Lucky’s Power Ranger

Drama just past the winning post

The Lucky Houdalakis-trained Horse Chestnut filly Joan Ranger broke the dream run of fancied horses on Champions Day when she stormed home full of running to open her stakes account with an impressive win in the R400 000 Gr2 Camellia Stakes – the final feature of a glorious afternoon.


Joan Ranger powers home under Ian Sturgeon (Pic JC Photos)

There was drama just past the winning post when Joan Ranger was crossed by another runner and clipped heels before unseating jockey Ian Sturgeon. The latter has just returned from medical leave but the thrill of the Gr2 success will hopefully expedite his recovery from this tumble.

The race was something of an anti climax for the Triple Crown winning ‘Aba’ team who were looking to end the feature programme with a bang.

Adriaan and Rika Van Vuuren had recently acquired the well performed Lazer Star and the daughter of Toreador was expected to open her account for Mike Azzie on a winning note – she went off a 15-10 favourite.

With the pace on from the jump, Lazer Star never got a shout in though as  Sturgeon produced Joan Ranger with a sustained effort down the outside to mow them all down and win going away by 1,40 lengths in a time of 65,79 secs.

David Niewenhuizen’s Kilauea ran on powerfully late to deny Gauteng Fillies Guineas winner Heaps Of Fun in second.

It was a great run from Heaps Of Fun and she looks to have plenty in the tank.

Lazer Star managed fourth and only 2,85 lengths off the winner – but most disappointing on her best shown to date.

Joan Ranger

Trainer Lucky Houdalakis is flanked by owner Peter Van Schoor and his wife Letchie

Sycamore winner and second favourite Tiger’s Touch finished just under a length behind her and can also be classed as something of a disappointment.

Peter Van Schoor bred Joan Ranger who is by Horse Chestnut out of the very versatile six-time winning Rambo Dancer mare, Fashion Edition.

He also races her and looks to have a promising sort on his hands as she has now won 3 from 10 with 5 places and took her stakes earnings to R429 500.

She had recently travelled to KZN when beaten a 1,25 length third by Fromafar in the Gr3 Umzimkhulu Stakes.

She had overraced that day and been restrained. Different riding tactics could have seen her go closer. She is one for the notebook.


Gr2 Camellia Stakes  (SAf-Gr2)

Turffontein, South Africa, April 30, R400k, 1160m, turf, good, 1.05.79

1 – JOAN RANGER (SAF), 57.0, b f 3, Horse Chestnut (SAF) – Fashion Edition (SAF) by Rambo Dancer (USA). Owner Mr P U Van Schoor; Breeder PU Van Schoor; trainer M Houdalakis; jockey I Sturgeon
2 – Kilauea (SAF), 57.0, b f 3, Trippi (USA) – Kyllachy (SAF) by Fort Wood (USA)
3 – Heaps Of Fun (SAF), 58.0, ch f 3, Visionaire (USA) – Dream Starling (SAF) by Northern Guest (USA)
Margins: 1.40, 0.25, 1.20

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