Vaal 24th July: They raced on the sand on Tuesday where victory in the opening maiden event over 1450m went to the well supported 2yo TOBE’S JET (6). Eventually sent off at 15/2 after opening up at 14/1, Corne Spies’ charge was soon up handy. He took up the running before halfway and staying on strongly over the final 800m, he just had enough in hand to hold off the fast finishing 3yo SRINAGAR.
Race four on the card was a conditions plate over 1000m and here we saw a nice performance from the 3yo KINEMATIC COUNTESS (71). Another to find support at the track (9/2 into 75/20), Roy Magner’s charge raced close up in fourth for most of the journey. The confirmed front runner LA VOLTA made the running and staying on strongly over the final 300m she did have the rest well beaten. Kinematic Countess quickened nicely at the business end of the race though and under a well judged ride from the title chasing Gavin Lerena she got up nicely late to win going away.
A pinnacle stakes over the same distance topped the bill and in a time considerably faster than that of Kinematic Countess, the Kahal mare MANNEQUIN (75) registered her twelfth career victory. As per usual close to the speed, Paul Matchett’s charge took command going through the 300m and comfortably accounted for the running on RUBY KING by a length and a quarter.
A MR73 Handicap over 1600m brought proceedings to a close and here a major upset was to be had when the easy to back KALUROOZ JET landed the spoils. Freely available at 22/1 on the off (op 25’s), Brian Wiid’s charge was always handy. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 300m marker and drew clear easily in the closing stages of the race to score by four.
Having only his second outing on the sand, EXTREME WEST ran on nicely from midfield when fourth to Mannequin in the pinnacle event over 1000m.
Third placed KING’S DESTINY was running on at least as strongly as the winner when only beaten a half length in the MR87 affair over 1600m.
Kenilworth 25th July: Favourite backers got off to a nice start in the heavy going at Kenilworth on Wednesday when the Anton Marcus ridden CELESTIAL WIND did the business in the opening maiden juvenile event over 1000m. Supported into even money at one stage from 15/10, the son of Windrush led throughout. He kept on strongly over the final 400m and still had three quarters of a length to spare at the wire over the newcomer ELUSIVE LOVE. The runner up Elusive Love came from the rear and looks sure to come on plenty next time.
Race four on the card was a much smarter than average looking maiden juvenile event over 1600m and here victory went to the second favourite MAN FROM JAPAN (42). Confidently ridden by Felix Coetzee, Bill Prestage’s charge raced sixth for most of the journey. He ran on strongly down the short old course straight and did well to get the better of DIPLOMATIC who had gotten first run.
The afternoon’s feature event was an open handicap over 2400m and here victory went to the improving 3yo PUTNEY FLYER (66).Well supported on course into 18/10 from 3/1, Darryl Hodgson’s charge sat fifth of the six early on. The recent easy winner BRITISH BANKER made the running and showing no signs of stopping in the home straight, he did have the rest well beaten. Once given rein though, Putney Flyer quickly began to reel him in and went on to win well after striking the front 160m from home.
The biggest upset on the card occurred in the MR80 Handicap over 1600m where we saw an eyecatching performance from the friendless COUNT MY LUCK. Freely available at 40/1 on the off (op 25’s), Mike Stewart’s charge had been drawn wide and turning for home he was at the back. This son of Dynasty fairly flew in the straight though and in what proved to be a real thriller he got up late to deny the heavily supported BRONCO BUSTER (12/1 into 75/20).
Newcomer AMBASSADOR REX ran on well after switching out for a run and was only beaten 2,35 lengths in the maiden juvenile event won by Celestial Wind.
In The Zone
Vaal 26th July: Thursday’s action took place on the turf where victory in the opening workrider’s maiden event over 1700m went to the well supported second favourite RUE DE RIVOLI (27). Backed throughout the morning into 2/1 from 33/10, Joey Soma’s charge was taken straight to the front by Samuel Mosia and led throughout. She was three lengths clear for most of the journey and despite the efforts of the favourite RADIANT WISDOM she extended her advantage to five and a half in the closing stages.
Another to win well after finding good support on this card was ANGIES FANCY (29) in the 2400m maiden event. Confidently ridden by Marco Van Rensburg, the daughter of Makaarem sat in the rear early on. Once given rein though she quickly began to work her way through the field and after striking the front 200m from home she easily accounted for the unfancied JELLIE TOT by two and a half.
A MR92 Handicap over 1700m topped the bill and in what proved to be a real thriller victory here went to the 22/10 favourite UP FRONT (60). Backed in from 33/10 at the track, Barend Botes’ charge was always positioned close to the pace. The veteran PHI made the running and staying on strongly at the business end of the race it looked as if she would go on to cause an upset. Indeed, her stride only began to shorten below the distance and just as if scripted Up Front got up in the very last stride.
