Gr3 Byerley Turk: Phantom Fighter

Phantom Fighter

Phantom Fighter, another son of Jet Master wins Gr3 Byerley Turk

The Dennis Drier yard completed a quick Gr3 double at Scottsville on Saturday when Beach Beauty’s success in the Umzimkhulu Stakes was emulated forty minutes later by stable companion Phantom Fighter in the equivalent race for males, the Independent on Saturday Byerley Turk over 1400m, writes Matthew Lips.

Nine sophomores took their chances in this conditions race and it was Ridethebreeze who was very well supported from an ante-post call of 7/2 to start as the 2/1 favourite.  Phantom Fighter went off as the 75/20 second favourite.

Go Go Loochee ensured a reasonable early pace and showed the way ahead of Watch The Sunset, with the latter’s stable companion Phantom Fighter perfectly positioned in third ahead of Beaches, Great Detail, and Ridethebreeze.  Go Go Go Loochee hung tough for a long way down the straight, but 200m out Phantom Fighter was challenging strongly for the lead with Ridethebreeze coming through strongly from off the pace to join issue.  This pair edged away from Go Go Loochee inside the last 100m and had the finish basically to themselves, but try as he might Ridethebreeze could never quite master Phantom Fighter, who kept on finding under jockey Stuard Randolph to deny the favourite by a neck.

Antious came into the race with the best chance of winning purely on merit ratings, but he may have been a little green racing around Scottsville’s turns for the first time and after lagging at the back of the field early he ran on late to finish third, 1.25 lengths behind the runner-up and a long head in front of the game Go Go Loochee.

Phantom Fighter – like his stable companion Beach Beauty before him – looks to be a progressive sort who ran some way above his 86 mark, for he met Ridethebreeze on 2.5 kgs worse terms than would have applied in a handicap yet beat the runner-up fair and square.   Even so it is highly debatable whether this level of form will be good enough to make Phantom Fighter a serious challenger if he now proceeds to take on some stronger rivals in the Gr 2 Korean Racing Association KZN Guineas at Greyville on May 8th.  He is doubtless a useful sort and he coped well with his first attempt beyond 1200m, but there is still no guarantee that he will stay 1600m and it seems unlikely that we saw the Guineas winner in the Byerley Turk.

Phantom Fighter is a gelded son of champion sire Jet Master out of the talented Best By Test mare Fine Feather, who won seven races up to 1200m including the Gr 3 Strelitzia Stakes and who finished third in the Gr 1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship.  Bred and still part-owned by Jane Trotter, Phantom Fighter has won three of his five races and earned R205 925 in stakes.

Byerley Turk (SAf-G3) (4/9)

Scottsville, South Africa, April 9, R184.000, 1400m, turf, good, 1.27.30 (CR 1.22.39).
PHANTOM FIGHTER (SAF), 58.0, b g 3, Jet Master (SAF) – Fine Feather (SAF) by Best By Test. Owner J D Michau, R E Alexander, I W Longmore, R J Trotter; breeder J Trotter (SAF); trainer D R Drier; jockey S Randolph (122.000)
Ridethebreeze (AUS), 58.0, b g 3, Anabaa – Elleandee (AUS) by Snippets (AUS)
Antious (ARG), 58.0, ch c 3, Pure Prize – Adira by Affirmed
Margins: nk, 1¼, sh hd
Also ran: Go Go Loochee (SAF) 58.0, Great Detail (SAF) 56.0, Watch The Sunset (SAF) 56.0, Iron Grey (SAF) 56.0, Assogia Wood (SAF) 56.0, Beaches (SAF) 58.0

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