Kenilworth 25th April: The Justin Snaith trained AMBER PALACE was sent off a strong favourite to win the opening maiden juvenile event in Cape Town on Monday and he didn’t let down his supporters. Deep in the red at 5/10 on the off, the son of Dynasty was soon up handy. He was ridden to lead at the 300m marker and although NORTHERN CONQUEST chased hard, he went on to win very comfortably by three and a half. Amber Palace won well and clearly has more to come.
Another odds on favourite to do the business in the maiden ranks here was XERXES who opened his account in the 1600m event. Always nicely positioned close to the leaders, Yogis Govender’s charge made his move early in the straight. He struck the front 250m from home and with the benefit of first run went on to beat the well supported I AM WHAT I AM (14/1 into 8/1). Keep an eye on the runner up I Am What I Am. He was also supported in his only previous start and he was running on nicely here.
A MR76 Handicap over 1200m topped what was a rather moderate bill and here victory went to the well supported favourite DANISH DIVA. Backed into 17/10 from 3/1 at the track, the top weighted Danish Diva sat in midfield during the early part of the race. She began to take closer order passing halfway and in what proved to be a real thriller, she got up in the dying strides.
Running on from the rear of the fifteen horse party, GRISETTE had to switch out for a run 350m from home and did well to get within 1,65 lengths of the winner in the maiden event over 1200m. She had also been running on nicely in her penultimate start and was baulked for a run last time out.
Going Like A Boeing
Vaal 26th April: Followers of the money got off to a nice start at Tuesday’s sand meeting when the well supported GOLDEN MOUNTAIN (32) did the business in the opening maiden event over 1200m. Backed throughout the morning into 5/2 favourite from 5/1, Geoff Woodruff’s charge was always at the head of affairs. She was two lengths clear turning for home and with nothing able to go with her when asked to quicken the tempo, she cruised in by seven.
The first of the afternoon’s two feature events to take place was the listed Highveld Sand Challenge and here victory went to the Mike De Kock trained BURMESE CAT (76). Allowed to ease a little in the betting market (6/1 out to 15/2) as money came amongst others for his stable companion STORM CROSSING, Burmese Cat was always in touch with the leaders. He was asked to take up the running 200m from home and with the rest well beaten, he went on to beat the running on SAYADAW. Easily ten lengths off the pace at the top of the straight, Sayadaw cut through the field like a knife over the final 300m and did very well indeed to get with a length at the wire.
The listed Queen Of The Sand Stakes was next up and in what proved to be a real thriller victory here went to the Special Nash filly XILOMANTE (77). Sent off favourite at 5/2, Paul Matchett’s charge was always handy. She ran on stoutly at the business end of the race and after a titanic battle with LAUGHING RIVER over the final 200m, it was only by the narrowest of margins that she got the verdict.
Positioned in the rear of what was a very strung out field in the maiden event over 1600m, TRIPPLE SEVEN ran on well down the straight and with the rest some eight lengths adrift, he did well to get within a length and a quarter of the winner.
Scottsville 27th April: A Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1200m was first up in Natal on Wednesday and here we saw a very easy victory for one of the 11/10 joint favourites ASPEN ANGLE (25). Soon into stride, the daughter of Martinelli was taken straight to the front by Anton Marcus and led throughout. She was always in command and without ever having to engage top gear, she cruised in by four.
Thrown in at the weights, the best bet on the card always looked to be PADDY O’REILLY (78) in the conditions event over 2400m and he didn’t let down those buying money. Deep in the red at 1/4 on the off, Glen Kotzen’s charge was content to guard the rear for most of the journey. Once in the home straight though, he quickened well and just as the ratings had suggested, the son of Dynasty went on to score comfortably.
The listed Sledgehammer Handicap over 1800m topped the bill and here a bit of an upset was to be had when the in under sufferance ICE DIAMOND landed the spoils (64). Nibbled at on course into 18/1 from 25’s, Glen Puller’s charge raced in midfield for most of the journey. He quickened well in the home straight and with the rest well beaten, he got up late to deny the Western Cape raider HAMMIE’S BOY.
Having his first start out of the maidens, STREAKER ran on very well when winning the MR72 Handicap over 1600m and won in good style going away.
After being a little slow into stride, the heavily supported SAGE THRONE (25/1 into 5/1) ran on well from off the pace and won the maiden event over 1600m going away.
Hole In One
Vaal 28th April: Thursday’s action took place on the turf where we saw a very easy victory in the opening maiden juvenile event over 1200m for the Lucky Houdalakis trained GODDESS ATHENA (30). Sent off a strong favourite at 15/10, Goddess Athena was soon up close to the speed. She took up the running as they approached the 200m marker and despite the efforts of both FINAL IMPRESSION and the well supported second favourite FLAME FIGHTER (11/2 into 5/2), she cruised clear in the latter stages of the race to score by six.