A MR75 Handicap over 1700m was next up and extending her winning sequence to four here was the Jet Master filly FLIGHT ZONE (59). Sent off a well supported favourite at 17/10, Erico Verdonese’s charge was always handy. She moved through to take up the running shortly after passing the 400m marker and went on to beat the fancied MOTHER’S EYES fair and square by two.
Top weight MIDNIGHT CAT ran on from midfield when winning the MR68 Handicap over 1200m by two and three quarters.
Fairview 27th July: There were a number of very easy victories in Port Elizabeth on Friday and none more so than that of the newcomer MUSCATT in the maiden event over 1000m. Backed as if the result was already known during the morning (14/1 into 28/10), Gavin Smith’s charge was soon at the head of affairs. He began to assert his authority going through halfway and fairly cruised clear in the latter stages of the race to score by twelve.
Another to win by a steeplechase margin on this card was COMMODORE PETE in the maiden juvenile 1200m. Justin Snaith’s charge got away well when the gates opened and was soon up handy. He was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 400m marker and kept up to his work all the way to the wire, he went on to win very easily by ten.
The first of the afternoon’s two feature events to be run was the non-black type Wedgewood Handicap over 2400m and here victory went to the 28/10 favourite FLY EMIRATES. On leaving the stalls it was the 3yo AZCAN who elected to make the running whilst Fly Emirates raced well within striking distance in sixth. She quickened nicely down the long home straight and after striking the front 400m out, she too drew clear easily to score by ten.
The listed East Cape Paddock Stakes over 1600m topped the bill and here we saw a gutsy performance from the former Natal campaigner DANCE TO THE STARS. Taken straight to the front by Grant Van Niekerk, the Galileo mare attempted to make all. She was headed by the running on DUMANI 200m from home though and at that stage it looked as if she would have to settle for a place. Gavin Smith’s charge rallied gamely below the distance though and got back up late to win going away.
Regularly sighted running on stoutly from off the pace, poorly drawn TIZASMARTDOLLAR again finished strongly when runner up in the maiden event over 1600m.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Arlington Race 1: (15) Scented Ash 7 Race 2: (9) Paris Symphony 12 Race 3: (2) Love Is Magic 15 Race 4: (14) Taggle Rag 50 Race 5: (11) Celebration 52 Race 6: (15) Mangaliso 80 (EW) Race 7: (13) Night Star 70 Race 8: (6) Ecole Militaire 85 Race 9: (11) Jungle Ruler 39 Clairwood Race 1: (1) Lord Al 14 Race 2: (1) Prayer Of Praise 30 Race 3: (1) Olivian 11 (NAP*) Race 4: (1) Kruger Rand 54 Race 5: (1) Zire Special 37 (nb) Race 6: (2) Sue For Peace 58 Race 7: (8) Lizard’s Passion 80 Race 8: (9) Kaizar 62 Race 9: (2) Benjamin Brush 28 Flamingo Park Race 1: (15) Sheri Baby 10 Race 2: (14) Pearl Rush 23 Race 3: (8) Pocket Magic 39 Race 4: (6) Let’s Rock Baba 50 Race 5: (4) Alif 78 Race 6: (1) Winking Jack 73 Race 7: (6) The Plunderer 99 Race 8: (5) Bold Al 62 Race 9: (10) Beast Of Burden 58 Turffontein Race 1: (16) Wild Air 11 Race 2: (6) Immediately 19 Race 3: (15) Impresa 27 (NAP*) Race 4: (10) Dynasty Rose 51 Race 5: (13) Victrixit 66 Race 6: (10) Flying Wendy 41 Race 7: (12) Gaelic Girl 41 Race 8: (2) Where’s My Chop 68 Race 9: (11) Blazing Sunset 44
Top rated winners last week includedMining Prospect won 14/1 Midnight Cat won 6/1 Atalaya won 33/10 Music Affair won 33/10 Sammy Silver won 2/1 Commodore Pete won 14/10 Twitter won 15/20 Earl Of Surrey won 1/5
Notebook:-Count My Luck (M Stewart, W-Cape) Muscatt (G Smith, E-Cape) Putney Flyer (D Hodgson, W-Cape)
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Vaal 24th July Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (5) Mannequin Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Tobe’s Jet Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers
Kenilworth 25th July Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (3) Celestial Wind Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Count My Luck Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) Vengence
Vaal 26th July Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Midnight Cat Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (5) Up Front Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) Winter Desire
Fairview 27th July Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (3) Muscatt Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Indian Hawk Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) Dandyman Can