He was described by Supersport presenter Neil Andrews as ‘the best bet of the weekend.’ Yet Polar Bound came up from the Western Cape to start deep in the red in the sixth race at Fairview on 19 August and got a comprehensive hiding from a relatively lowly-rated five year old gelding. Proof again that Port Elizabeth does not represent easy pickings or free candy for out-of- province visitors.
Every man and his dog blamed Karis Teetan for an injudicious ride aboard the flashy son of Western Winter at his last Cape start at the beginning of this month. He touched even money that day and went down narrowly to Lancelin and Cap Alright. He was expected to make amends today and settle the outstanding debt to punters in this Conditions Plate over 1400m. But instead made himself the most unpopular horse of the season in just 87 odd seconds. Hero to zero.
Jumping from a favourable draw of 3 and carrying a handy galloping weight of 52kgs, the four year old gelding looked a fair thing on paper in a fairly tired looking field of horses who seem to run every other week. Felix Coetzee jumped him well and had him within earshot of the leaders before letting him go at around the 300m marker. He had not reckoned on the superior fighting spirit of Brett Parker’s Australian bred, Bhusende. Not a cheapie with a seventy thousand aussie dollar price tag, the son of Flying Spur was kept beautifully balanced by Derrick David to win by a narrow margin, but all on merit.
Mitch Wiese’s Bhusende carried level weights with his vanquished prey and is a year older. He is rated nineteen pounds inferior and has not won a race since November last year, when he beat Mangaliso in a Novice Plate over the course and distance.
The list of excuses will no doubt come out for Polar Bound. Gelding? Won’t work – he has been there. First time on a right-hand turn? Travelled badly? May need blinkers? Didn’t enjoy the going? Tongue –tie? Pace? Or maybe he is just a nice horse with a heart the size of a losing jackpot ticket? We suggest avoiding him until he proves us wrong – or has a transplant.
The Alan Greeff trained Ivy Parade stepped out in steels in the first race and this probably accounted for the lack of punter confidence reflected in the starting price of 12-1. Felix Coetzee drove the good-looking Fred Crabbia colt through the middle for a great debut win. He is by the unraced Sadlers Well’s stallion Hinton Wells. This stallion is out of a half-sister to Fort Wood, which makes him a three-quarter brother to Fort Wood.
Champion Eastern Cape apprentice rider Anthony Andrews is riding at the top of his game and he rode a powerful finish to win the second race on the Grant Paddock-trained Aziza. He got the better of a far more experienced jockey in Alec Forbes who threw the kitchen sink at the former Kannemeyer colt Doubledane, who just failed to shed his maiden at his first attempt in Port Elizabeth. Karis Teetan rode the first of the two Yvette Bremner winners when he produced the three year old Victory Moon colt Blaze Of Fire to get up and win the third race, a Novice Plate over 1000m. The Maine Chance-bred dropped in class here after running ten lengths behind the top-class In A Rush in the Champion Juvenile Stakes in mid-July and he looks a progressive sort.
Alan Greef dominated the tactical battle in the fourth race, a Conditions Stakes over 2700m. His two runners October Club and Admiral Camden played musical chairs at the head of affairs in this marathon event. Stable jockey Felix Coetzee got the upper hand when it counted to record a ninth win at October Club’s half century of starts at the expense of the two Gavin Smith runners Jervis and Roman Art, who ran second and third respectively. It was an uncharacteristically blank day for Smith who sent out twenty-six runners.
Jockey Sean Veale is making renewed efforts to revive his flagging career fortunes in the new season and he was rewarded with a smart double on the day. He rode the 16-1 shot Lemon Fizz in the first leg of the jackpot and then closed the day on the former Dennis Drier mare Avila. The Toreador mare is now with Grant Paddock, who also celebrated a double on the day, having won the second race. She beat the younger Irish Maid who jumped from a poor draw and looks to be a nice sort in the making.