A Few Good Men

Blueridge Mountain scores in Gr1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes

Great Ride! Anton Marcus drives Blueridge Mountain forward to win the Majorca

Great Ride! Anton Marcus drives Blueridge Mountain forward to win the Majorca

The value of employing the best men for the job was well illustrated when the top class Blueridge Mountain stormed home to win the R500 000 Gr1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday under SA Champion jockey Anton Marcus.

Besides the fact that most trainers would jump at  the opportunity of sending their horses into the caretaking supervision of top man Joey Ramsden, we are actually referring to the other side of the outstanding team effort.

Bad Draw

That was the brilliant ride by Anton Marcus that saw the talented filly overcome her debilitating draw, with the minimum of energy being expended.

Superman! Anton Marcus rode a great race from the draw

Superman! Anton Marcus rode a great race from the draw

Just goes to show again that many more races are won and lost in the early stages, rather than the conventional ‘ride of the month’ guage of the final 200m.

Joey Ramsden looks after the daughter of Giant’s Causeway for Gary Alexander, in an arrangement that has attracted an inordinate amount of attention. The Englishman did a top class job again on Saturday though, and had the filly tuned to the moment and looking a million dollars.

But all the professional attention and preparation in the world counts for nought if the jockey is not on the same wavelength. Marcus didn’t let the side down at all.


Razzle Dazzle Rose led early from her bad draw but was eased back as Viva Maria took over to lead at a fair clip from Cash Register and Hurricane Katrina.

Into the home straight Viva Maria continued to gallop strongly from Cash Register and Razzle Dazzle Rose, with Jet Aglow, Frequent Flyer and Hammie’s Hooker all unleashing good looking efforts.

In a stampede across the track, any one of six fillies looked to be in with a chance, but at  the 250m marker, Marcus produced the chestnut down the middle, much as Glen Hatt had done in the Sceptre Stakes, and she powered away to hold a flying Frequent Flyer.

The winning margin was a half length and the official time was 99,15 secs.

Blueridge Mountain started at 6-1 and achieved the notable Sceptre Stakes and Majorca double.

Super Filly

Trainer Joey Ramsden, who has looked after the filly for the past few months on behalf of Gary Alexander congratulated the Gauteng trainer and labelled Blueridge Mountain a ‘super,super filly.’

“We always knew it was going to be tough from that draw, but Anton (Marcus) is world class and rode a tremendous race,” he said.

Jockey Anton Marcus said that racing was about hard work and a lot of luck, and modestly added that he had ‘gotten lucky’:

“ Things worked out well. I made the call after talking to Joey. I wanted to place her. He said that if I chose to live by the sword, I would die by the sword!  If it had gone wrong  I would have taken the wrap! She is a very leggy filly and there is plenty of room for improvement,” he said.

Owner Markus Jooste accepted the trophy and said that he recalled that he had bought Blueridge Mountain the last time he had been with his late Racing Manager Peter Miller at the National Yearling Sales.

In a reference to the Klawervlei sponsorship, he jokingly said that the win would no doubt add some meat to the conspiracy theorists. There is an alternative school of thought that believes that the power player controls the A to Z of the game. Including winning races sponsored by himself ,with his own horses.

Klawervlei Stud’s John Koster said that Majorca was bred by his grandfather and that the farm had bred quite a few Majorca winners over the years.

Koster said that the 2013 renewal boasted an unbelievable quality field and that it was an honour to be associated with the race. “I wouldn’t hesitate to bring a float in here, and take the whole lot with me back to Klawervlei,” he joked.

The Argentinian-bred Blueridge Mountain is a winner of 3 of her 6 starts for 2 places and R535 925 in stake money.

A R2 million National Sale graduate, the  daughter of Giant’s Causeway is out of the unraced Australian-bred Distant View mare, Skyline Drive.


Majorca S. (SAf-G1) (2/2)

Kenilworth, South Africa, February 2, R500.000, 1600m, turf, good, 1.39.15

BLUERIDGE MOUNTAIN (ARG), 56.0, ch f 3, Giant’s Causeway (USA) – Skyline
Drive View (USA) by Distant View (USA). Owner I & MJ Jooste; bred in
Argentina; trainer GM Alexander; jockey A Marcus (312.500)

Frequent Flyer (SAF), 60.0, b m 5, Silvano (GER) – Fov’s Fancy (SAF) by
Foveros (GB)

Hammie’s Hooker (SAF), 56.0, b f 3, Trippi (USA) – Gem Queen (SAF) by
Damascus Gate (USA)

Margins: ½, 1, 1

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