Big day for Bryan

Scottsville 4 September

Big moment! Des Egdes leads Perazim Joy and Bryan Claassen in.

It was a memorable day for apprentice jockey Bryan Claassen at Scottsville on 4 September, as he blew the world out of the  Jackpot and Pick Six on his first career winning ride. Senior rider Sean Cormack also continued his rich vein of form with a great double on the afternoon.

The sixteen year old Claassen is in the second year of his apprentice training at the SA Jockey Academy in Summerveld and his quick progress at the world-class jockey training facility from bewildered new entrant to race rider is no doubt as a result of the fact that he has grown up around horses. He says that he rode his first horse at the age of six and lists swimming and polo-crosse as two of his passions. His family, who hail from Pietermaritzburg, were on course to support him.

The youthful Claassen would not have endeared himself to punters as he vigorously steered the five year old Desmond Egdes-trained Perazim Joy down the inside rail to mow down the backed Mike De Kock trained Winter Chill in a shock result in the fifth race, an MR74 Handicap over 1600m. Egdes was most complimentary of his young rider, whom he termed ‘fearless’ and said that plenty would be heard of him.   It was Claassen’s 22nd career ride.

Jockey Sean Cormack continues to hold his strike rate with two smart winners from his six rides on the day. His first win was aboard the recently improved Arabian Empire who continues to thrive in KZN in the very capable hands of Frikkie Greyling. The leading Assistant Trainer said that he felt that the advanced fitness of his horse as opposed to the higher rated opposition had acted in their favour, but that he had a ‘plan or two’ for the Anabaa gelding. Cormack had won on him over the course and distance just a fortnight ago and showed the benefit of his experience by riding a brilliant finish to get the better of Anton Marcus and The Assayer, who had made all the running.

Believe this! Sean Cormack steers Reason To Believe through to win well.

Cormack then  won the sixth race, an MR70 Handicap over 1200m on the upwardly mobile Reason To Believe for Wendy Whitehead. Keeping a true course down the outside of the track from her 10 draw, she settled  well compared to her previous starts and won her post-maiden run here with ease. Cormack’s experience was again to the fore as the filly’s trainer explained that she was concerned about running her so close together. Her jockey had given her the confidence though and the result was never in doubt.

The tightest finish of the day was fought out in the final leg of the jackpot, an MR83 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1200m. After the Dennis Drier-trained Queen Tamara had cut out the pace down the inside, she was joined in a three way tussle by the odds-on favourite Stellar Season and the James Goodman filly Indigo Princess. The three went to the line as one horse, with Anthony Delpech getting Indigo Princess’ nose down on the line. Astute punters may have noted that this daughter of King Of Kings had run an eyecatching third to Hidden Beauty in the Fillies Nursery at Turffontein in April, and on that run had to have a chance here. Plenty will still be heard of Stellar Season who may have just needed the outing, while Queen Tamara probably prefers 1000m and will win again soon.

Just a half hour after former Equus champion colt Musir had won the Gr2 Topkapi Trophy over 1600m in Turkey, Mike De Kock sent out his second winner of the day at Scottsville for Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Ibsaar was backed to start 15-20 favourite in the 1950m Maiden Plate and he gave his backers no sweat with an easy victory. The son of Australian sire Keep The Faith was having only his second start and gave Anthony Delpech an armchair ride to win easily

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