Kenny Emerges From The Shadows

Weights are out and Africa's richest race on sand developing into a cracker

Super impressive Emerald Cup trial by Steve Kenny's Shadow Line (JC Photos)

Super impressive Emerald Cup trial by Scott Kenny’s Shadow Line (JC Photos)

The Toreador gelding Shadow Line threw his name into the Emerald Cup hat with a facile Pinnacle Stakes win at the Vaal on Thursday, and if anything, the impressive performance by Scott Kenny’s galloper has only served to muddy the waters for Africa’s richest race on sand.

One can hardly blame the handicapper for whacking Shadow Line with a maximum 6 point penalty that sees him lumping 56kgs in the big race on 27 September.

And if the connections were concerned that he was a borderline starter with his original 98 MR, any doubts about getting in were thrown out of the window in no uncertain terms.

The consistent Henry Higgins was used as the line horse, and it will be interesting indeed to see how the form of this race unfolds.

Gavin Lerena, who rode Shadow Line,  was looking around as he geared his mount down after the son of Toreador had glided through hard against the steel on the inside rail, inside the 400m marker.

Lerena may well be lucky to escape caution from the Stipes as he overdid the theatrics and glanced back cheekily at Striker on Mike Azzie’s Brooks-Club.

In the end, Shadow Line strolled clear to beat Brooks-Club by 2,50 lengths in a time of 89,63 secs.

Not that Brooks-Club was panel-beated either and the big question will be whether Shadow Line will cope with a turnaround of 4,5kgs against him in the weights, as Brooks-Club will only lump 50kgs in the Emerald Cup. The biggest for challenge for Mike Azzie may well be finding a jockey that meets his exacting standards to ride at the weight.

Gavin Lerena

Gavin Lerena. Rode the winner but chancing his arm with the Stipes?

The Emerald Cup is no longer a handicap and weights are set on Pinnacle Rating bands.

The game Henry Higgins, over a distance slightly short of his optimum trip, made up ground over to run on into third. The rest were well beaten with Panjo and Samogan very disappointing.

The promising Shadow Line was bred by the Tawny Syndicate and is by Toreador out of the US-bred Gone West mare, Brighter.

He has won 6 races with 6 places from his 16 starts and R420 700 in stakes.

He looks to have plenty to come.

Despite getting beaten here, Piere Strydom was once again the most successful rider on the afternoon with a hat-trick of winners. He is fast bearing down on 40 winners short of his 5000 winner milestone, but admitted earlier this week that counting them one by one was dragging the process!

Final declarations for the R1 million Gr2 Emerald Cup are due by 11h00 on Wednesday 17 September.

The final field is embargoed until Thursday 18 September and in a deviation from the norm, the draws are being done electronically by the NRB.

The weights – R 1,000,000     EMERALD CUP (Grade 2)

2 JET JAMBOREE (7G) 60.0 114 A Dominic Zaki

13 UNCLE TOMMY (7G) 60.0 114 BAT Weiho Marwing

8 RIO CARNIVAL (AUS) (6G) 58.0 109 BA Charles Laird

3 WHITELINE FEVER (6G) 58.0 109 A Sean Tarry

15 IN A RUSH (6G) 58.0 108 AT Gavin Smith

4 TOMMY GUN (4G) 58.0 108 A Corne Spies

20 ACROSS THE ICE (8G) 56.0 106 BAT Sean Tarry

1 MIDNIGHT RUN (5G) 56.0 105 A Mike Bass

6 SHADOW LINE (5G) 56.0 104 A Scott Kenny

16 ISOBAR (5G) 54.0 102 A Weiho Marwing

5 STORM SURF (7G) 54.0 102 A Kumaran Naidoo

23 ANGER (BRZ) (4C) 54.0 101 A Corne Spies

21 KILLUA CASTLE (AUS (5G) 54.0 100 A Geoff Woodruff

14 BLAZE OF FIRE (6H) 54.0 99 A Yvette Bremner

11 KINGOFMOUNTAIN (5G) 54.0 99 BA Cliffie Miller

25 M’LORDS THROAT (7G) 54.0 99 A Justin Snaith

9 ARCETRI PINK (AUS) (4F) 52.0 101 A Geoff Woodruff

7 TAPTAP MAKHATINI (6G) 52.0 97 AT Sean Tarry

22 HENRY HIGGINS (6G) 52.0 96 BL Paul Peter

12 ALL THE BIDS (3G) 50.0 100 A Corne Spies

10 BROOKS-CLUB (6G) 50.0 93 BAT Mike Azzie

26 ZESTFUL (5G) 50.0 90 A Duncan Howells

19 SHADOW OFHIS SMILE (4G) 50.0 88 AT Geoff Woodruff

Watch the live field announcement on Tellytrack on Thursday. Time: tba

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