Arlington 16th September: The best bet on the card for most in Port Elizabeth on Friday was ZAYNA (19) in the opening maiden event over 1200m. Sent off a strong favourite at 16/10, Zayna raced fifth during the early part of the race some six lengths off the strong pace set by DREAMING BEAUTY. The front runner kept on determinedly in the straight and did have the rest well beaten. Zayna quickened well at the business end of the race though and under a well judged ride from Karis Teetan, she got up late to win by a length and a quarter. Zayna had run a fair fourth in the listed Lady’s Slipper in her previous start and is clearly one to keep tabs on.
Race four on the card was a novice 1000m and here we saw a smart performance from the improving BIG ON BROADWAY (65). On leaving the stalls it was the easy to back BALLINAMORE who elected to make the running whilst Big On Broadway was content to sit in midfield. The second favourite CHEKECHE also began to make headway from midfield when Big On Broadway started her run 400m out and with the rest unable to go with them battle quickly commenced. Chekeche fought on determinedly on the run to the line, but try as she might she couldn’t hold on to Big On Broadway who asserted her authority late to score by three quarters.
Top weight INCA’S SPIRIT won the MR76 Handicap over 2400m with a lot in hand.
Poorly drawn THUNDERING LADY was running on from the rear when fourth in the MR66 affair over 1800m.
Turffontein 17th September: Saturday’s action took place on the inner track where the easiest victory on the card was registered by BLAZING SUNSET (19) in the opening maiden event over 1000m. Nicely drawn in gate three, Clinton Binda’s charge got away well when the gates opened and was soon at the head of affairs. He quickened well coming off the strip and went on to win very easily by five and a half.
Another to win very easily on this card was the Geoff Woodruff trained PRINCESS OF LIGHT (76) in the pinnacle stakes over 2200m. On leaving the stalls it was SPECIAL INTEREST who elected to set the pace and he soon had the field well strung out. Princess Of Light was always nicely positioned in second though and when the front runner exited the back door going into the strip, she quickly took command. Both SALUTATION and the well supported favourite MAGICAL ran on strongly from off the pace over the final 400m, but neither could get within four and a half lengths of Princess Of Light at the wire.
The afternoon’s feature event was a conditions plate over 1450m and here we saw an impressive performance from the one time Triple Crown hopeful PIERRE JOURDAN (92). Racing for the first time since finishing runner up to IGUGU in the prestigious Gr1 Durban July, Gary Alexander’s charge raced in midfield for most of the journey, and still some six lengths adrift of the leader at the top of the short home straight, he looked destined for a place at best. Once given rein though, the son of Parade Leader fairly flew and in what proved to be a real thriller he got up late to deny the 4yo WITHOUT MALICE. Pierre Jourdan won well and looks sure to have another exciting season ahead of him.
Positioned towards the rear turning for home, MR TOBIN was running on strongly in the latter stages when fifth in the MR78 affair over 1800m.
Kenilworth 17th September: The most impressive performance in the maiden ranks at Kenilworth on Saturday was undoubtedly that of LAURIE’S GOLD (30) when opening his account in the 1400m affair. Confidently ridden by Karl Neisius, the son of Silvano was always in touch with the leaders. He was clearly cruising as he struck the front 200m out and although LOVE BOAT had the rest well beaten in his bid to make a race of it, Mike Bass’ charge went on to score by two with plenty in hand.
Race five on the card was a pinnacle stakes over 1000m and here it was nice to see the talented Rabah horse RABATTACHE (83) back in the winner’s enclosure. Racing for the first time since taking on the best in Durban, Glen Puller’s charge got away well when the gates opened and although he couldn’t match the blistering early pace of ISIDINGO, he was nicely positioned in second. He ran on stoutly at the business end of the race and with Isidingo predictably tiring over the final 100m, he got up late.
The listed Sophomore Sprint over 1200m topped the bill and heavily supported here was the Dean Kannemeyer trained DEPARDIEU. Backed throughout the day into 13/20 from 15/10, Depardieu wasn’t the quickest into stride and raced towards the rear during the early part of the race. On reaching halfway though, he was perfectly placed to strike and visibly cruising at that stage it looked to be just a matter of when Karl Neisius would press the button. SOWETO SLEW (60) was the first to make a move when the race began in earnest and struck the front 300m out. Depardieu then failed to quicken when the gauntlet was thrown down and Soweto Slew went on to score quite comfortably in the end from the only filly in the race SUPER ELEGANT.