Another to win in good style in the maiden ranks on this card was the Eugene Cox trained COMISSION DUE (49). Nibbled at on course into 15/2 from 12/1, the son of Casey Tibbs raced in midfield during the early part of the race and with the field strung out going through halfway, he was easily five lengths adrift of the front running favourite MJ THRILLER. Once given rein by the vastly experienced Willie Uys though, Comission Due quickened nicely and after striking the front 100m from home, he easily drew clear.
Followers of the money were also on the mark in the afternoon’s feature event, a MR94 Handicap over 1200m, when the 3yo CHIP SHOT (57) registered his second career victory. Confidently ridden by Samango Khumalo, Chip Shot (8/1 into 5/1) sat seventh of the eleven for the first half of the journey. He quickened well from halfway though and after bravely taking a narrow gap against the rail 300m out, he went on to beat a fair sort in WINTERWONDERLAND going away.
Favourite in the MR75 Handicap over 1200m, EDICT again ran on very strongly from off the pace and did well to reel in the well supported FESTIVAL SPIRIT (10/1 into 11/2) close home.
11 From 38
Arlington 29th April: They raced in Port Elizabeth on Friday where victory in the opening maiden juvenile event over 1000m went to the Des Mclachlan trained BALLINAMORE. She got away well when the gates opened and soon up handy raced prominent throughout. She was asked to take up the running shortly after passing the 400m marker and only having to ridden hands and heels by Alec Forbes from there onwards, she went on to score very comfortably.
Race three on the card was a maiden event over 1600m and here victory went to the former Gauteng campaigner UMHLABA. Having his first start since relocating to the Eastern Cape, Gavin Smith’s charge was always in touch with the leaders. He ran on stoutly at the business end of the race and after striking the front 100m from home, won going away.
A Pinnacle Stakes over 1800m topped the bill and here it was nice to see the gutsy DAY OF THE PIPER register his eleventh career victory. Soon in his favourite position at the head of affairs, Alan Greeff’s charge led throughout. He kept on determinedly down the short home straight and although the pack chased hard, they couldn’t make any impression.
Positioned in the rear as the full field turned for home in the maiden event over 1800m, INCA’S SPIRIT made up many lengths in the short home straight and did well to get within xxx lengths of the winner.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Fairview Race 1: (1) Royal Laine 12 (EW) Race 2: No Qualifiers Race 3: (6) Pageant Queen 9 Race 4: (7) Air Pocket 48 Race 5: (1) Her Perogative 29 Race 6: (1) What A Jet 93 Race 7: (8) Kalimba 55 Race 8: (3) Evangelica 56 Race 9: (12) Thundering Lady 48 Turffontein Race 1: (9) Paschal Moon 9 Race 2: (8) Potala Palace 23 Race 3: (1) Tripple Seven 23 Race 4: (2) Hlamba 19 Race 5: (16) Supasaro 43 Race 6: (12) Chestnut Cruiser 74 Race 7: (12) Thomond 57 Race 8: (5) Star Of Destiny 74 Race 9: (6) Rebecca Sharp 64 Kenilworth Race 1: No Qualifiers Race 2: No Qualifiers Race 3: (3) Master Of The Game 3 Race 4: (3) Peak Perfection 4 Race 5: (10) Parliament 42 Race 6: (2) Play Nice 76 Race 7: (10) Trinity House 38 (NAP**) Race 8: (1) Alberts Vigilance 17 Race 9: (3) Jean Roi 78 Race 10: (9) Soul Singer 14 Greyville Race 1: (5) Katy’s Dream 16 Race 2: (4) Jamal 30 Race 3: (5) Giles 32 Race 4: (5) Kirov 28 Race 5: (4) Duntroon 81 Race 6: (10) Clearly Keen 51 Race 7: (2) Beach Beauty 88 (NAP*) Race 8: (1) Link Man 94 Race 9: (9) Frosty Song 61 Race 10: (13) Day By Day 57 .
Top rated winners last week includedIce Diamond won 18/1 Edict won 19/10 Danish Diva won 17/10 Aspen Angle won 11/10 Pink Martini won 1/1 Ransom Of Choice won 9/10 Amber Palace won 5/10 Paddy O’reilly won 1/4 .
Notebook:-I Am What I Am (D Kannemeyer, W-Cape) Sayadaw (S Kenny, Gauteng) Streaker (C Eudey, Natal)
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Kenilworth 25th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (6) General Assembly Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Bluemambo Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers . Vaal 26th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Rebecca Sharp Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (6) Art Wish Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers . Scottsville 27th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Highwayman’s Gold Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Ice Diamond Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Paddy O’reilly . Vaal 28th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (6) Chip Shot Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Simply Blue Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers . Arlington 29th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (5) Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Key Castle