Ace Of Pace Karl’s Treble

Pace bedevils Cape Racing yet again!

Ace Of Pace! Karl Neisius wins on Luno -despite the pace!

Cape racing is facing change and many challenges in the months ahead. But the biggest singular hurdle that crops up every now and again is the lack of pace in races around the turn. We saw a few examples of it once again at Kenilworth on Saturday 11 February.

Fair enough, this problem probably has its’ roots in the pathetic small fields that haunt the Western Cape. Four of the nine races had fields of 8 runners or less and if Phumelela can just get local owners and trainers to come to the party, then we could well see fewer pace issues and more realistic racing.

The absence of genuine pace creates tactical chess-games won by those that use their grey matter, but surely we would far rather see the better horses winning true-run races?

Karl Neisius is far and away the senior statesman of the Cape riding ranks and is the epitome of cool confidence in the saddle. His three winners were achieved where lesser mortals may well have been satisfied with second cheques. This applied particularly to his innovative ride on Dean Kannemeyer’s Luno in the MR 78 Handicap over 2500m. Joey Ramsden sent out five of the eight runners and appeared to hold the aces. In the end, the best he could do was run second with the rest of his troop not earning. The pace bogey reared its nasty head here and Luno found himself within two lengths of the leader Mozart Memorial early on. For a horse who has absolutely no early pace, this was quite a feat. Neisius was thus also forced to send him very early as the field turned for home- a move that was forced on him.

It all worked out well though with Luno staving off all challengers to record his third career win. Not bad for a horse who battled forever to win his second race! He has found his  confidence and is an out and out stayer who would have gone around the track again if required. He is owned and bred by Drakenstein Stud.

Up The Irish! Dean Kannemeyer and Peter Doyle lead Palos Verdes in.

Neisius and Kannemeyer recorded a double when winning the very next race, an MR 77 Handicap run over 1600m. Palos Verdes was backed in to odds-on favourite after being an unlucky loser at his last outing at Durbanville. Once again one trainer sent out half the field with Piet Steyn dispatching a quartet to post. It was left to Brett Crawford’s Unbridled Joy to lead the pack with Canute and Asaal’s Magic in attendance. Neisius had Palos Verdes within three lengths of the leaders and he pressed the button at the 200m mark. Although the son of Right Approach quickened he still had to dig a little deeper as the two Steyn Jet Master geldings ran strongly at him.

Palos Verdes showed courage to win well and is a scopy three year old bred by Wilgerbosdrift Stud. He is out of the three time winning West Man mare Los Angeles, who campaigned in her breeder’s silks for Joey Ramsden. Leading UK bloodstock consultant Peter Doyle, who bought Palos Verdes for Fieldspring for R500 000 at the Nationals, was on hand to lead him in. Doyle returns to Ireland on Sunday.

Neisius rode his first winner of the day in the second race when winning the second race on the Bass’ Var filly Enchanting Cathy.The Highlands bred cost R1,9 million and races for the powerful trio of  Marsh Shirtliff, Bryn Ressell and Markus Jooste. She ran a shocker on debut five months ago as a favourite, but the heavy going was against her then and she showed here that she can run – even if Brandon Morgenrood and First Favour got a bit too close for comfort late in the race. Carl Burger’s formless Counter Action ran on strongly for second. Enchanting Cathy will have to improve many lengths on this performance- but she won, and that is a nice first step.

Top Brand! Brandon Morgenrood rode a cracker to win on Kwitizina.

Heavyweight jockey Brandon Morgenrood rode a particularly good race to get the Yogas Govender-trained mare Kwitizina home for her fourth career win in the MR 78 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1200m. Gusting made the pace in this jackpot first leg but Kwitizina moved up with plenty in reserve at the 250m marker. Grant Van Niekerk challenged strongly with a late dash on the Bass’ La Belle Helene – but one always felt that Morgenrood was well in control.

Kwitizina is beautifully bred, being by Captain Al out of the brilliant multiple group twelve time winning daughter of Danehill, Laisserfaire. She was meant to go to stud last season, but looks to have plenty of zest for racing yet.

Speaking to the Sporting Post after the meeting, Morgenrood said that he had enjoyed a nice afternoon with his three rides all producing cheques. He confirmed that he had reached peaked fitness and will be traveling to Port Elizabeth regularly and was available for rides in that centre with immediate effect.

Grant Van Niekerk is now a fully fledged jockey – and he rode his final winner as an apprentice when jolting the Place Accumulator punting ranks with the unfancied Cosmic Flower in the opening leg. The Maiden Plate over 1400m looked to be at the mercy of the Glen Kotzen trained Lily Lafitte who was well backed to win. But after having every chance under Sean Cormack from a 2  draw, she petered away to nothing.

For the Family! Willempie Engelbrecht Jnr & Snr lead Cosmic Flower in.

Cosmic Flower on the other hand  flew through from last into the straight to catch and beat Andries Steyn’s Clockwinder – a half sister to Irish Flame – who had looked a winner inside the final 200m. Brandon Morgenrood completed the PA misery when he drove the well supported Tippejari through for third. The minim PA dividend after the first leg was R9-90. Hiroshima!

The Englebrechts were on course to lead their home bred National Emblem filly in under the watchful eye of the doyen of Cape trainers, Alan Higgins.

Greg Ennion only has a small string at his Milnerton base, but has had terrific success for  Singapore-based owner Fred Crabbia in recent months with takeovers from other yards. And he won the final event with a very smart looking three year old in Master Plan.

Master Planner! 'Genuine' Greg Ennion is bang in form.

The only three year old in the MR 90 Handicap looked to have a contest on his hands but he showed that his easy maiden win and his previous form to the likes of Potala Palace was spot on. Karis Teetan brought him through late to catch and beat the pacemaking Blanic. He is Durban bound – if, as Ennion smilingly pointed out, he can navigate the red tape. Good luck. Greg!

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts