Daily News – Kannemeyer Star Shines

A thriller - theatrics and drama aplenty

Dean Kannemeyer’s 2024 Hollywoodbets Durban July dream is  well on track after current ante-post favourite and Khaya Stables’ star Green With Envy defied the odds under the talented Craig Zackey in an incident filled renewal of the R2 million Gr1 Daily News 2000 on Saturday.

It was stressful for the smashing 3yo’s legion of fans, and it certainly wasn’t pretty.

But it was mission accomplished for the punting public, as well as Lady Christine Laidlaw’s Khaya Stables and her top trainer, who will now be looking forward to a repeat of their Power King triumph of 2015 in Africa’s greatest, with a 3yo that has swept all before him since winning the Schweppes Gr3 Politician Stakes on Cape Town Met day, just four months back.

Dean Kannemeyer, who won the Daily News 21 years ago with the champion Dynasty, had expressed one concern in the build-up week, and that was a potential lack of pace in a small field.

Craig Zackey gets Green With Envy home to beat Flag Man (Serino Moodley) in a thriller (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

And the longstanding Milnerton resident sort of got that, dished up in a race that delivered some theatrics from the saddle, and even the boardroom, afterwards.

Highveld raider William Iron Arm went off like a hare, but was pulled back by jockey Calvin Habib, which move appeared to produce a knock-on for various of those in his wake.

After William Iron Arm had fallen back into the pack, Sean Veale and The Grey King bounded ahead, largely as a result of an unfortunate slipped saddle. At this stage, Grant van Niekerk switched Hluhluwe out, taking Barbaresco with him, while Green With Envy had taken his own medicine, and was some lengths back in last.

As he had done in the WSB Guineas earlier this month, Craig Zackey ranged up the outside on Green With Envy as they spun for home.

But this time the handsome son of Gimmethegreenlight hung inwards away from the grandstand, and ended up costing himself lengths, in the process landing up alongside Gareth van Zyl’s progressive 92 rater Flag Man on the inside rail.

Zackey had changed his crop hand to the right and at no stage did Green With Envy make contact with any opponent.

In the drive to the wire, Green With Envy (6-10) was extended by the gallant chestnut Flag Man (10-1) who kept at it under Serino Moodley, to produce a thrilling climax to a muddling race.

A head separated the top two in a time of 123,69 secs on good to soft ground. For comparison’s sake, the course record is 119,60 secs, and the class record stands at 120,02 secs.

After suffering the early interference, Barbaresco (20-1) ran on well for third, a further 2,50 lengths back, even though his connections still won’t be clear whether he actually stays the 2000m or not.

A race review was, not unexpectedly, called by the Stipes.

But after what felt like an interminable wait, they announced no further action – from their side. That announcement suggested that anything could still happen. One wonders why the Stipes didn’t get some indication from any other potential objecting parties, even though Craig Zackey had not yet weighed in, and made it a clear, all good to go?

Stress,. what stress? Craig Zackey makes it look easy as he waits for the Stipes’ announcement with champion, Green With Envy (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Craig Zackey, who rode three winners on the afternoon, and had to wait with the Kannemeyer team and the handsome winner in front of the stands while the Stipes watched the movie, said that he would have to do something about his personal stress levels!

“It’s a lot of stress riding this horse as the public love him. He had to check and he dropped back – further than what I would have chosen. Then he got into a rhythm. At the 900m there was a bit of ‘argy bargy’. He’s a sensational horse, even though he hung in. It was an incredible victory,” added Zackey, who said that he was looking forward to riding the likely favourite in one of South Africa’s biggest races.

Trainer Dean Kannemeyer said that he would like to go and watch the race a few times and would then issue a statement. We are carded to speak to him on Sunday morning.

Bred and raced by Khaya Stables, Green With Envy, who was raised on Varsfontein Stud, is by SA champion sire Gimmethegreenlight (More Than Ready) out of the Irish-bred Miss Coco, a daughter of champion Galileo, who was unbeaten in one start over 2400m.

Now a winner of 6 races with 3 places from 10 starts for stakes of R2 968 901, Green With Envy will next see action on 6 July at the same venue. Exciting times!


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