The great tote takeout debate raged on today after Durbanville racing was abandoned after the sixth race. Are Saftote justifiably permitted to nail punters with 100% of the takeout, as opposed to a what seems a far fairer proportionate sum?
Simply put, the three exotic bets qualify for a dividend after a minimum of two legs have been run. Mathematically, when the bet doesn’t run it’s full course, punters carry the can as Saftote just pull their full takeout and then declare a dividend. Some may argue that this is a little quirk in favour of the operator, but the shrewd punter surely thinks twice before going boots and all into a meeting that hangs in the balance – like this Durbanville meeting was always going to be.
In the end, six races were run, before the jockeys cried foul and scampered for the comfort of their homes as the rain came down in buckets. For paid professionals, most of whom hadn’t worked for two weeks, there was still an inordinate amount of praise and hoo-haa ing going on after we had gotten through things. When are they going to accept the fact that theirs is a highly paid and dangerous job?
Trainer Vaughan Marshall opened the season in much the same manner as he ended the last – with a smart double in the first two races.
The appropriately named Sheriff Marshall was easy to back in the 3yo Maiden Plate at 5-2 and MJ Byleveld brought him scything through his opposition late to win going away.
The winner is by Windrush out of the four-time winning Captain Al mare, Canadian Sunset, who was trained by Marshall. Bred by Klawervlei Stud, the R200 000 Cape PremierSale graduate has won once and been placed twice from his 5 starts for stake earnings of R46 400.
Marshall and Byleveld were in the winner’s enclosure again after the second race, a Maiden Plate for 3 yo fillies. The Casey Tibbs filly, Rosita Tibbs, yet another Klawervlei bred running in the Jooste silks, showed good pace and stayed on well to beat an improved Doris Duke. The Carl Burger-trained deburante Scarlet O’Tibbs was the subject of a failed betting from 20-1 to 3-1. She was never in it and came under a punishing ride to run a 5,75 length fifth.
The third race, a Maiden Plate for 3yo fillies, turned into a walk in the park for the favourite Freddy’s Sister, trained by Joey Ramsden. Glen Hatt rode a confident race on the daughter of Tiger Ridge after the pacy Our Way had looked dangerous right up the the 200m marker.
Freddy’s Sister was switched wide out and accelerated away to win readily from Our Dizzy Emblem, who pipped Our Way. Freddy’s Sister, a R300 000 National Sale purchase, was bred by Moutonshoek out of the six-time winning Sportsworld mare, Gay Regina.
Hassen Adams managed to halt the Jooste onslaught when the Australian-bred Wild Lili flew under Gerrit Schlechter to win the fourth race, a Maiden Plate for 3yo fillies over a mile. Showing the appreciation for the extra ground at her fifth start, the daughter of soon-to-be Avontuur based stallion Oratorio took off to nab the free-striding Gibraltar Express on the line. The winner is out of the Filante mare, Mistress Lili and is a nicely bred sort.
The fifth race produced one of those results that test punter’s resolve – the technically ‘wrong’ Jooste horse getting up to beat the 15-10 favourite from another yard in the same silks. Both horses are Klawervlei Stud-bred sons of Captain Al.
Glen Hatt had the favourite The Helmsman striding freely out front in his blinkers and the 4 yo was being hailed a winner by the commentator – until shortening his stride dramatically about 150m out. This allowed Grant Van Niekerk, who had been punching all the way around, to produce Blood Buccaneer at any price to overhaul the pacemaker in the final 50m. Glen Kotzen trains the 3 yo, and it was a first Woodhill winner for Jooste. The winner is out of the outstanding Jungle Rock mare, Southern Current, who was trained by Willies Ries in her racing days. The Helmsman may warrant another chance.
Glen Hatt made good in the final race of the day, when he got the Mike Bass-trained Crown Hill to stay on best to win the MR 89 Handicap over a mile.
The moderate son of Doowaley showed his liking for the winter and produced pace from nowhere to lead early. Felix Coetzee sent the 19-10 M’Lords Throat around his field to take over at the top of the straight and he looked a likely winner with 400m to run. The son of Silvano’s effort was shortlived however as he crashed into a hole to run second last. What a huge disappointment he is proving!
In the meanwhile Crown Hill kept on plugging away and he skipped clear as the gallant Mystery Dame stayed on just ahead of an improved Sergeant At Arms.
And then it was all over. Bar the rain!