Fresh As A Daisy
Arlington 20th January: A maiden event over 1000m got proceedings underway in Port Elizabeth on Friday and here we saw a comfortable victory for the Count Dubois gelding LONDON’S LEGEND. Allowed to ease out to 9/2 from 33/10 at the track, Alan Greeff’s charge was always handy. He was asked to take up the running shortly after passing the 200m marker and far from fully extended won by a length and a quarter.
Race four on the card was a graduation event over 1000m and here a bit of an upset was to be had when the former Cape Town campaigner SPRING ORCHID landed the spoils. Freely available at 11/1 in this her first start in the province, Spring Orchid raced in midfield during the early part of the race. She quickened well from halfway and easily accounted for the front running SOUTH RANGER with some in hand.
A Conditions Plate over 1400m was next up and here we saw another powerful front running performance from the Gavin Smith trained DANCING KIWI. Racing for the first time in almost seven months here, the son of Dancing Duel was soon in command of a two lengths advantage. He kept on determinedly in the short home straight and although the very useful CELTIC FIRE chased hard, he barely relinquished an inch of his advantage.
The afternoon’s feature event was the non black type Aloe Handicap over 1300m and here victory went to the second favourite IRISH MAID. On leaving the stalls it was ROYAL PRELUDE who elected to make the running whilst Irish Maid sat in midfield. She made her move early in the straight and under a well judged ride from Aldo Domeyer, she got up late to deny the Deep Sleep filly DREAMING BEAUTY close home.
PRIMARY TREND came from the rear when winning the MR69 Handicap over 1800m going away.
Nibbled at FAUSTINA (16/1 into 11/1) ran on well from the rear when fourth in the maiden event over 1600m
Turffontein 21st January: They raced on the inner track on Saturday where victory in the maiden event over 1200m went to the Michael Azzie trained VALERE (43). Making only his second racecourse appearance here, the son of Var was soon up handy. 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 running on favourite WYATT WEST by two and three quarters. The runner up finished well from midfield despite being reported by the veterinary surgeon as coughing.
A smarter than average looking novice event over 1200m was next up and in what proved to be a real thriller victory here went to the well supported second favourite AMERICANO (53). Backed into 2/1 from 28/10 at the track, Paul Matchett’s charge was always handy. He ran on stoutly at the business end of the race and just got the better of HEAVY METAL by a neck.
The afternoon’s feature event was a MR94 Handicap over 1600m and here we saw a smart performance from the 4yo SELBOURNE SUPREMACY (82). Backed into 7/2 from 9/2 at the track, Sean Tarry’s charge sat just behind the leaders in sixth. He quickened well as they came off the strip and after striking the front 300m from home, he drew clear easily to score by two and a quarter.
A MR89 Handicap over 1450m was next up and in what proved to be another very tight finish the Jet Master filly MYSTICAL JET (46) kept her unbeaten record in tact. Taking quite a leap in class here, Clinton Binda’s charge raced fifth for most of the journey. She ran on best of all over the final 400m and did well to collar JEWEL OF THE NILE in the very last stride.
CAPTIVE ACTION was finishing best of all when third to Americano in the novice 1200m.
Having been baulked for a run twice, and then having an objection by his trainer overruled, runner up ZAMBUCCA was very unlucky not to land first prize in the graduation event over 1800m in my book.
A Real Champion
Kenilworth 21st January: The highlight in Cape Town on Saturday was undoubtedly the Gr1 Cape Flying Championship where the top sprinters J J THE JET PLANE, VAL DE RA and WHAT A WINTER went to battle. On leaving the stalls it was Val De Ra who predictably set the pace, but she didn’t, as some might have expected, blaze a trail and both What A Winter and J J were always close enough, if good enough. What A Winter proved to be the biggest threat to the champion mare and at one stage it looked as if he might get the better of her. Val De Ra found extra below the distance though and in what proved to be a real thriller, she kept her unbeaten record over the distance in tact by almost a half.
