Drakenstein’s New Record – But Scratching Opens Wounds

Gr3 Langerman - mixed emotions!

Drakenstein Stud celebrated a new record of 21 stakes winners in a season when the clearly progressive Lancaster Bomber colt Eight On Eighteen stormed home to win the R500 000 Gr3 Langerman at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Saturday.

Eight On Eighteen (Richard Fourie) catches up with pacesetter All Out For Six (Ashton Arries) and storms home powerfully giving Drakenstein Stud a new record of 21 stakes winners

Eight On Eighteen (Richard Fourie) storms past pacesetter All Out For Six (Ashton Arries) to give Drakenstein Stud a new record of 21 stakes winners (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Smashing their previous season record of 20 homebred stakes winners in a season, the Drakenstein celebrations would have been some compensation after their UK-based Cayton Park Stud Skukuza played second fiddle to Mickley on Royal Ascot Day 3 in the Britannia Stakes 48 hours earlier.

Produced late in the race by Richard Fourie, Justin Snaith’s recent maiden winner Eight On Eighteen (33-10) went on powerfully down the centre of the track to catch the long-time pacesetter All Out For Six (9-4, tote favourite) who carried the hopes of a host of exotic players after the very late scratching of his stablemate, One Stripe.

Eight On Eighteen won by 0,75 lengths in a time of 96,02 secs for the 1500m.

Mauritius Kestrel (8-1), the most experienced contestant in the line-up, stayed on late for third, and 1,25 lengths further back.

The winner, a R700 000 National Yearling Sale purchase, made it 2 wins with 2 places from his 4 starts for stakes of R402 738.

Raced by Anyasec (Pty) Ltd & Nic Jonsson, he is a son of deceased War Front stallion Lancaster Bomber out of the unraced Captain Al mare, Sempre Libre.

He looks really promising, but the reality is that the 2024 Langerman will sadly probably be remembered long after the sun has set for the shock withdrawal by the Clerk Of Scales at 14h49 on Saturday of the 5-10 favourite One Stripe due to elevated TCO2 levels.

TCO2 testing was introduced in March this year, and while it was driven by unquestionable noble intentions to level the playing fields and stamp out any cheating, it has proven a PR nightmare for all stakeholders, with uncertainty regarding variable influences and testing methods.

In an industry already playing second fiddle to other entertainment options, and struggling to retain the loyalty of owners and punters, TCO2 has become an unlikely albatross around the neck of those invested in building the future and clearing the dark clouds of some really tough years.

When a leading jockey like Richard Fourie wins a time-honoured feature on a smart horse and expresses regret at losing a serious opponent, who would have given him and the winning connections a better line on their classic prospects, then we should really surely be sitting up and thinking about it all.

And we are not arguing against controls – but they really and truly need to have credibility.

Fourie confirmed that he had enjoyed the privilege of riding both One Stripe and Eight On Eighteen in work, and had informed the Snaith team that they were probably racing for ‘second, maybe third’.

Given the Langerman’s proud history of producing champions, the entire industry must feel robbed – never mind the exotic players who faithfully banked the hot favourite. And how must One Stripe’s owner and NHA Board Member Rikesh Sewgoolam, and veteran Vaughan Marshall, one of the most respected conditioners in South Africa, feel?

Throw in leading rider Gavin Lerena, who gave up chances at Turffontein and made the expensive trip from the Highveld to ride the top horse.

There were a number of frustrated callers to the Sporting Post and longstanding respected racing man Selwyn Elk summed up the general sentiment, suggesting that ‘the racing authorities don’t seem to realise that the ordinary man in the street is not playing with monopoly money or washers and bottle tops’.

“This is so bad for the game and is an accident waiting to happen,” warned Mr Elk.

You be the judge.


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