They say cowboys don’t cry. But if you were punting at Durbanville on 21 September, the chances are you may just be bawling your eyes out right now. How, for instance, does the biggest outsider in a field of eleven horses get up and win going away, after shedding his maiden in a workriders race in December and having shown nothing since? We know Yodac was a blinker strike, but seriously…
Maybe it is these periodical mysterious fluctuations of form that is the very allure that keeps us all coming back for more, while the exotics pay telephone numbers. But one realises just how often and true the maxim, ‘horses make fools of us’, applies. So let’s stop trying to turn this game into a pure science and go rather with your heart every so often – and maybe even throw the birthdate or car registration in that Pick Six.
It is probably the professional survivor instinct in racing people that comes out when trying to explain away the inexplicable. We haven’t yet heard the sixth post-race interview, but there will no doubt be a logical explanation. Yodac was running in blinkers for the first time. He was also reported to be coughing last time.The top two horses were badly drawn too. Admittedly, this argument is a bit thin, but hell life goes on. Karis Teetan will take the riding fee and his commission with a smile and he rode a well balanced finish on the Eric Sands horse after Tight Lines had done his usual blitzkrieg of speed for ninety percent of the 1000m race. Both the promising R400 000 three year old Royal Duke and the lightly raced four year old Western Dane were run off their feet and disappointed. A forgettable race for most punters.
Teetan was also seen to good effect when riding a powerful finish in the final event to ensure a mammoth Pick Six payout. He had the Brett Crawford-trained Absalom just off the pace as Prismatic and Master Barry led the bunch. Into the home straight Master Barry made a dash for it as the even money favourite Agarkar went with him down the inside. The complexion of the race changed dramatically in the final stages as Teetan unleashed Absalom with Muzi Yeni bringing Gianduja down the centre. Yeni had to be content with a blank day as Teetan proved stronger. The favourite was pipped into fourth position by a flying Bluemambo, who is slowly recovering from the exertions of the PE Gold Cup, where he had finished tailed off.
Jockey Richard Fourie and trainer Justin Snaith scored a double on the day. The stalwarts, Jack Mitchell and Alec Foster, own the neat Dynasty filly Audrey Rose, and Fourie steered her to a good win in the fourth race, a MR76 Handicap(F&M) over 1800m. It was another well judged ride by Fourie as he sent his mount to the head of affairs at the right time, to hold off Reptillian, who showed her appreciation for being ridden with a measure of restraint, by finishing well late.
Punters who bankered the 9-10 shot Northern Intrigue in the PA opener were left stunned and out of pocket when the Bass runner ran a modest fourth, with the exotic reflecting a minimum dividend of R3-10. It is difficult to fathom out why the favourite ran such a moderate race – she appeared to have absolutely no excuses on paper, having run three good races and jumping from pole position. Veteran jockey Karl Neisius’ ears must have been burning after the race as the filly was many player’s banker and tote punters voiced their disapproval. After jumping and losing her good position from the 1 draw, Neisius had her out of her ground and too far back as they turned for home to represent any real threat as the nicely-bred Molly R made the pace. The eventual winner was the medium-sized Jet Master filly, Rush For John, who won well after being produced down the inside rail by Richard Fourie. She was the first leg of Justin Snaith’s double and was bred by Cheveley Stud. A pleased looking part-owner John Freeman said afterwards that he did not have great expectations of her in view of her size. She is out of a half-sister to the well-performed Roman Charger and is thus really well bred.
So a very tough day. The sun will rise tomorrow and we live to fight another day. Just…