Fairview 23rd October: Trainer Justin Snaith saddled five winners on the first day of Port Elizabeth’s double header last weekend and he was soon off the mark here when TRISH DE LAGO did the business for favourite backers in the maiden 1200m. Soon up handy, this daughter of Encosta De Lago was always poised to strike. She hit the front as they approached the 200m marker and went on to score easily from MEGA MEL by two and three quarters.
The Gr3 Algoa Cup topped the bill and in what proved to be a real thriller, victory here went to the Western Cape raider FOREST OF DEAN. A fast finishing third when visiting the province to contest the Arlington 1800m last time out, Forest Of Dean raced much closer to the pace than he had done in that event. He ran on best of all down the long home straight and in a race where only a neck separated the first three home he got up in the very last stride.
Another to scrape home by the shortest of short heads was CHRISTINA who rounded off a tremendous weekend for Justin Snaith in the MR86 affair over 1200m. In command of a slender lead for most of the journey, Christina looked destined for just a place when the easy to back LUNAR LEE went a half length up 300m out. Once headed though, the Captain Al filly rallied gamely and in another classic finish, she got the verdict on the nod.
Fairly flying at the finish, MANGALISO had been virtually brought to a standstill when baulked for a run 300m out and only failed to get up by the narrowest of margins.
Friendless TALL SHIP came from the rear when winning the novice 1200m.
Clairwood 25th October: A maiden event over 1000m got proceedings underway at the garden course on Tuesday and here we saw a smart performance from the 50/1 shot SHIELD OF THUNDER (22). Unable to get within 6,5 lengths of a winner in his three previous starts, Shield Of Thunder raced in midfield during the early part of the race. The market leaders MAJESTIC EMBLEM and DANCING MAN disputed matters from the start and easily three lengths clear going through the 400m it looked as if they would have it between them. Shield Of Thunder produced a fair turn of foot at the business end of the event though and in a race where only a short head separated the first three home, he got up in the very last stride.
There were also a number of very easy victories on the card, but none more so than that of CATO DONATA (35) who came home smoking in the maiden 1450m. Allowed to ease a little in the betting market (12/10 out to 16/10) as the blind as usual followed the TV selection (Mr Gigilo 33/10 into 5/2), Cato Donata was taken straight to the front by champion jockey Anton Marcus and led throughout. He soon had the field well strung out and quickening nicely at the top of the long home straight, he extended his length and a half lead to seven and a half on the run to the line.
Also worthy of note on this card was the performance of STORM VANIDOSO (65) in winning the novice event over 1000m. Backed during the morning into 16/10 from 3/1, Dennis Bosch’s charge also made all. The strongly fancied second favourite JAGERBOMB was in close attendance for most of the journey, but as they approached the 400m marker it soon became evident that the 3yo had found one better. Storm Vanidoso kept on strongly in the closing stages of the race and went on to score very cosily by three.
Very quickly out of her ground, PRINCESS RASTA was running on strongly at the finish when fifth in the maiden event over 1600m.
Positioned in the rear turning for home, the poorly drawn FALCONERS KNOT ran on well from the rear and did well under his 4kg claimer to get within a length and a half of the winner.
Turffontein 25th October: They raced on the old stand side track on Tuesday evening where as expected victory in the graduation event over 1600m went to the well weighted EMPENOSO HENN (83). A Summer Cup entry, Empenoso Henn was content to race seventh of the eight for the first half of the race. Once in the long home straight though, he soon began to make headway and after striking the front 300m from home he went on to beat his stable companion ATLANTIC OAK much more easily than the official winning margin of a half length would suggest.
The first of the evenings’ two feature events to take place was the listed Java Handicap over 2450m and in what proved to be a very false paced affair victory here went to the friendless ILSANPIETRO (9/2 out to 8/1). Soon nicely positioned in second, Mike De Kock’s charge was easily nine lengths clear of the third horse turning for home. He was ridden to lead going through the 600m and although the Natal Gold Cup runner up KOLKATA did manage to make some headway in the latter stages of the race, Ilsanpietro cruised in by five and a quarter.
The Gr3 Yellowwood Handicap topped the bill and here a bit of an upset was to be had when QUEEN’S BAY (86) landed the spoils. Soon up handy, Michael Azzie’s charge raced prominent throughout. She was asked to take up the running shortly after passing the 500m marker and went on to score very comfortably from the running on LIZZIE ARDEN by two.
GREY’S ANATOMY ran on well from the rear when winning the maiden event over 1600m going away.
Durbanville 26th October: The most impressive performance at the country course on Wednesday was undoubtedly that of the highly regarded DIVINE JET when winning the MR80 Handicap over 1200m. Not the quickest into stride despite setting off from pole position, Dean Kannemeyer’s charge found himself seventh of the nine early on. Once in the straight though, he picked them off with ease under a supremely confident ride from Karl Neisius and after striking the front 250m out, he easily accounted for the all out LORD FORT WOOD without ever having to engage the upper gears. One to follow.
