Hotting Up

Clockwatcher's column to 22 Sep

Clairwood 19th September

Heavy Support

The newcomer ILLUSIVE START (34) was heavily supported to win the opening maiden event over 1200m at the garden course on Sunday and he didn’t let down his supporters. Eventually sent off a strong favourite at 11/10 (opened 3/1), Alec Laird’s charge sat towards the rear during the early part of the race. He quickened well when given rein 400m from home and under a well judged ride from Andrew Fortune, he go up late to deny another well supported newcomer, CAPE WINTER (14/1 into 9/2) by three quarters. Illusive Start won well and is clearly one to keep tabs on.

The second division of the maiden 1200m was also won by a heavily supported newcomer. Backed as if unbeatable throughout the day (3/1 into 9/20), the Muhtafal colt INKANYESI (33) was soon at the head of affairs. He kept on strongly at the business end of the race and with the rest well beaten, he managed to fend off a determined challenge from the friendless newcomer AL’S MARK (3/1 out to 15/1) by three quarters.

Race five on the card was an Allowance Plate over 1450m and here we saw a comfortable victory for the Western Winter filly MY KAZZIE (79). Another to find heavy support, Neil Bruss’ charge was soon up handy. She was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 400m marker and after quickly skipping clear, she went on to beat the running on ASIAN AFFAIR by a length and a quarter.

The afternoons’ feature event was a Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m and here a bit of an upset was to be had when WINTER’S NIGHT (74) landed the spoils. IVORY TRAIL (22/10 into 13/20) was sent off a heavily supported favourite, but after losing eight lengths at the start, he never got in a blow. The friendless Winter’s Night (3/1 out to 13/2) meanwhile got away well and taken straight to the front by Anthony Delpech, led throughout. He kept on determinedly in the home straight and just had enough in hand to hold off the steadily gaining DANCE AT DAYLIGHT by a neck.

Flamingo Park 20th September

Thirteenth Win

The easiest victory in Kimberley on Monday was undoubtedly that of BENELLI’S BOY (13) in the opening maiden event over 1200m. Freely available at 14/1 on the off, Cliffie Miller’s charge was soon up handy. He was asked to take up the running early in the straight and despite the efforts of the 25/1 shot DAVID MIN, he came home lonely by seven.

Another to win very easily in the maiden ranks here was BATTLE AXE (15) who opened her account in the maiden event over 1600m. Drawn wide and a little slow into stride to boot, the 5yo Parade Leader mare soon found herself positioned towards the rear. She began to make headway as they rounded the turn and on entering the straight she was soon in contention. She struck the front shortly after passing the 300m marker and drew clear easily from there onwards to beat the more fancied MY GIRL by five and a quarter.

The afternoons’ feature event was a Pinnacle Stakes over 1200m and here it was nice to see the 8yo MR RAWLING (62) record his thirteenth career victory. Soon prominent, Mr Rawling took up the running as they approached the 400m marker. The easy to back HOLLYWOOD GUEST ran on stoutly in the closing stages of the race, but try as he might, he couldn’t get closer than a length and a half at the wire.

Also worthy of note on this card was the performance of AFRICAN VISION (61) who completed a very smart hattrick in the MR84 affair over 1600m. Sent off second favourite at 33/10, Peter Miller’s charge was always in touch with the leaders. He ran on best of all in the straight and despite being eased a little shortly before the line, he went on to beat SULLA very easily by two and a half.

Vaal 21st September

All Handicaps!

First up at Tuesday’s turf meeting was a qualified maiden handicap over 1200m and here victory went to the Paul Matchett trained LIGHTNING MCQUEEN (12). Nibbled at into 16/1 from 40/1, the son of Sobieski ran on surprisingly well from the rear and under a well judged ride from Randal Simons, he got up late to thwart the gamble on BREAK OF DAY (40/1 into 7/1).