CASTLETHORPE (lost four lengths at the start) and SABATINO (didn’t get the clearest of runs in the straight) were both running on strongly at the finish in the allowance plate won by Lancelin.
Clairwood 18th September: They raced at the garden course on Sunday where we saw another nice performance from the 3yo SHAHRUHK (49). Sent off a strong favourite at 15/10, Glen Puller’s charge was always handy. He was asked to take up the running as they approached the 400m marker and comfortably accounted for the consistent ALAN’S PRIDE by two and a quarter.
A Pinnacle Stakes over 1450m was next up and here it was nice to see the 4yo Pure Prize gelding ANTIOUS (76) find his best form. Herman Brown’s charge was content to amble along at the back of the six for most of the journey, but coming off the bend he was only four lengths off them. He ran on best of all in the straight and under a well judged ride from Ian Sturgeon, he got up late to beat ICE AXE by three quarters.
Also worthy of note on this card was the performance of KNIGHT TO REMEMBER (83) in winning the MR93 affair over 1800m. Third in both the Gold Cup and Gold Vase in his last two starts, the grey son of The Sheik sat in the rear until early in the home straight. Once given rein though he quickly began to pick them off and after striking the front 200m from home he easily accounted for the well supported favourite DANISH SILVER by three. Knight To Remember has now won six from fourteen and is clearly still improving.
DEE MAJOR winner of the maiden event over 1200m was eased late and is clearly better than the official margin of three quarters of a length would suggest.
TIGER RUN came from off the pace when winning the maiden event over 1800m going away.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-Flamingo Park Race 1: No Qualifiers Race 2: (11) Call For Campari12 Race 3: (10) Cool Your Jets 27 Race 4: (9) Cannonball 76 Race 5: (1) Pick Of The Bunch 42 Race 6: (11) Fairy Moon 26 Race 7: (9) Without Fear 24 Race 8: (9) Bottom Line 25 Race 9: (9) Eternal Embrace 23 Vaal (Tues) Race 1: (1) Rosey’s Song 24 Race 2: (12) Largesse 10 (NAP*) Race 3: (13) Alamein 29 Race 4: (10) Thembi 7 Race 5: (2) Golden Secret 68 Race 6: (7) King’s Glory 47 Race 7: (9) Okeechobee 66 Race 8: (10) Extremist 52 (EW) Race 9: (12) Satish 51 Greyville Race 1: (12) Sarasini 19 (NAP*) Race 2: (1) Diamantaire 22 Race 3: (6) Fire Curtain 30 Race 4: (11) Rocky Bay 22 Race 5: (7) Midnight Fox 64 Race 6: (14) London Queen 41 Race 7: (12) Hunt The Jester 50 Race 8: (12) Day By Day 47 Durbanville Race 1: (1) Groomsman 12 Race 2: (8) Merry Maiden 12 Race 3: (1) Sheisapromqueen 16 Race 4: (12) Soul Singer 50 Race 5: (7) Fact Not Fiction 43 Race 6: (10) Boniface 64 Race 7: (7) Asaal’s Magic 64 Race 8: (3) Our Smoking Joe 54 Vaal (Thur) Race 1: (2) Tony’s Tipple 18 Race 2: (14) Dea Dia 15 (NAP*) Race 3: (2) Crown Heights 25 Race 4: (8) Frontino Gold 20 (nb) Race 5: (4) Hidden Rave 61 Race 6: (7) Spanish Angel 53 Race 7: (14) Cruella 46 Race 8: (2) Infalliable 8
Top rated winners last week includedMeriden won 9/2 Audit Report won 4/1 Bandol won 4/1 Cabo Wabo won 33/10 Rosehip won 33/10 Sovereign Empire won 3/1 Brandy Nan won 15/10 Reign Victorious won 14/10
Notebook:-Laurie’s Gold (M Bass, W-Cape) Pierre Jourdan (G Alexander, Gauteng)
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category) Arlington 16th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) South Dakota Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Western Star Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Inca’s Spirit
.Turffontein 17th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Blazing Sunset Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (5) Pierre Jourdan Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) Princess Of Light
.Kenilworth 17th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Rabattache Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Laurie’s Gold Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Sovereign Empire
.Clairwood 18th September Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Shahruhk Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (5) Antious Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers