Azzies Pay Their Way

Father-and-son training team Mike and Adam Azzie celebrated their first Gr1 success and put a forgettable Vodacom Durban July day well behind them when Craig Zackey steered the courageous 6yo Will Pays to a sensational win in the R1 million Gr1 Mercury Sprint at Greyville on Saturday.

Craig Zackey acknowledges the crowd as Will Pays scores his first Gr1 win (Pic-Candiese Marnewick/ Gold Circle)

The always obvious abundance of pace in the prestigious sprint played perfectly into the hands of the gelded son of Imperial Stride, who was supplemented into the Gr1 contest, in a season lacking a genuine speed star.

Speedpoint had a shoe issue attended to at the start, and after Trip To Heaven typically lost ground at the jump, Rocky Valley, Black Cat Back and Pinnacle Peak kept the fire on the boil out front.

Turning for home, Pinnacle Peak looked dangerous with Craig Zackey ghosting Will Pays up with steady strides down the inside rail.

At the 400m marker, Attenborough and Trip To Heaven were second last and last respectively.

In a race that changed complexion dramatically in the final 100m, the 10-1 Will Pays stormed up the inside to withstand a great late challenge from a flying Attenborough (15-1) to win by a length in a time of 71,08 secs.

Trip To Heaven kicked on late to grab third ahead of the tiring Sunset Eyes.

Will Pays was bred by Northfields Stud and is a son of Imperial Stride (Indian Ridge) out of the top-class six time winner, Rattlebag (Jallad).

He has won 12 races with 12 places from 35 runs for stakes totalling R1 905 150.


Gr1 Mercury Sprint (SAf-Gr1)

Greyville, South Africa, July 28, R1 million, 1200m, turf, good, 1.11.08

1 – WILL PAYS (SAF), 60.0, b g 6, Imperial Stride (GB) – Rattlebag (SAF) by Jallad (USA). Owner Messrs B J D Pepper, S G du Toit, M A Green & Y Jackson; Breeder Northfields Stud; trainer MG & AA Azzie; jockey C Zackey
2 – Attenborough (SAF), 60.0, b g 4, Western Winter (USA) – In Camera (SAF) by Caesour (USA)
3 – Trip To Heaven (SAF), 60.0, b g 6, Trippi (USA) – Helleborus Blue (USA) by Cee’s Tizzy (USA)
Margins: 1.00, 0.25, 0.50

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