A qualified maiden handicap for the girls was next up and here it was nice to see ELEGANT STRIDE (11) finally get her head in front. Freely available at 10/1 on the off, Elegant Stride was a little slow into stride and as a result, she soon found herself positioned towards the rear. The field was always tightly bunched though and when asked for an effort, she was soon in contention. She ran on stoutly at the business end of the race and just as if scripted, she struck the front 50m from home.

Race five on the card was a MR66 Handicap and in what proved to be the fastest of the four 1200m events, victory here went to the Leon Erasmus trained LEPRECORNS GIFT (41). Usually one to run on from off the pace, the son of Winter Romance adopted a change of tactics here and raced close up in third. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and although TOBRUSKY chased hard below the distance, he went on to win very comfortably by a length and a half.

The lucky last was a MR62 affair over 1600m and here the locals were sent home happy when the favourite SOUTH STAR (43) did the business. Cleverly ridden by the vastly experienced Piere Strydom, South Star led early on, but there was no sign of panic when WINGS OF AN ANGEL put her head in front 400m out. Indeed, clearly toying with her rivals, the Labeeb mare quickly went through the gears when asked for her effort and after regaining the lead 250m from home, she easily drew clear.

Durbanville 22nd September

Winning Combination

First blood at the country course on Wednesday was drawn by the Joey Ramsden stable when the well supported second favourite LUCKY MOON landed the spoils. Backed into 5/2 from 3/1 to win the first division of the maiden 1400m, the son of Victory Moon was soon up handy. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 300m marker and drew clear nicely late to beat FIRST LAD by a length and three quarters.

The combination of Joey Ramsden and Andrew Fortune were again on the mark in the second division of the maiden 1400m when the easy to back ORCHARD HOUSE opened his account. Drawn very wide at thirteen, the easy to back Orchard House not surprisingly found himself positioned in the rear as they came off the bend. Once into stride though, he quickened well and under a well judged ride, he got up late to deny the favourite KING FAHIEM. As well as Orchard House, another to look out for from this race is KHYBER CROSSING who finished fifth. Beaten just two and a half lengths, Shane Humby’s charge also finished well from off the pace.

The fastest of the three 1400m events was the MR74 Handicap in which PEREGRINE POWER caused an upset. The first of four winners on the card for trainer Mike Bass (all ridden by Aldo Domeyer), the easy to back son of Consolidator sat in midfield for most of the journey. He began to take closer order early in the straight and after striking the front 150 from home, he drew clear easily in the closing stages to beat the well supported outsider, UBIZO by a length and a half.

The Lake Coniston filly MARGARET COURT (14/10 into 17/20) was heavily supported to win the lucky last, a maiden event over 1600m and she didn’t let down her followers. Adopting a change of tactics here, Margaret Court was taken straight to the front by Aldo Domeyer and led throughout. She was two lengths clear when the race began in earnest 300m from home and quickening nicely, she doubled her advantage on the run to the line. Margaret Court won well and should pay to keep tabs on.

Top rated winners last week included:-

Elegant Stride won 10/1

Beepbeep won 9/1

Mainspring won 33/10

Six Flags won 5/2

Moonshine Lake won 22/10

Glass Sky won 18/10

Eloise won 12/10

Land Baron won 12/10


Illusive Start (A Laird, Natal)

Inkanyesi (M De Kock, Natal)

Khyber Crossing (S Humby, W-Cape)

Margaret Court (M Bass, W-Cape)

Orchard House (J Ramsden, W-Cape)


(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)

Clairwood 19th September

Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4)  Chief Mambo

Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3)            My Kazzie

Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1)    Eloise

Flamingo Park 20th September

Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4)  Benelli’s Boy

Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4)            African Vision

Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1)    Mar Aberto

Vaal 21st September

Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4)  Leprecorns Gift

Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4)            Coldkentuckyrain

Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0)    No Qualfiers

Durbanville 22nd September

Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2)  Green Keeper

Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (6)            Peregrine Power

Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1)    Blue Vista


Illusive Start – Clairwood

Illusive Start was an impressive winner on debut at Clairwood last week.

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