Blinkers appeared to do the trick for the very capable Knock On Wood as he stormed home to win the R200 000 Gr3 London News Stakes run over 1800m at Turffontein on Sunday.
The winner is raced in partnership by father-and-son team Ormonde and David Ferraris and took his career earnings to over R1 million to show a great return on his purchase price of R140 000.
Glorious Jet lost vital ground at the start as Sean Tarry’s E-Jet was posted favourite, and Piere Strydom had no hesitation in taking him up to lead from his rails draw.
The Victory Moon Stakes winner Zambucca followed in second just ahead of Astro News and Tiger Flash. At this stage Ilsanpietro and Shogunnar brought up the rear, while Knock On Wood battled to get in from his wide draw.
E-Jet continued to lope along comfortably in front as they spun for home with Kings Entourage trying to get to terms, as Astro News, Zambucca and House Of Wax tried to make up the leeway.
Into the final 400m Juglall produced Knock On Wood who got first run on Shogunnar.
Into the 250m zone, E-Jet started to shorten his stride as Knock On Wood stayed on strongly.
Knock On Wood started at 33-1 and won by 1,25 lengths in a time of 108,30 secs.
Gavin Van Zyl’s Shogunnar flew late for second, ahead of E-Jet who stayed on well, ahead of Zambucca.
Last year’s winner Smanjemanje finished downfield and together with Astro News could be regarded as disappointments.
It was a great ride from the poor draw by the 21 year old Mauritian-born rider Nuresh Juglall who is improving vastly with riding experience
Juglall observed bemusedly afterwards that he had expected his mount to be fancied afer his last good run behind July winner Pomodoro.
Winning trainer Ormonde Ferraris made a tongue-in-cheek dig at the local fly problem by suggesting that his horses were running faster to escape the winged pests.
He also added that he was pleased with the ride and said that he hoped that Juglall would maintain this level of performance.
The George Rowles-bred Knock On Wood is by Muhtafal out of the Rocky Marriage mare Kiss Me Kate.
A R140 000 National Two Year Old Sale graduate, Knock On Wood has accumulated impressive earnings of R 1 064 000.
Turffontein, South Africa, January 13, R200.000, 1800m, turf, good, 1.48.30
Rocky Marriage (USA). Owner OA Ferraris & DE Ferraris; breeder GH Rowles
(SAF); trainer OA Ferraris; jockey N Juglall (R125.000)
Shogunnar (SAF), 57.0, b g 4, Solskjaer (IRE) – Surfers Eye (SAF) by
E-Jet (SAF), 57.0, b g 4, Jet Master (SAF) – Esmaltina (ARG) by Equalize
Margins: 1¼, ½, nk