Good Start

Clockwatcher's column to 19 Dec

Arlington 17th December

Stable On Fire

The going was soft in Port Elizabeth on Friday where victory in the opening maiden event over 1000m went to the Parade Leader filly DRUMMIE. Sent off a joint second favourite at 4/1, Yvette Bremner’s charge was always close to the speed. She ran on stoutly at the business end of the race and in what proved to be a real thriller, she just got the verdict over the running on FOREST FASHION.

The 3yo GAJA in the maiden event over 1200m was the best bet for most on this card and although he wasn’t as impressive as the opening betting would have suggested, he didn’t let down his followers. Allowed to ease out to 8/10 from 9/20 at the track, the well supported Gaja was soon up handy. He was asked to take up the running as they approached the 200m marker and although the pacemaker STORM GREY kept on determinedly once headed, he went on to score by a half.

A MR81 Handicap over 1000m was next up and here it was nice to see the Counter Action mare IRIS AND RUBY gain a well deserved third career victory. On leaving the stalls it was the speedy MISS VAR (14/10 favourite) who as expected made the running. Usually one to run on from off the pace, Iris And Ruby sat some three lengths away in second, and together they soon had the rest under pressure. Miss Var gave her all at the business end of the race and with the rest some six and a half lengths adrift, it was only in the very last stride that the well supported second favourite (3/1 into 2/1) got up.

The listed Memorial Mile (1600m) topped the bill and here we saw another smart performance from the recent November Stakes winner CELTIC FIRE. Another winner for in form trainer Yvette Bremner, Celtic Fire was nicely positioned in fourth for most of the journey. He responded quickly when given rein early in the short home straight and after striking the front some 120m from home, he drew clear easily in the closing stages of the race to beat the useful TIME AND LOVE by a length and a quarter.

Turffontein 18th December

Elegant Maidens

This meeting was originally scheduled to take place on the old stand side track.

Saturday’s action took place on the inner track where victory in the opening maiden event over 1000m went to the easy to back KING’S GLORY (47) Freely available at 15/2 on the off, Barend Botes’ charge raced in midfield for most of the journey. He ran on best of all in the short home straight and after striking the front 100m from home, he easily drew clear.

Another to win well in the maiden ranks here was ELEGANT MODEL who opened her account in the 1450m affair. The field was tightly bunched during the early part of the race and although Sean Tarry’s charge sat in midfield, she was always well positioned to strike. She quickened well coming off the strip and with the rest well beaten she got up nicely late to deny the second favourite BOUJIS.

With the scratching of FROZEN FIRE, the well weighted BULSARA (85) looked to be the right one in the graduation event over 1600m and so it proved to be. Deep in the red at 3/10 on the off, Gavin Van Zyl’s charge was always handy. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and comfortably accounted for the easy to back MIRAGE DRIVE by three and a quarter.

The afternoons’ feature event was a MR96 affair over 2000m and here we saw a very easy victory for the Joe Soma trained HAPPY LANDING (68) Freely available at 15/1 on the off, Happy Landing got away well when the gates opened and was soon up handy. He was asked to take up the running early in the home straight and after quickly skipping clear he went on to score very easily by five and a half from the running on GOLD ON GOLD.

Clairwood 19th December

Couple To Follow

The 3yo LE CORSAIRE (30) always looked to be the right one in the 2500m maiden event at the garden course on Sunday and so it proved to be. Allowed to ease out to 18/10 from 12/10 at the track, although still retaining his position at the top of the boards, Joey Ramsden’s charge adopted a change of tactics here and raced handy. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 400m marker and went on to score comfortably from the running on FORT CONQUEST by three and a half. As well as the winner, keep an eye on the runner up. Fort Conquest finished well after being cramped at a crucial stage of the race.

Also worth keeping tabs on in the near future is the novice 1800m winner GREEN DAY (63). Content to race seventh of the nine for most of the journey, Mark Dixon’s charge quickened nicely in the long home straight. He came together with the much more fancied DUNRAVEN as they approached the 200m marker and after a thrilling tussle on the run to the line it was only by a neck that Green Day prevailed.

A Novice Plate for the girls over 1450m was next up and here we saw an impressive performance from the 3yo BEACH BEAUTY (70). Having only her third career outing here, the daughter of Dynasty raced in midfield for the first half of the race. She didn’t get the clearest of runs when the race began in earnest 400m out, but once seeing daylight she quickened well. Indeed, she flew past both SILENT CALL and WINGS OF SKYE below the distance and went on to score going away by two and a quarter.

The easiest victory on the card was recorded by BEAUBEZ (12) who came home smoking in the not so lucky last, a maiden event over 1450m. Soon up handy, the 4yo son of Bezrin raced prominent throughout. He was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 400m marker and although the heavily supported GO DIEGO GO (10/1 into 9/2) chased hard from there onwards, he went to score very easily by six and a quarter.

Top speedratings for this weekend include:-


Race 1: (4) Crown Heights 47 (NAP**)

Race 2: (3) Hunting Dance 13

Race 3: (2) Aquatic Club 16

Race 4: (14) Winter Desire 28

Race 5: (4) Mirage Drive 83

Race 6: (6) Made Of Magic 69

Race 7: (11) National Anthem 51

Race 8: (14) The Manchild 56

Race 9: (16) Arabian Glamour 62

Vaal (Tues)

Race 1: (1) Quickalookee 22

Race 2: (1) Victory Serenade 24 (NAP*)

Race 3: No Qualifiers

Race 4: (6) Memphis 57

Race 5: (3) Arabian Mist 90

Race 6: (7) Mocha Special 68

Race 7: (9) Lian Dancer 79

Race 8: (13) Son Of The Burg 61


Race 1: (1) Tuned In 12

Race 2: (2) Great Kali 5

Race 3: (4) Nor’wester 24 (NAP*)

Race 4: (5) Emmajo 69

Race 5: (1) My Kazzie 71

Race 6: (7) Asaal’s Magic 78

Race 7: (5) Darcy’s Arcy 50

Race 8: (3) Ubizo 36


Race 1: (1) Big Yellow Taxi 12

Race 2: (2) First Sovereign 14

Race 3: (1) Foxtrot Baby 18

Race 4: (12) The Giant 48

Race 5: (9) Keen Warrior 74

Race 6: (3) Carina Coleman 50

Race 7: (7) Kings Cross 76

Race 8: (7) Spirit Of Success 59

Vaal (Thur)

Race 1: (9) Diminutive 16

Race 2: (4) Young Captain 24

Race 3: (8) Drifting Duel 27

Race 4: (11) Kruger Gold 48

Race 5: (13) Gentle Star 39

Race 6: (12) Alwaysawinner 40

Race 7: (14) Little Tich 48

Race 8: (5) Dilys Delight 35

Race 9: (9) Ugly Betty 58 (NAP*)

Top rated winners last week included:-

Dance To The Stars won 9/2

Drummie won 4/1

Audrey Rose won 7/2

Opening Night won 7/2

Howdoulikemenow won 33/10

Eskimo Roll won 3/1

Chrysalis won 17/10

Comebackanddance won 13/20


Beach Beauty (D Drier, Natal)

Celtic Fire (Y Bremner, E-Cape)

Le Corsaire (J Ramsden, Natal)


(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)

Arlington 17th December

Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (3)  Iris And Ruby

Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4)            Celtic Fire

Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1)    Casey’s Desire

Turffontein 18th December

Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (3)  King’s Glory

Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4)            Bulsara

Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1)    Happy Landing

Clairwood 19th December

Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2)  Bellagio

Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (6)            Beach Beauty

Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1)    Le Corsaire

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