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Mike Bass trained Tevez wins the R300 000 Gr2 Merchants Handicap

Goal! Tevez storms clear to beat Chave De Oura and Divine Jet (Hamish Niven Photography)

Goal! Tevez storms clear to beat Chave De Oura and Divine Jet (Hamish Niven Photography)

High jinx that developed into something of a circus at the start cast a cloud over the R300 000 Gr2 Merchants Handicap run over 1200m at Kenilworth on Saturday. The race delayed from the previous Saturday, eventually produced a thriller though, with the gloriously in form Glen Hatt producing a well timed goal on the Mike Bass trained Tevez.

Besides the frustration for punters and owners, the impact of a delay on the tight Saturday afternoon schedule has an incalculable knock on effect.

Then just consider the principle of the better behaved kids in the class being punished for the tardiness of the delinquents. It really just does not make sense to keep sprinters standing idle while a minority play their sill games. We shall name the offending parties once we have had sight of the stipes report, and the issue surely warrants debate and possibly a policy revision.

But despite that negative, Glen Hatt rode the third feature of his total of four winners on the afternoon when booting the smart Tevez home. The, at times, disappointing son of Caesour had  not won since clinching the Listed Sophomore Sprint over the course and distance in September last year.

After a lengthy delay at the start, Divine Jet dwelt marginally.

Cap Alright was smartly away and led Louvre and Trade Emblem.

At the halfway mark Tevez was in midfield with Divine Jet languishing in the rear, with Chave De Oura edging closer.

Cap Alright shortened his stride at the 300m marker as Chave De Oura commenced a challenge with Divine Jet staying on strongly down the wide outside.

Hatt had been weaving his way through and in the spirit of a man who can do little wrong at the moment, he produced Tevez with a burst  down the inside rail inside the 200m marker to hold the late challenge of Chave De Oura, and the fancied 2 to 1 favourite Divine Jet, who was left with a mountain to climb.

Tevez won by a head in a time of 72,51 secs.

On Fire. Glen Hatt rode 4 winners o the day (Hamish Niven Photography)

On Fire. Glen Hatt rode 4 winners on the day (Hamish Niven Photography)

The grey ghost that is the 2011 Merchants winner Shades Of Indigo caught the eye when flying through late for fifth and just off Cap Alright, who finished 1,25 lengths behind in fourth.

Bred by Avontuur Stud,  Tevez is a R700 000 National Sale graduate.

He is by Varsfontein stallion Caesour out of the four-time  winning Elliodor mare, Minelli. That’s a name we will all recognise as the dam of the brilliant sprinter, now broodmare, Val De Ra. She also produced the nine-time winner Mastery (by Dominion Royale) who was trained in his career by Stan Elley.

Avontuur General Manager Pippa Mickleburgh named Tevez in honour of one of her favourite footballers, and added that it was most appropriate as he had been a gorgeous and strong-bodied athletic foal.

A winner of 3 races with 7 places from 14 starts, Tevez more than doubled his stake earnings with this victory to R370 875.

With his confidence restored, and gelding having made all the difference, Tevez may now pay to follow in the upcoming summer sprint features.

Gr2 Merchants Handicap (SAf-Gr2)
Kenilworth, South Africa, November 23, R300k, 1200m, turf, good, 1.12.51
 TEVEZ (SAF), 53.0, b g 4, Caesour (USA) – Minelli (SAF) by Elliodor (FR). Owner Messrs N M Shirtliff, M J Jooste, Bryn Ressell & Mrs I Jooste; breeder Avontuur Farm; trainer MW Bass; jockey G Hatt
Chave De Oura (SAF), 58.0, b c 4, Jet Master (SAF) – Wonderful World (SAF) by Complete Warrior (ANY)
Divine Jet (SAF), 59.5, b h 5, Jet Master (SAF) – Divine Nymph (SAF) by Al Mufti (USA)
Margins: lng nk, sh hd, ¾

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