was 0,25 lengths with a time recorded of 68,61 secs,

In an accolade to the much maligned handicappers, under two lengths covered the first seven runners home. The 4-1 favourite MK’s Pride was 0,30 lengths back in third, with Captain Tatters (25-1)

A model of consistency, Battle Force was 2,5kgs under sufferance in the official ratings despite carrying joint bottom weight but the gelding was still under the radar as far as the handicap was concerned.

He had received the maximum of eight points for each of his last two wins, but it could have been more.

Bred by Summerhill, Battle Force was registering his first graded race victory and provided his freshman sire Act Of War with his second Gr1 win in a week.

A 2019 BSA KZN Yearling Sale graduate, Battle Force was offered by Rathmor as agent and Roy Wentzel paid R130 000 for the gallant gelding who has now won 6 races with 5 places from 12 starts for stakes of R617 750.

Battle Force is out of the unraced Elusive City mare Mataalb.

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2 comments on “The Force Is With The Wentzels

  1. Gavin bechan says:

    Battle force took mk pride out in the race.. Not even a objection.. Thats is why punters are leaving this game.. Pathetic.. People like me who Backed mk pride got screwed.. Watch the pull out.. Every jockey told zackey what he did.. Yet the stewards did nothing

    1. Editor says:

      The Stipes reported:
      At the 300m, PEARL OF ASIA (S Moodley) and IKIGAI (C Maujean) were carried out by ULTRA MAGNUS (D Dillon) which shifted out when awkwardly placed on the heels of BATTLE FORCE (C Zackey) which was hanging in from the 400m and shifted in between the 350m and 200m. Thereafter, MK’S PRIDE (W Kennedy) shifted out off the heels of BATTLE FORCE (C Zackey) to continue its run.
      Jockey W Kennedy appeared before the Board in respect of this incident involving MK’S PRIDE. However, after reviewing the patrol films of this race, took no further action.
      Whilst the Board was satisfied that Jockey C Zackey (BATTLE FORCE) took all reasonable measures to keep his mount on a straight course, the racing manners of BATTLE FORCE will be monitored.

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