Fairview 1st April: Favourite backers got off to a nice start in Port Elizabeth on Friday when CALLUM’S RILL did the business in the opening maiden juvenile event over 1000m. Taken straight to the front by Wayne Agrella, the son of Caesour led throughout. He was always in command and although the nibbled at second favourite PEBBLE ROCK finished well from off the pace, he went on to score very easily by three and a quarter.
Race five on the card was a novice 1200m and here we saw a nice performance from the lightly raced son of Mogok, VIMY RIDGE. The second of three winners on the card for trainer Gavin Smith, Vimy Ridge raced in midfield during the early part of the race. Once given rein though, he quickened best of all and after striking the front 200m from home, he comfortably drew clear. Now a winner of two of his three career starts to date, Vimy Ridge won well in this his first outing since relocating from Gauteng and clearly has more to come.
A Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m topped the bill and sent off a strong favourite here was the talented CELTIC FIRE. Backed into 9/10 from 14/10 at the track, Yvette Bremner’s charge, very unusually, lost four lengths at the start and very quickly found himself guarding the rear. Undeterred though, regular partner Karis Teetan steadily worked him into contention and after a thrilling tussle with ALL ALBAZE over the final 200m, he got the verdict by a neck.
Although never a threat to the winner, the heavily supported VICTORIALAINE ran on strongly when third in the MR72 affair over 2000m.
Back To Best
Turffontein 2nd April: They raced on the old stand side track on Saturday where victory in the bill topping Gr2 Coloarado King Stakes went to the favourite CAPTAIN’S WILD (88). Taking a big step up in class here after winning four of his first seven starts, Mike De Kock’s charge sat in midfield for most of the journey. Once in the long home straight though, he quickened best of all and only asked to do the necessary after striking the front close home, he went on to score a little more easily than the official winning margin of half a length would suggest.
The best bet on the card for most was SOUL MASTER (70) in the listed 2000m Derby Trial and he didn’t let down his supporters. Backed throughout the day into 17/20 from 18/10, Geoff Woodruff’s charge was always in touch with the leaders. He was asked to take up the running shortly after passing the 300m marker and although the in form SEAL challenged strongly, he went on to win very comfortably by two. Soul Master has now won three of his four career starts to date, and is clearly one to keep tabs on.
The biggest upset on the card was registered by the 4yo POLAR MOON (79) who bounced right back to best when landing the Gr2 Senor Santa Handicap over 1160m. Sporting blinkers for the first time, Sean Tarry’s charge was taken straight to the front by Chad Little and led from pillar to post. He kept up a healthy gallop throughout and although the recent Gr3 Tommy Hotspur runner up MR BLACK TOM finished well from midfield, he went on to score very comfortably by a half.
After a spell in the wilderness, former Gr1 winner GIVE ME FIVE impressed when running on from the rear to win the Gr3 Sycamore Sprint over 1160m.
Doing The Business
Kenilworth 2nd April: Sent off as if unbeatable to win the maiden juvenile event over 1000m in Cape Town on Saturday was the Joey Ramsden trained MIDNIGHT RAIDER and he didn’t let down his supporters. Backed throughout the day into 4/10 from even money, the son of Al Mufti was taken straight to the front by Glen Hatt and led throughout. He was always in command and only having to be pushed out over the final 300m, he comfortably accounted for the well supported outsider JUST HARRY (25/1 into 13/1) by three and a quarter.
Another to win very easily in the maiden ranks on this card was EFFECTIVE POWER when opening his account over 1000m. Sent off a well supported favourite at 12/10 (opened 15/10), Riaan Van Reenen’s charge was soon up handy. He was asked to take up the running as they approached the 200m marker and with plenty in hand, he went on to beat the running on PRINCELY by a length and a quarter. Keep an eye on the runner up Princely. He had been positioned at the back early on and finished well.
A MR94 Handicap over 1200m topped the bill and in what proved to be a real thriller victory here went to the improving WILD SHOT. Freely available at 6/1 on the off, Stephen Page’s charge was positioned towards the rear during the early part of the race. Once given rein though, he quickened best of all and under a determined ride from Fareed Anthony, he got up in the very last stride to deny REIGNING MONARCH.
BOTTOM DOLLAR ran on well from off the pace and won the maiden event over 1400m going away.
Third in the MR80 Handicap over 1200m, NATIONHOOD has caught the eye running on nicely from off the pace in each of his last two starts.