In terms of distance, the easiest victory on the card was recorded by LAKE SUPERIOR when opening his account in the maiden 1200m. Making his thirteenth racecourse appearance here, the heavily supported Lake Superior (6/10 from even money) ran on from midfield. He hit the front shortly after passing the 300m marker and drew clear easily in the closing stages of the race to score by five and a quarter. Often seen running on stoutly in recent outings, Lake Superior may well pick up a second win much quicker than he gained his first.
Another to win well in the maiden ranks here was WINTER HEART when opening her account in the 1000m event. Backed into 14/10 joint favourite from 2/1 at the track, Justin Snaith’s charge was soon up handy. She was ridden to lead as they approached the 400m marker and kept on strongly from there onwards to score by three and a quarter.
The lucky last was a maiden event over 1600m and here we saw a smart performance from the heavily supported favourite MAGICAL EVE. Deep in the red at 5/10 on the off (op even money), Brett Crawford’s charge raced in the rear during the early part of the race. Once in the long new course straight though she quickened best of all and after striking the front 150m from home, she easily drew clear. Keep an eye on Magical Eve, she commands a nice turn of foot and looks sure to win more races.
Detached at the rear early on, lightly raced EIGHTH MAN ran on well in the maiden event over 1200m and although he was never a threat to the winner Lake Superior, he did well to get up for second.
BAMBINA STRIPES quickened well in the latter stages when winning the MR80 Handicap over 1600m.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Flamingo Park Race 1: (4) Olimpic Flyer 7 Race 2: (8) Kahal’s Secret 9 Race 3: No Qualifiers Race 4: (7) Nazran 30 Race 5: (15) Swift Lady 47 Race 6: (8) Sword Of Truth 36 Race 7: (6) Ricky My Son 14 Race 8: (6) Silver Sheik 10 Race 9: (4) Coup De Foudre 28 (EW) Vaal (Tues) Race 1: (4) Marius21 Race 2: (7) Fort William 18 Race 3: (3) Fallal 11 Race 4: (6) Queen Mira 77 Race 5: (2) Mannequin 80 Race 6: (2) Hidden Beauty 61 (NAP**) Race 7: (1) Incomodo 77 Race 8: (14) Mass Destruction 48 Greyville Race 1: (2) Impartial Justice 24 Race 2: (5) Platinum Fox 19 Race 3: (1) Constitution 19 Race 4: (1) Sugar Ray (arg) 27 Race 5: (6) Wieland 58 (EW) Race 6: (3) Silent Nights 74 Race 7: (1) She’s A Dime 55 Race 8: (2) Jack Hobbs 44 Race 9: (11) Chipnputt 58 Race 10: (4) Gida 25 Durbanville Race 1: (3) Born To Do It 7 Race 2: (1) Vertical Drift 6 Race 3: (1) Gold Academy 12 (NAP*) Race 4: (1) Premium Wood 2 Race 5: (6) Palos Verdes 43 Race 6: (8) The Balladeer 56 Race 7: (2) Lord Paramount 51 Race 8: (5) Rose Lorraine 36 Vaal (Thur) Race 1: (1) Stroller 22 (NAP*) Race 2: No Qualifiers Race 3: (8) Polina 44 Race 4: (1) Magical 82 Race 5: (2) Maggie Thatch 21 Race 6: (4) Emir 74 Race 7: (14) Valiant Be 56 Race 8: (9) Rare Distinction 51 Race 9: (8) Pacific Destiny 46
Top rated winners last week includedTsitsikama Strike won 25/1 Coup De Foudre won 15/2 Active Power won 11/2 Beacon Flare won 11/2 Cinnamon Spice won 75/20 Colorado Ski won 28/10 Veto won 28/10 Blaze Of Fire won 12/10
Notebook:-Magical Eve (B Crawford, W-Cape) Selbourne Supremacy (S Tarry, Gauteng) Val De Ra (D Drier, W-Cape) What A Winter (M Bass, W-Cape)
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Arlington 20th January Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (3) Spring Orchid Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Dancing Kiwi Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Roused
.Turffontein 21st January Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Americano Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (8) Mystical Jet Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers
.Kenilworth 21st January Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Val De Ra Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Bambina Stripes Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Luno