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Progressing Nicely

Turffontein 19th March: First up on the inner track on Thursday was a work rider’s maiden plate over 1200m and here the best bet on the card for many ENDEARING duly obliged. Deep in the red at 1/4 on the off, Alec Laird’s charge was soon at the head of affairs. She was always clear and won without any anxious moments by five and a quarter.
There three races run over 1200m in total and the fastest of these was the MR72 Handicap won by LAST BATTLE. Sent off second in the betting market at 15/4 the 5yo son of Parade Leader was always handy. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 100m marker and comfortably accounted for the easy to back RAMBO by a length and three quarters.
The faster of the two 1800m events on the card was the very competitive looking graduation plate and here we saw a smart performance from the Geoff Woodruff trained SHEA DEVON. Firm in the betting market at 7/1, the High Chaparral gelding raced in midfield for most of the journey. The heavily supported 12/10 favourite FINCHATTON (op 3/1) was the first to make a move and after quickly going a couple clear 300m out, he looked to have the race in the bag. With the rest well beaten though, Shea Devon quickened nicely and went on to win well by a length going away. Shea Devon has now won two from three and clearly won’t be stopping here.
PACIFIC G had to switch out for a run 250m from home when running on from the rear to win the maiden plate over 1600m going away.


Going Well Fresh

Fairview 20th March: Racing in Port Elizabeth on Friday took place on the turf where victory in the bill topping East Cape Sprint (L) over 1200m went to the hat-trick seeking SIR DUKE. Allowed to ease out to 13/1 from 8’s at the track, Tara Laing’s charge led throughout. He was a length and a quarter clear going through halfway and almost doubled that advantage over the final 600m.
Another drifter to cause an upset was MYSTERIO (7/1 out to 18/1) in the faster of the two 1000m races, a MR91 Handicap. On leaving the stalls it was the much more fancied YOU BEAUTY who elected to make the running whilst the former Cape Town campaigner raced some seven lengths away in the rear. She quickened well from halfway though, and under a well-judged ride from Charles Ndlovu she got up late to beat the pacemaker going away.
The afternoon’s distance race was the non-black type Lakeside Handicap over 2400m and here we saw a nice performance from the 4yo TAARISH. Nibbled at on course into 13/2 from 16/1, Mitch Wiese’s charge was content to idle along in the rear for most of the trip. He quickened well at the top of the long home straight and went on to score comfortably from the 7/2 second favourite CROWN OF GOLD by a length and three quarters.
In terms of distance the easiest victory on the card was recorded by AGTERSKOT in the maiden juvenile plate over 1200m. Taken straight to the front by Gavin Lerena the daughter of Ashaawes led throughout. She was always in command and won well by three and a half.
STARPANGLEDEMBLEM ran on well from midfield when getting up late to win the MR70 Handicap over 1400m.


Thrilling Stuff

Greyville 20th March: A MR74 Handicap over 1200m on the poly was first up on Friday evening and here we saw a comfortable victory for the 11/2 shot RESPECT AT BAY. Soon up handy, Glen Puller’s charge was ridden to lead going through the 300m, and won well from the more fancied SUTHERFENI by a length and a quarter.
The only other race on the program to take place on the poly track was a MR74 Handicap over 1400m and here the only 3yo in the event FIREWOOD registered his second career victory from just four starts. Well supported on course to go off a joint favourite at 2/1 (op 3’s), the Horse Chestnut gelding was content to sit in midfield for most of the journey. Once in the straight though he quickened best of all, and won going away by two and three quarters after striking the front 150m from home.
Three of the evening’s eight races were maiden events over 1600m and fastest against the clock here was the lightly raced BALTIC AMBER. Allowed to drift right out to 10/1 from 5’s at the track, Duncan Howells’ charge was always handy. He moved up to tackle the pacemaker COLCHIS (12/10 fav) shortly after passing the 200m pole, and went on to win well by a length and a quarter.
Marginally the faster of the two 1300m progress plates was the boy’s affair won by the well supported second favourite FORTISSIMO (7/2 into 22/10). Close up in second turning for home, Glen Puller’s charge ran on stoutly over the final 400m and in what proved to be a real thriller he only got the verdict by a short head over both HIGHWAY EXPLORER and HUNTING OWL. Interestingly, the latter was finishing the strongest.
DISCOURSE came from the rear when winning the MR78 Handicap over 1900m going away by three and three quarters.


