Arlington 23rd September: Favourite backers got off to a nice start in Port Elizabeth on Friday when CELTIC POWER did the business in the opening maiden event over 1200m. Soon up handy, Yvette Bremner’s charge raced prominent throughout. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and kept on strongly in the closing stages of the race to beat the unfancied DELAWARE by two and a quarter.
DE LA DANZA had caught the eye running on strongly when making his debut in the Eastern Cape over a trip well short of his best last time out and so it was no surprise to see him find the winner’s enclosure in the MR71 affair over 1600m. On leaving the stalls it was C’MON INDY who elected to make the running whilst in a strung out field De La Danza raced some six lengths away in fifth. MIDNIGHT BET was the first to make a move in the straight and on striking the front 150m from home, he looked to have done everything right. De La Danza finished best of all at the business end of the race though and under a well judged ride from Alec Forbes he got up late to score by three quarters. Nine months ago De La Danza was rated 15 points higher in the handicap than he was today. He should still be very well handicapped next time out.
The non black type Walmer Handicap over 1800m topped the bill and here victory went to the Jallad mare FLIGHTY’S LAST. Initially priced up favourite at 18/10, Justin Snaith’s charge was allowed to ease a little on course (out to 22/10) as money came for the East Cape Oaks winner SAMMY JO (22/10 into 19/10). Taken straight to the front by Richard Fourie, Flighty’s Last led throughout. She kept on strongly in the short home straight and although the easy to back ROYAL WAGER did make some headway in the latter stages of the race, she went on to score comfortably without any anxious moments.
Race seven on the card was a MR90 Handicap over 1600m and here we saw another comfortable victory for the 6yo TIK TAK TOE. A fluent winner of his only previous start since relocating to the Eastern Cape, Barry Steenkamp’s charge raced prominent throughout. He was asked to take up the running going through the 300m and with the rest well beaten, he comfortably accounted for TATANKWA by a length and a quarter. Tik Tak Toe won well again and completion of the hat trick must be a strong possibility if kept in similar company next time.
Newcomer COSY FAN TUTI was running on nicely at the finish when third in the maiden event won by Celtic Power.
Vaal 24th September: The first of the seven feature events to be run at the Vaal’s sand track on Saturday was the non-black type Sophomore Fillies 1000 and here victory went to the Count Dubois filly KINEMATIC COUNTESS (37). Not the quickest into stride, Roy Magner’s charge raced in the rear during the early part of the race. Undeterred though, Gavin Lerena steadily worked her into contention and under a well judged ride she got up late to deny the front running FLAME FIGHTER.
Victorious in the listed Hampton Handicap over 1000m was the Natal raider FURIOUS DANCER (82). A winner of his only previous start at this circuit, Kom Naidoo’s charge raced close up in second for most of the journey. He ran on strongly at the business end of the race and although the pacemaker RENEGADE kept on determinedly after being headed, he went on to score quite comfortably by a length.
Africa’s richest race on sand the Gr2 Emerald Cup over 1450m topped the bill and here we saw another smart performance from the recent Gr3 August Stakes winner THE MOUSEKETEER (82). Allowed to drift alarmingly at the track (33/10 fav out to 13/2), Sean Tarry’s charge broke well from his favourable draw and was soon up handy. He was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 300m marker and although the nibbled at EASTERN COBBLER (12/1 into 9/1) ran on stoutly in the closing stages of the race, he went on to win without any anxious moments. The Mouseketeer is now unbeaten in two starts at this circuit.
Another to win well after being successful in his only previous outing at this track last time out was FOLLOW THE PIPER (74) in the listed Emerald Fillies Handicap over 1450m. Usually one to race up with the speed, Sean Tarry’s charge hadn’t been allotted the best of the draw and as a result she raced in midfield early on. Once in the long home straight though, she ran on best of all and after striking the front 300m from home, she easily drew clear.
Although never a threat to the first three, Top Weight SAYADAW was again making up ground quickly at the finish when fourth in the Emerald Cup.
