Dennis Bosch’s Oratorio gelding Chantyman capped a terrific four-timer for former SA Champion Anton Marcus at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday when he cruised to victory in the R120 000 African Holly Handicap under a train-stopping 62kgs.
With Warren Kennedy having a rare blank day, the Ridgemont-Highlands’ Marcus chipped away at the SA log-leader’s dominance at the top of the Hollywoodbets KZN Sizzling Summer Challenge as his rich run of form persisted in advance of a potentially massive four weeks down in the Cape.
Easing on the off to 5-2, Chantyman’s breathing disability and big weight had some punters nervous in a race loaded with speed.
But they needn’t have worried. Marcus had the courageous gelding three lengths off the speed until just past halfway, and drifting casually across to the outside rail, Chantyman stretched out smartly to put 4,75 lengths between himself and the speedball Calvary (33-10) in a time of 56,1 secs.
Kingsmead (23-4) plugged on a further three quarters away in third with the pacy Aussie-bred mare Effortless Reward a quarter back in fourth.
The rest were simply outgunned.
Raced by recent Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas winning owner Mario Ferreira, Chantyman was a joint project by Avontuur and Zenzele Stud. He cost R450 000 on the National Yearling Sale of his year and is out of the Quiet American mare, Sea Of Calm.
A winner of 6 races with 10 places from 18 starts, Chantyman took his stakes bank to R549 375.
“I love this horse. He is one of the kindest I have ever ridden,” said Anton Marcus.
Dennis Bosch, who won the Gr1 Computaform Sprint with Noble Heir in 2010, said that Chantyman would have been a serious contender for Gr1 honours without his breathing issues.
“Everybody loves him at home. He has the most wonderful disposition,” added Bosch, who received high praise from the winning jockey for the job he had done with the winner.
Ferreira Racing Manager Des Gonsalves said that as long as Chantyman was happy, they would be racing him.
Marcus’s other three winners on the day were Brilliant Disguise (Duncan Howells), Divine Hugh (Brett Crawford) and Han Solo (Glen Kotzen).
Marcus’ stats make for happy reading – his 48 winners coming at a 33,33% win strike-rate with places at 39%!
Oratorio has two lots on next week’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale – watch this space for the detailed preview in midweek!