Gr3 Algoa Cup: Hawk Wings It

UK import Hawk's Eye makes big impression at Fairview

Still growing in stature, the Gr3 Algoa Cup is always a very competitive affair, as not only is it contested by the top local runners, but in recent years it has also attracted some very promising sorts from around the country, writes Steve Furnish.

Five runners had made the trip from out of town this time around, amongst them being the favourite Robert The Bruce. Justin Snaith’s charge won the East Cape Derby on his last sortie to Port Elizabeth and in his only other previous visit here he had finished a runner up to the subsequent July winner Bold Silvano. As well as Robert The Bruce (4/1 into 3/1), others to find support in the betting market were D J Detzky (11/2 into 4/1), Sangria Girl (20/1 into 10/1) and last year’s winner Surfin’ Usa (14/1 into 10/1).

When the gates opened it was the 66/1 shot Day Of The Piper who elected to go to the front and he very quickly had the field nicely strung out. Racing handy were the stable companions Surfin’ Usa and Cape Trafalgar. Robert The Bruce had also gotten away well and he too was up with the speed. D J Detzky and Celtic Fire followed these whilst others in touch included Celtic Fire and Hawk’s Eye.

The order changed little rounding the turn, but as they entered the straight both Malabar and Refined In Fire could clearly be seen making headway from towards the rear. Usually seen out over a shorter distance than today’s event, Day Of The Piper had looked to be going well early in the long home straight, but as they approached the 400m marker, it soon became clear that he wouldn’t see out the extra. Malabar and Refined in Fire had both worked their way into contention at this point and with the improving Hawk’s Eye also now closing in quickly a close finish looked assured.

Robert The Bruce meanwhile was still right there and passing the 300m pole he might just have had his nostrils in front. Sadly for connections though, Robert The Bruce faltered badly as Hawk’s Eye moved up to challenge 200m out and having fractured his metacarpus on the left fore, he went crashing to the floor. Hawk’s Eye was now in full flight and with Malabar and Refined In Fire unable to match strides when the chips were down, he cruised clear in the closing stages of the race to score very easily by five and a quarter.

A son of 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby runner-up Hawk Wing, and out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Inchirl, the highly regarded Hawk’s Eye battled to live up to his big reputation during his first season in the UK. He scored twice over 2000m as a late 3yo when trained by Mike de Kock for the Ramsden family, and rated a modest 83. He’s taken off in no uncertain terms in this campaign, though. Hawk’s Eye has won three of his four starts this season and with luck in running he might have won all four. He’s won his last two starts by three and more lengths and has amassed stake earnings in this country of over R380.000.

Algoa Cup (SAf-G3) (10/24)

Fairview, South Africa, October 24, R350.000, 2000m, turf, good, 2.03.00 (CR 2.02.72).

HAWK’S EYE (GB), 54.0, b g 5, Hawk Wing – Inchiri (GB) by Sadler’s Wells. Owner J Ramsden, M F de Kock, J & A J McVeigh, D Naik and V Virahsawmy; breeder Woodcote Stud (GB); trainer J Ramsden; jockey K Teetan (218.750)

Malabar (SAF), 55.0, gr g 7, Fard (IRE) – Tweaked (SAF) by Northern Guest

Refined In Fire (SAF), 55.0, b g 5, Doowaley (IRE) – Fiery Royal (SAF) by All Fired Up

Margins: 5¼, sh hd, nk

Also ran: D J Detzky (SAF) 53.5, Ecole Militaire (SAF) 59.5, Day Of The Piper (SAF) 56.5, Casey’s Son (SAF) 57.0, Celtic Fire (SAF) 53.0, Sangria Girl (SAF) 57.5, Caymen Island (SAF) 56.0, Thunderous Belinda (SAF) 52.0, Surfin’ Usa (SAF) 62.0, Cape Trafalgar (SAF) 59.5, Thunderflash (SAF) 56.5, Shipwreck (SAF) 52.0, All Ablaze (SAF) 55.0, Wood Be Magic (SAF) 53.5

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