7 From 8
Clairwood 3rd April: The easiest victory in the maiden ranks at the garden course on Sunday was undoubtedly that of SHE –VAR (52) who came home smoking in the 1200m event. Positioned towards the middle of what was a very tightly bunched field early on, Alyson Wright’s charge made headway quickly when asked for her effort passing halfway. She struck the front shortly after passing the 400m marker and far from fully extended on the run to the line, she went on to win very easily by seven.
The first of the two feature events to be run was the listed KZN Stakes over 1000m and here it was nice to see the very talented VAL DE RA (96) return from a ten month break as fresh as a daisy. Sent off a strong favourite at 15/20 (opened 11/10), Dennis Drier’s charge was soon positioned very close to the speed. She was asked to take up the running as they approached the 200m marker and although the pacemaker WISHFUL EYE kept on strongly after being headed, she went on to win quite comfortably by three quarters. Val De Ra has now won seven of her eight racecourse appearances.
The listed Easter Handicap over 2000m was next up and in what proved to be the closest finish of the afternoon, victory here went to the Gavin Van Zyl trained RIVER LODGE (69). A little slow into stride, River Lodge raced towards the rear during the early part of the race. Once in the long home straight though, he quickened up nicely and in a race where only a neck separated the first three home he only got his head in front in the dying strides.
After racing fifth, the newcomer JUNGLE RULER showed a very nice turn of foot in the latter stages of the maiden juvenile event over 1000m and went on to beat what looks to be a fair sort going away.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Flamingo Park Race 1: No Qualifiers Race 2: (3) Young Empire 16 Race 3: (10) Richinstyle 67 (EW) Race 4: (14) Pocket Magic 8 Race 5: (2) Cupid’s Prey 50 Race 6: (2) Resume 40 Race 7: (5) Rain King 72 Race 8: (9) Hot Potootie 43 Race 9: (14) Gentle Star 34 . Clairwood Race 1: (7) Meet Again 23 Race 2: (6) Second Tycoon 33 Race 3: (1) Cinnamon Spice (11) Race 4: (1) Gate Cracker 19 (EW) Race 5: (14) Byculla 51 Race 6: (2) Green Day 55 Race 7: (3) Poppins 62 Race 8: (10) Devon Gold 63 Race 9: (6) Travel Light 51 . Turffontein Race 1: (3) Solarium 41 Race 2: (1) Astro News 40 Race 3: (13) Slipstream 29 Race 4: (6) Give Me Five 87 (NAP*) Race 5: (7) Captain’s Gal 96 Race 6: (1) Dancewiththedevil 89 Race 7: (9) King’s Destiny 63 Race 8: (14) Omega Moon 30 . Durbanville Race 1: No Qualifiers Race 2: (4) Moonlake 5 Race 3: (2) Absalom 15 (NAP*) Race 4: (1) Peak Perfection 4 Race 5: (9) Stirling Range 51 Race 6: (8) Sealed Orders 86 Race 7: (9) Cool River 50 Race 8: (1) Trust Fund 48 . Vaal Race 1: (8) In To Beep 9 Race 2: (1) Velvet Jar 22 Race 3: (2) Soul Sister 22 Race 4: (7) Queen Mira 95 Race 5: (7) Lochlorien 91 Race 6: (2) American Gangsta 56 Race 7: (1) Storm Crossing 83 Race 8: (2) Master Blaster 68 Race 9: (2) Stormy Express 55 .
Top rated winners last week includedQuestion Time won 14/1 Cecilo won 7/1 Kings Gold won 7/1 Manonthecatwalk won 6/1 Chancane won 4/1 Foreign Sovereign won 19/10 Celtic Fire won 19/10 Captain’s Wild won 13/10 .
Notebook:-Captain’s Wild (M De Kock, Gauteng) Midnight Raider (J Ramsden. W-Cape) Pebble Rock (A Greeff, E-Cape) Val De Ra (D Drier, Natal) .
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Fairview 1st April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (5) Bob ‘n Weave Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (1) Celtic Fire Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) Club Montreal . Turffontein 2nd April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Polar Moon Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Knock On Wood Fastest Long 1900-3600 (3) Captain’s Wild . Kenilworth 2nd April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (6) Money Surger Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (2) Super Storm Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers . Clairwood 3rd April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (6) National Carrier Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (1) Silver Crest Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) River Lodge