Azzmen Spring Ahead

Gr3 Spring Spree Stakes

Father-and-son training partnership Mike and Adam Azzie have made a cracking start to their opening partnership season and saddled the exacta in the R250 000 Gr3 Spring Spree Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.

Craig Zackey shows his joy as Will Pays gallops strongly (Pics – JC Photos)

Formerly run as the August Stakes on the Vaal sand, the 1200m Spring Spree Stakes run on the Turffontein inside track attracted a smart twelve horse line-up, including PE raider and Grand Heritage hopeful, Classify.

In an open looking race, the pace was predictably on from the break with Azzie hare Spring Steel leading Sporting Monarch and Romi’s Boy, with Angel’s Power and Will Pays 5 lengths off the action.

Into the home run, Will Pays built up gradually as the gaps opened off the false rail and Craig Zackey only went for a left-handed whip in the final 150m as Piere Strydom ranged up with a dangerous looking challenge down the outside.

Under a beautifully balanced ride by the in-form Zackey, who has also enjoyed a great start to his season, Will Pays ran on best to hold Angel’s Power to a length in a time of 71,85 secs. The time was slower than the fairer sex equivalent a half hour earlier.

Angel’s Power tends to be a touch on the in-and-out side but produced a decent effort after checking late and was full value in second.

Sporting Monarch maintained his consistent form and was always thereabouts, to hold on for third, a half length back.

Craig Zackey (credit JC Photos)

Craig Zackey – great start to the new season

The Shams would have been thrilled with the gutsy effort of their 6yo Classify. Having his first run in Gauteng, the gelding was expectedly uncomfortable on the pacy inside track but stayed on well and will hopefully take his place in the big one at the end of this month at the Vaal.

The favourite Romi’s Boy faded late to run fifth.

Will Pays was bred by Northfields Stud and was a second winner for Imperial Stride (Indian Ridge) on the day after first-timer Rock Pigeon won the fourth race on her debut. Will Pays is out of the top-class six time winner, Rattlebag (Jallad).

A 6yo gelding, Will Pays is now a winner of 9 races with 9 places from his 28 starts for stakes of R832 900. He is an entry in the Grand Heritage to be run at the Vaal on 30 September.


Gr3 Spring Spree Stakes (SAf-Gr3)

Turffontein, South Africa, September 2, R250k, 1200m, turf, good, 1.11.85

1 – WILL PAYS (SAF), 60.5, b g 6, Imperial Stride (GB) – Rattlebag (SAF) by Jallad (USA). Owner Messrs B J D Pepper, S G du Toit, M A Green & Y Jackson; Breeder Northfields Stud; trainer MG & AA Azzie; jockey C Zackey
2 – Angel’s Power (SAF), 55.5, b g 5, Miesque’s Approval (USA) – Angel Child (SAF) by Mogok (USA)
3 – Sporting Monarch (SAF), 52.0, ch g 4, Rebel King (SAF) – Sporteska (SAF) by Sportsworld (USA)
Margins: 1.00, 0.50, 1.00

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