In The Pink

Turffontein 21st March: They raced on the inner track on Saturday where five of the nine races were run over 1450m. Heavy rain fell before the three better class races over the distance so it was not so surprising that the fastest time over the distance was recorded by KING AND EMPIRE in the boy’s maiden event. The Cape Town visitor STREET FLYER made the running and approaching the 400m marker he was two lengths clear. Always handy though the favourite steadily wore him down at the business end of the race, and with the rest some five lengths adrift, he got up late to score by a half.
The faster of the two 1800m maiden plates was that won by the former KZN campaigner JAY BOY. Freely available at 11/1 on the off, Gavin Van Zyl’s charge attempted to make all. The favourite RESPECTABLE RULER did manage to strike the front 280m out, but once headed the Jay Peg gelding rallied gamely and after a thrilling tussle he got the verdict by a neck.
At the other end of the scale the biggest winning margin on the card was just the two and a half lengths recorded by both SILVER SCOOTER and ARCETRI PINK. The Ormond Ferraris trained Silver Scooter led throughout when landing the MR90 Handicap over 1450m and only having to be pushed out in the latter stages, won with some in hand. Arcetri Pink’s success came in the pinnacle stakes over 1450m where she was thrown in at the weights. Positioned sixth of the eight coming off the strip, Geoff Woodruff’s charge cut through the field like a knife early in the straight and could have won by more after hitting the front shortly after passing the 300m pole.
Poorly drawn ARABIAN ARROW came from midfield when winning the girl’s division of the maiden 1800m going away by a length and a half.


Top speedratings for this weekend include:-

Race 1: (2) Dance And Destroy 37
Race 2: (3) A Bit Of Alright 11
Race 3: (11) Pretty Flamingo 19
Race 4: (2) Mooimeisiesfontein 12
Race 5: (4) Five Moons 49
Race 6: (12) Atso’s Hill 47
Race 7: (3) Romeo Bravo 26
Race 8: (7) Peregrine King 54
Race 9: (15) Wendy Mae 39
Race 1: (5) Shap Shap 8
Race 2: (1) Moi Power 29
Race 3: (1) Moonlite Mist 6
Race 4: (8) Royal Roy 45
Race 5: (4) Pioneer Spirit 58
Race 6: (9) Miss Stingray 46
Race 7: (11) What Luck 51
Race 8: (4) Killarney House 20
Race 1: (4) Kalahari 10
Race 2: (4) King’s Drive 8
Race 3: (4) Mella Maria 25
Race 4: (3) Buckinghampshire 33
Race 5: (5) Touch The Sky 79
Race 6: (1) Louis The King 96 (NAP*)
Race 7: (2) Siren’s Call 79
Race 8: (1) Harry’s Son 87
Race 9: (7) Carry On Alice 83
Race 10: (4) S’il Vous Plait 74
Race 11: (9) Luca Delago 62
Race 1: (6) Seek The Summit 1
Race 2: (12) Miss Varlicious 13 (NAP*)
Race 3: (3) Corresolve 21
Race 4: (1) Captain Of All 102
Race 5: (7) Always Al 84
Race 6: (2) Chosen Dash 22
Race 7: (4) Choir Maiden 68
Race 8: (4) Toni Performs 9
Race 9: (2) Gun Fighter 57


Top rated winners last week included

Mysterio won 18/1
Taarish won 13/2
Shake And Bake won 4/1
The Centenary won 33/10
Pretty Special won 3/1
Arcetri Pink won 11/10
Zambezi River won 3/10
Endearing won 1/4



Arcetri Pink (G Woodruff, Gauteng)
Hunting Owl (D Howells, KZN)
Shea Devon (G Woodruff, Gauteng)



The number of races run over each distance is shown in brackets
*Denotes – Times taken by Clockwatcher

Turffontein (inner) 19th March
Penetrometer 23 – Going Good
1000m (1) Kingoftheworld 60,09
1200m (3) Last Battle       74,04
1450m (1) Paree              89,85
1600m (2) Pacific G         99,80
1800m (2) Shea Devon   112,05

Fairview 20th March
Penetrometer 22 – Going Good
1000m (2) Mysterio      55,95
1200m (3) Sir Duke     67,43
1400m (2) Coco          83,25
1600m (1) Red Barrel 95,49
2400m (1) Taarish     152,18

Greyville 20th March
Turf Good/Poly Good
1200m (1) Respect At Bay 69,50P
1300m (2) Fortissimo        80,50T
1400m (1) Firewood          83,25P
1600m (3) Baltic Amber    98,70T
1900m (1) Discourse        117,60

Turffontein (inner) 21st March
Penetrometer 21 – Going Good
1450m (5) King And Empire 88,72
1600m (1) Pyramus             98,56*
1800m (2) Jay Boy              111,74
2600m (1) The Centenary   170,40


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