Another to come to this meeting with a bit of a reputation was the newcomer HAMMIE’S DYNASTY. Nibbled at throughout the afternoon to win the maiden event over 1400m, Mike Bass’ charge was soon up handy. He quickened well after having to be switched out for a run 300m from home and went on to beat the odds on favourite EVEN CHANCE very easily going away. Hammie’s Boy won well and is another to keep tabs on.
The listed Woolavington Handicap topped the bill and here the stable of Dean Kannemeyer were again on the mark when BLAKE registered his sixth career victory. On leaving the stalls it was HOSPITALITY who predictably set the pace whilst the 28/10 favourite sat close up in fourth. Blake quickened well in the home straight and after getting the better of the gutsy front runner 200m out, he went on to score comfortably by a length.
Running on from midfield, PALE NIGHT did well to collar Justanotherday who had looked to have done everything right in the maiden event over 1600m.
Vaal 27th October: Thursday’s action took place on the sand where all of the races were workrider’s events.
A maiden event over 1200m was first up and here we saw a comfortable victory for the St John Gray trained THINK AGAIN. Sent off a rather uneasy favourite at 18/10, Think Again was always handy. She was ridden to lead going through the 500m and although the newcomer MOONRIVER MAGIC threw down a determined challenge at that point, she went on to score quite easily in the end by two and three quarters.
Race four on the card was a MR64 Handicap over 1000m and here an upset was to be had when the unfancied LOVELY SASH registered her fifth career victory. Allowed to drift right out to 25/1 from 14’s at the track, Spike Lerena’s charge raced towards the back end of midfield during the early part of the race. She quickened best of all when given rein 400m out though and in what proved to be a thrilling three way finish, she got up in the very last stride.
Much to the joy of the locals, the easiest victory on the card was registered by PIMP MY RIDE in the lucky last, a MR72 Handicap over 1800m. Always top of the boards in what looked to be an open contest, Pimp My Ride was soon up handy. He made his move early in the straight and after striking the front 700m out, he went on to score very easily by six and a half.
The improving 3yo RUBY KING won the MR80 Handicap going away.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Fairview Race 1: (1) Brazado 11 Race 2: (1) Wild Creek 8 Race 3: (1) Legend Of Zelda 25 Race 4: (5) Audit Report 80 Race 5: (5) Emblem Park 51 Race 6: (9) Rozelana 72 Race 7: (8) Social Master 94 Race 8: (10) Jet Preview 63 Greyville Race 1: (1) Atair 50 Race 2: (5) Varsity Queen 18 Race 3: (2) Nomzane 26 Race 4: (3) Music Pass 21 (NAP*) Race 5: (4) Six Blue Notes 42 Race 6: (7) Rapid Flow 96 Race 7: (8) Oriental Spirit 89 Race 8: (7) Wieland 52 Turffontein Race 1: (4) Lady Fan Club 19 Race 2: (14) Tiger Tales 23 (NAP*) Race 3: (10) Centreboard 24 Race 4: (5) Winter’s Song 49 Race 5: (13) Margherita Lotti 44 Race 6: (13) Sheztheclubqueen 50 Race 7: (13) Mike’s Choice 98 Race 8: (9) Jackodore 55 Race 9: (5) Beacon Flare 78 Race 10: (1) Bandol 81 Race 11: (9) Lady Beatrix 76 Race 12: (5) Wicomico 57 Kenilworth Race 1: (9) Bronco Buster 16 Race 2: (1) Secret Call 12 Race 3: (5) Full Regalia 26 Race 4: (7) Run For It 114 Race 5: (8) Reptilian 60 Race 6: (13) Raging Bull 47 Race 7: (1) Princess Victoria 72 (NAP**) Race 8: (7) Blanic 65 Race 9: (13) Mike’s Choice 98 Race 10: (10) Light My Candle 57 Scottsville Race 1: (1) Savona 19 Race 2: (2) Sweet Charity 30 Race 3: (13) Viva Maria 18 Race 4: (2) Nomzane 26 Race 5: (10) Beast Of Burden 47 Race 6: (8) Flutter Bye 57 Race 7: (6) Katy’s Dream 16 Race 8: (1) Metro Man 31 (NAP**)
Top rated winners last week includedGreen Day won 33/1 Diamantaire won 11/1 Krackerjack Ace won 15/2 Super Boy won 6/1 Bullard won 5/1 Ninth Symphony won 3/1 Storm Vanidoso won 16/10 Pale Night won 14/10
Notebook:Cato Donata (C Laird, Natal) Divine Jet (D Kannemeyer, W-Cape) Empenoso Henn (M De Kock, Gauteng)
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Fairview 23rd October Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (6) Sportsgirl Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Paddy Power Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Forest Of Dean
.Clairwood 25th October Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (3) Storm Vanidoso Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (6) Cato Donata Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers . Turffontein 25th October Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (5) Mannequin Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Queen’s Bay Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Ilsanpietro
.Durbanville 26th October Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Divine Jet Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Polar Bound Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) King Lizard
.Vaal 27th October Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Ruby King Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Storm Surf Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers