Gold In The Hills

Gr3 Byerley Turk at Scottsville on Saturday

Chestnut's Rocket wins the Listed Ibhayi Stakes at Fairview 14-03-07

Vaughan Marshall’s Chestnut’s Rocket has solid form and looks a big runner

The 2013 R200 000 Gr3 Byerley Turk produced the winner of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate this season and who knows what gold lies in them thar hills this year? The quality of the 3yo’s that line up in Saturday’s Scottsville feature is as good, if not better, than anything we have seen in years gone by.

South Africa’s Cape champion miler Capetown Noir won the 1400m Byerley Turk last year and his trainer Dean Kannemeyer goes for a rare hat trick as he also saddled the 2012 victor Depardieu for Bernard Kantor.

Rocket Man

Kannemeyer sends out the Highlands bred Dynasty gelding Speed Rocket for Khaya Stables and while obviously a quality sort, he looks hard pressed to follow in Capetown Noir’s footsteps.

We are also mindful of the fact that regular pilot Karl Neisius opts to ride at Kenilworth on the same afternoon, although it is possible that the 56kgs allotted to Speed Rocket may have swayed his decision not to travel.

Interestingly, Speed Rocket is the highest rated runner alongside Vaughan Marshall’s Chestnut’s Rocket, who comes off a five week break following his Listed Ibhayi Stakes victory on a memorable day for the yard at Fairview.

Kannemeyer’s Speed Rocket looks quite well in with Marshall’s charge if the handicapper has things correct.

Chestnut Charger

The Byerley Turk weights are set with one time winners or less carrying 52,5 kg and thereafter 2 kg for each win up to a maximum of 58,5 kg. Thus if this race were a straight handicap, Speed Rocket would not have been getting a bonus of 2kgs from Chestnut’s Rocket.

But the ratings are widely sourced, from Cape Town to PE, and then Durban. So who knows? The Vaughan Marshall charge is bang in form though and has great collateral with some good 3yo’s, including Guineas winner Elusive Gold.

Tony Rivalland’s promising New Zealand bred Diamond King looks a top sort in the making and has won three of his six outings. The lightly raced son of More Than Ready has a good turn of foot and the trip is well within his target range.

Brandon Lerena is riding with great confidence and he partners him from a 9 draw.

Hunt For Gold

Duncan Howells’ Hunting Horn has cracked the best of the draw and this course and distance winner is called upon to prove how good he is with a first step into feature waters. The son of Lundy’s Liability has won 3 of his 11 starts and is very capable on his day.

Glen Hatt and Brett Crawford are back on the East Coast after a successful last season and they come to town with the former Stephen Page trained Sail South.

The son of Sail From Seattle has consistent form up to a mile but has pulled the worst of the draw at his first visit to a right handed track and he should need the experience.


There is no stopping supersire Var and his home farm Avontuur in recent months and they are represented by Charles Laird’s consistent gelding Translator.

He has won two races for owner Fred Crabbia and is a pacy sort who will relish the number 2 stallgate jump in the hands of Anton Marcus. Another son of Var is Sean Tarry’s October Eleventh, who has done little wrong by winning 2 from 4 , but takes a massive jump in class.

Say No More

Justin Snaith saddles an early season runner in the High Chaparral colt Tell Me More. Rested for ten weeks, he is likely to need the outing but with a forty percent win strike rate, it would be foolish to overlook him with Sean Cormack in the saddle.

Dennis Drier saddles the Rebel King gelding Nineteen Fourteen for Bruce Ferreira. The former Glen Kotzen runner showed early promise but has battled to win again. Alastair Gordon’s Copybook has only won once and returns from a rest of 15 weeks.


In a tough race which should paint a clearer picture of what to expect from the 3yo’s in the Champions Season, the clash of the interprovincial form will make for a fascinating contest.

We are going with Chestnut’s Rocket to make it a winning Scottsville debut at the expense of Translator and Diamond King.

Foundation: Byerley Turk

The Byerley Turk (c.1684–1706) was the earliest of three stallions that were the founders of modern thoroughbred horseracing bloodstock. The other two are the Godolphin Arabian and the Darley Arabian.

The stallion is believed to have been captured by Captain Robert Byerley at the Battle of Buda in 1686, and served as Byerley’s war horse when he was dispatched to Ireland in 1689 during King William’s War. They saw further military service in the Battle of the Boyne.

The General Stud Book simply states, without reference to his origins, that both man and horse were in Ireland: Byerley Turk was Captain Byerly’s charger in Ireland, in King William’s wars.

The Byerley Turk was reportedly a dark brown horse but was not Oriental or Arabian, which may have been Akhal-Teke. He was larger framed, although Turk horses possessed large eyes, long and high set on neck and high carriage of the tail. The Byerley Turk helped form the modern Cleveland Bay. Many of his offspring were also noted to have been either bay or black.

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