Clever Ride By De Melo

The Milton factor at play again

Bill Prestage’s strong galloper Milton often tatically befuddles the local jockeys. The Lateral gelding may not have won Saturday’s R400 000 Gr2 Premier Trophy but his setting of a decent gallop had some of them at sixes and sevens.

Keagan de Melo has Head Honcho in charge at the finish (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

In a field that included six Sun Met entries, Corne Orffer took Milton out to set the fractions with only Keagan de Melo and Donovan Dillon deciding to stay in touch, as Head Honcho and The Slade followed in Indian file with the detached group of four two lengths behind.

In the home run The Slade moved up briefly as Milton tired and Head Honcho appeared to be going by far the best of the three.

At the 350m marker Head Honcho burst clear after slipstreaming the leader and he grabbed two lengths more on the group of four who had only then heard the alarm bells.

But Keagan de Melo’s move had worked and Head Honcho had given them the slip and went on to win unthreatened by 3,50 lengths in a time of 110,57 secs.

Made To Conquer ran on steadily but effectively ran out of track in second.

Joint topweight Eyes Wide Open ran a further 0,40 lengths back in third, with Tap O’Noth disappointing another 2 lengths away in fourth.

Trainer Andre Nel (left) is all smiles (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

The Vodacom Durban July Consolation winner, Head Honcho has won 6 of his last 7 races and is very likely to run in the Sun Met.

Made  To Conquer needs further to show his best while Eyes Wide Open is yet to regain his early sparkle.

A La Plaisance Stud home-bred, Head Honcho has won  8 races with 5 places from 17 starts for stakes of R1 051 750.

A son of Querari (Oasis Dream) Head Honcho is out of three-time winner School Captain (Captain Al), who also ran in the Plattner silks in her racing days.


Gr2 Premier Trophy (SAf-Gr2)

Kenilworth, South Africa, December 15, R400k, 1800m, turf, good, 1.50.57

1 – HEAD HONCHO (SAF), 59.5, b g 5, Querari (GER) – School Captain (SAF) by Captain Al (SAF). Owner Mrs S Plattner; Breeder La Plaisance Stud; trainer A Nel; jockey K De Melo
2 – Made To Conquer (SAF), 58.5, b g 5, Dynasty (SAF) – Festive Occasion (SAF) by Casey Tibbs (IRE)
3 – Eyes Wide Open (SAF), 60.0, b c 4, Dynasty (SAF) – Live Your Dreams (SAF) by Jallad (USA)
Margins: 3.50, 0.40, 2.00

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