Gold Rush – Gold Site

Gr3 Lebelo Sprint - Turffontein last Tuesday

Gold Site

The speed was on under the lights at Turffontein on Tuesday evening, when Gold Site made practically all the running to win the Lebelo Sprint (handicap) over the straight 1000m course. Already the winner of a Listed handicap over the same course-and-distance in November, Gold Sire coped readily with the four pound penalty he collected for that success to land his first Graded race win and in so doing justified his position as the race favourite, writes MATTHEW LIPS.

The Lebelo looked like a competitive affair despite attracting only seven starters, with Gold Site a narrow 33/10 favourite ahead of Mannequin, Polar Moon, and KZN visitor Tetelestai, who all went off as 7/2 chances. The last named attracted considerable support from an ante-post call of 5/1, but they were all pretty much run off their feet by Gold Site and only Mannequin ever threatened to make a real race of it with the marginal favourite.

Gold Site was quickly away and led the way from Mannequin, Legal Action and Tetelestai, with Winking Jack in behind that. Polar Moon was outpaced towards the rear, with Buragh also racing from off the pace after flyjumping at the break and losing some ground. Mannequin began to loom up on Gold Site’s inside over the final furlong and briefly looked as though she may be able to gun down the frontrunner, but the concession of 6.5 kgs proved a little too much for Paul Matchett’s ultra game mare and Gold Site rallied in the closing stages under Derreck David to beat her by half-a-length.

Polar Moon was staying on to finish 2.25 lengths behind Mannequin in third, with Winking Jack another half-a-length adrift in fourth after failing to produce a finishing kick when it was needed, but Tetelestai never really got into the hunt and was beaten a total of 3.5 lengths into fifth spot under top weight of 60kgs. Buragh never recovered from his shaky start and finished with only Legal Action (who was under considerable sufferance at the weights) behind him.

Gold Site has shown considerable improvement this term and won the Lebelo off a mark of 88 after being beaten off a rating of 79 on his seasonal debut in August. The four-year-old is a credit to his trainer Paul Peter, who has made a very real impression in the less than two years since he took out his licence in April 2010. Gold Site will need to lift his game a great deal more to have any real hope in major WFA events such as the Gr1 Computaform Sprint, and he looks to be pretty much a 1000m specialist who has never won beyond the minimum distance, but there is no reason why he cannot continue to earn his way in handicaps.

Four-year-old Gold Site is a son of Goldkeeper from a Zimbabwean family. He is the seventh foal and sixth winner produced from Assail mare Prime Site, a Listed winner of five races in Zimbabwe and dam also of the South African Listed winner The Pick. Second dam On Offer was Zimbabwe’s broodmare of the year in 2000 and produced the Stakes winners Bold Bidder and On Option, who were both by Goldkeeper and therefore were three-parts brothers to Gold Site. Bred by former champion Zimbabwean breeder Geoff Armitage and his son James at their Sandown Stud in the Western Cape, Gold Site was a R275 000 acquisition from the 2009 National Yearling Sale. He has won six times from 21 starts, earning R434 750 for owner Joe Abreu.

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