Durban’s Daily Drama

Jockeys and track under fire - but pace plays into Rabada's hands

Daily News 2000_520

A pedestrian pace on a track labelled less than ideal for Gr1 racing failed to dampen the thrills of some spectacular performances at Greyville on Saturday. Topping the list in the raw guts and courage category was the Summerhill bred Rabada, who displayed top drawer resilience to win the R2 million Gr1 Daily News 2000.

Rabada wins Daily News

Anton Marcus keeps Rabada going as It’s My Turn (Anthony Delpech) stretches him – Mambo Mime (Stu Randolph) comes up powerfully for third

It was Triple Crown champion trainer Mike Azzie who was back in the Gr1 winning box after Rabada had run the race of his life when looking dead and buried at the 250m marker. Jockey Anton Marcus had been forced to coax him with the hands after losing his whip at the top of the straight – what a performance!

The Daily News followed the snail trend of the early races after the Greyville Track Manager came under the spotlight with observations of patches on the turn and the track appearing to have been excessively watered.

Mike Azzie - July for Abashiri

Mike Azzie – Rabada is back

“The track is very loose in patches. It doesn’t help expending the effort and one gets into a good position only to hit a bad patch,” quipped one of the jockeys early in the day.

There were five individual yards with more than one runner in the Daily News, so a decent pace should not have been an impossible dream.

In the end it was Craig Zackey who took it up on the Duncan Howells trained Sylvester The Cat, but slamming on the brakes, it was obvious that he was hardly  out to make it a true run affair for his fancied stablemate, Ten Gun Salute.

With the in-form Anthony Delpech taking Cape Derby winner It’s My Turn around his field at the 1000m marker to get into a better position, the sprint was on as they  swept for home – with Sylvester The Cat pressing on as Marcus sent the ever present Rabada down the inside.

Setting himself up for a possible fine for unprofessional riding, Marcus lost his whip and was forced to ride the son of Brave Tin Soldier with the hands and a flick of the reins with 350m to run.

On The Warpath? Anton Marcus may pay to follow at Clairwood on Sunday

Great ride by Anton Marcus

With half the field flat-footed off the pace, Anton Marcus wasn’t looking back and despite It’s My Turn getting into stride late and breathing loudly down his neck, Rabada was full value for his 0,25 length win.

His time of 125,07 secs told the story.

In a race patently unsuited to him, It’s My Turn ran a cracker, and came within a heartbeat of giving Avontuur-sponsored Anthony Delpech a feature hat-trick on the day.

Dean Kannemeyer’s Byerley Turk hero Mambo Mime came through the traffic from 8 lengths off – a top class effort from a poor draw – to grab third a length back.

SA Derby runner-up Rocketball snatched fourth in a scramble for cheques, while Ten Gun Salute came from dead and buried to finish fifth, a further half length away. The Howells stable tactics (or the decision made by Craig Zackey) with the use of a snail pace dictator are puzzling as the race was most definitely not run to suit their Aussie-bred stable elect, Ten Gun Salute.

Rabada was registering his second Gr1 win and it must be heartening for all involved with him that he has trained on into a serious racehorse after a promising 2yo career.


Brave Tin Soldier (Storm Cat – Bless)

He has won 5 races with 2 places from his 8 starts for stakes of R2 473 750.

A R300 000 2014 CTS Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale graduate, the son of Brave Tin Soldier was bred by Summerhill Stud and is out of the one-time winning Fard mare, Jordie.

He is by far the best son of his record-breaking $3-million USD weanling sire. He boasts an immaculate pedigree which reflects his good looks – being by world champion sire Storm Cat out of Bless by Mr Prospector – his dam is a full-sister to Kentucky Derby winner and sire, Fusaichi Pegasus.

This race was Rabada’s test to see if he would go the 2000m. While he showed courage, a true-run race may have seen a different outcome.

An interesting month lies ahead!


Gr1 Daily News 2000  (SAf-Gr1)

Greyville, South Africa, May 28, R2 million, 2000m, turf, good, 2.05.07

1 – RABADA (SAF), 60.0, b c 3, Brave Tin Soldier (USA) – Jordie (SAF) by Fard (IRE). Owner Mrs I Jooste & Mr M J Jooste; Breeder Summerhill Stud; trainer MG Azzie; jockey A Marcus
2 – It’s My Turn (SAF), 60.0, b g 3, Dynasty (SAF) – Jallad’s Queen (SAF) by Jallad (USA)
3 – Mambo Mime (SAF), 60.0, b c 3, Mambo In Seattle (USA) – Murmuration (USA) by Miswaki (USA)
Margins: 0.25, 1.00, 0.25


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