Ennion’s Master Plan

Impressive winner for stallion Stronghold at Durbanville on 3 March

Bigger Fish To Fry! Karis Teetan gets Master Plan home to win easily.

Greg Ennion has a master plan that includes the 2013 J&B Met. The veteran Cape trainer  was visibly excited as the shadows lengthened at Durbanville after the final race on Saturday afternoon. He looks to have a very smart three year old on his hands and big decisions lay ahead.

Ennion has trained plenty of well bought good horses and his was the yard where Champion owner Marsh Shirtliff first cut his owner teeth some two decades ago with horses like La Mancha and the good stayer Dramdor. And Singapore-based owner Fred Crabbia is the man who is providing the ammunition in 2012 for the Ennion revival.

A health scare and down to a handful of horses just a few years ago, Greg Ennion looks a picture of youthful enthusiasm these days as he churns out the winners in the red and black silks. And only an eternal optimist would suggest a shot at next year’s Met as early as a March Saturday at Durbanville.

The three year old Jet Master gelding Master Plan came into the MR90 Handicap as a young three year old badly weighted against some older sorts. He couldn’t win it 200m out, but scythed through under Karis Teetan to win going away. Teetan is the exciting Jackson’s regular pilot and he gave Master Plan a big thumbs up afterwards.” He likes to be left alone in his races, and certainly turns it on when asked,” said the Mauritian.

Ennion said he may take a leaf out of Mike Bass’ book and stay in Cape Town for the Winter Series rather than fall for the lure of the KZN Champions Season riches: “He is still immature  but this was a good run – he really is a good sort. He will be at his best at around 2400m, I believe.  I must thank Karis–when a horse can win, they normally do when he is on top!”.

Vaughan Marshall also had a good afternoon with two smart MJ Byleveld winners – even though his Imperial Fox performed again at the start of the last and robbed his backers by rearing as the gates were sprung. If punters haven’t learnt by now with this grey they never will. One just feels for jockey Ossie Noach who hung around the whole afternoon after his ride in the second, to give the Fox another chance.

Back To Best! Brilliant Cut sweeps ahead to win his first race in almost two years.

Marshall’s smart looking two year old The West Is Wide followed up on his eyecatching Kenilworth debut of two weeks back, when he stormed past the pacy filly Victorian Secret to win the opener, a Maiden Juvenile  Plate over 1000m easing up. The Klawervlei Stud-bred Western Winter colt is out of the sixt-time winning Fard mare, Poppy. Vaughan has trained two other of Poppy’s offspring in the Al Mufti La Beau Jolais and National Assembly’s in and out son Duke Of Beaufort. The West Is Wide could be the best of the lot at this early stage. Carl Burger’s Gooi Mielies improved into third – finishing ahead of his stablemate Here I Am, who was making his debut and rumoured to be a horse ‘who can run.’

Marshall would have breathed a sigh of relief when his Brilliant Cut broke his duck in the seventh race, an MR 79 Handicap over a mile, after a chequered career of promise unfulfilled. Astonishingly the Kabool gelding’s  last two wins were dual Gr3 back-to-back victories in the Cape Nursery and the Langerman almost two years back!  In the ensuing period the emotional rollercoaster of a failed sale,  as a result of liver problems, to Malaysia for a reputed ‘large sum’ and one disappointing run after the next have tested resilience and patience. His fall from grace is vividly illustrated as he currently runs off an MR of 77 as opposed to a career best of 97!

The improved Kotzen gelding Spy Glass dictated matters here and looked to have done enough at the 200m marker – but Byleveld produced Brilliant Cut from wide out to win going away.

Joey Ramsden and Glen Hatt also enjoyed a double on the afternoon, winning  the second and fifth races.  Summerhill Danehill stallion Stronghold sent out his first Cape winner when She’s Got It scored a facile win in the Maiden 1200m after two excellent career efforts.

An Able For Caine! She's Got It wins the second race in a canter.

Our Dizzy Emblem carted the field  along under Rochard Fourie and she was still travelling well inside the 300m marker. Glen Hatt was sitting with plenty in reserve though and She’s Got It swept through to win very readily. Hatt was full of praise afterwards – labelling the 1-3 shot a progressive type of filly who was ‘travelling like a boeing at the top of the straight’.  Hatt confirmed that she will likely enjoy a bit  further – much like her brilliant father. She runs in the silks of legendary UK based racing fundi Malcolm Caine – whom punters may recall raced the good perfomers Something Else and Heatofthenight for Ramsden. Both these horses were named after movies and the Stronghold filly was probably named after Little Richard’s hit song of the same name?

Ramsden and Hatt were on target again with the Australian –bred Marine Sky who won the Maiden Plate over 1400m.  Owned by the Mauritius domiciled Naiks, who also have a share in She’s Got It, the Southern Image gelding showed the benefit of his short break, when tracking the pacemaker Zucaro and then bouncing clear to win easing up. Dolf Maeder’s Miesque’s Approval gelding  Flame Of Approval stayed on well to run into second and should not be long in shedding his maiden.

Trainer Paul Reeves made a welcome return to winning ways when Karis Teetan excelled in getting Magnolia Park to withstand the late charge of the favourite Kiss And Tell. Sorrento Stud’s Terry and Annabel Andrews bred the Lake Coniston filly and they race her in partnership with Reeves’ wife, Charmian.

Fighter! Magnolia Park goes all the way under Teetan to win the third race.

Teetan had her in front from the break and he said she showed courage aplenty to hold on well, Reeves called her the ‘perfect horse for the Durbanville track.’ “ She  is small, stocky , a fighter and very strong,” he quipped.

The Bernard Kantor yellows were in the winner’s  enclosure  after the fourth race when the Count Dubois filly Countess Isabella finally shed her maiden at her ninth try. Felinity led the Maiden 1400m field and and was tracked by Countess Isabella all the way around. The newly sponsored by Lektron Fayd’Herbe hit the front far out and won easily. The 19-10 favourite has quite an awkward action – resulting in the jockey confirming that he  “ was never really confident.”

The win was sweet timing for the Mike Bass yard as they bought Countess Isabella’s half sister by Argonaut on Day 1 of the Cape Premier Yearling Sale book 2 the previous day.

Stan Elley was another trainer to visit the winner’s box – this time in his non- Tellytrack capacity. He sent out the smart Victory Moon filly  Moon By Night who won from gun to tape in the Novice mile under a cracker of a ride by Richard Fourie.

Moon By Night led from Mirabelle and was tackled by the fancied Savannah Leigh at the 200m marker . She kicked though just as Karl Neisius on the favourite looked to have the upper hand and the Elley horse ran on well to win. She started at a generous 7-2 and showed class and ability as she was ‘not 100% fit’, according to her elated trainer.

It was good to see Fourie back to winning ways and we note that he rode one Snaith horse on the afternoon. Let’s hope we see him back in favour soon for a stable that he has enjoyed so much success for.

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