Sun Still Shining
Durbanville 24th September: A maiden event over 1000m got proceedings underway at the country course on Saturday and here victory went to the Mike Bass trained AFRICAN AIRWAYS. On leaving the stalls it was the well supported favourite SPRINGTIME FLAME (15/10 into 12/10) who somewhat predictably made the running whilst African Airways raced close up in second. She was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and kept on strongly late to beat WINTER HEART by a length.
The most impressive performance in the maiden ranks on this card was undoubtedly that of JACKSON who came home smoking in the 1600m event. Well supported (22/10 into 15/10), as indeed he was when a little disappointing in his only previous start, Jackson was soon up handy. He was asked to take up the running shortly after passing the 300m marker and with a ton in hand he easily accounted for SHISHANGENI by four and a quarter.
The afternoon’s feature event was the listed Settler’s Trophy run over 2400m and here it was nice to see the veteran SUN CITY gain a seventh career victory. Usually one to run on stoutly from off the pace, Sun City was once again in the rear as the fourteen runners turned for home. Once in the straight though he quickened well and under a well judged ride from M J Byleveld, he got up late to beat the running on IN WRITING by a length.
A novice event over 1400m was next up and here we saw another smart performance from the highly regarded LIANCOURT ROCK. Always in the red, Dean Kannemeyer’s charge raced fourth for most of the journey. He didn’t get the clearest of runs against the inside running rail and only really began to find his stride after striking the front close home. He’s now won both of his starts to date in good fashion and is clearly one to keep tabs on.
Beaten less than half a length in the maiden event over 1400m, lightly raced LOFTY LARNA had to switch twice before getting up late to take third.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-Flamingo Park Race 1: No Qualifiers Race 2: (7) Jupiter Symphony 32 Race 3: No Qualifiers Race 4: (10) Fortification 10 Race 5: No Qualifiers Race 6: (10) Magic Mirror24 Race 7: (10 Cool Your Jets 32 Race 8: (2) Sir Newton 16 (NAP*) Race 9: (5) Starshadow 40 Vaal (Tues) Race 1: (1) Saint John Bosco 16 (NAP*) Race 2: (1) Fun City 24 Race 3: (6) Express View 12 Race 4: (6) Festival Spirit 57 Race 5: (3) Enchanted Kingdom 72 Race 6: (8) Prime Mover 80 Race 7: (3) Restraint 34 Race 8: (8) Comission Due 55 Greyville Race 1: (13) Pirate Queen 21 Race 2: No qualifiers Race 3: (1) Mr Gigilo 26 Race 4: (1) Miesque’s Star 19 Race 5: (1) Roman Wall 73 Race 6: (13) Modern Royal 46 Race 7: (1) Stellar Season 61 Race 8: (3) Buragh 73 Race 9: (2) Ampere 49 Durbanville Race 1: (2) Kabool’s Angel 8 Race 2: (1) Falling Blossom 10 Race 3: (2) Dupont Circle 16 Race 4: (8) Bois De Var 74 Race 5: (2) Howdoulikemenow 66 Race 6: (5) Right And Ready 71 (NAP*) Race 7: (4) Another Giant 53 Race 8: (15) Hawaiian Jet 49 Race 9: (3) Mozart Memorial 8 Vaal (Thur) Race 1: (12) Call The Challenge 18 (NAP*) Race 2: No Qualifiers Race 3: (4) Bermuda Winter 55 Race 4: (2) Checklist 59 Race 5: (6) Hot Tip 38 Race 6: (3) Delightful Diva 64 Race 7: (6) As Time Goes On 42 Race 8: (7) Sword Of Truth 11
Top rated winners last week includedMeriden won 9/2 Audit Report won 4/1 Bandol won 4/1 Cabo Wabo won 33/10 Rosehip won 33/10 Sovereign Empire won 3/1 Ruby Cartel won 16/10 Daintree Dancer won 13/20
Notebook:-De La Danza (A Greeff, E-Cape) Jackson (B Crawford, W-Cape) Liancourt Rock (D Kannemeyer, W-Cape)
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category) Arlington 23rd September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Rosette Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (6) Tik Tak Toe Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers
.Vaal 24th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Flowers Of Spring Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (6) The Mouseketeer Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers
.Durbanville 24th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Comtesse Dubois Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Liancourt Rock Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Sun City