Trainer Glen Kotzen astutely downed two birds with one stone when despatching a rather smart looking 2yo filly to Fairview on Friday. Jane S Piddy arrived in the Windy City a maiden and departed having won the R150 000 Listed Lady’s Slipper Stakes – while also picking up some valuable black type in the process.
There is only one thing tougher than owning horses – and that’s training them. When your trainer tells you that a maiden, who hasn’t won in four starts, can take on a PE multiple winner in a stakes race in her own backyard, then you have to wonder.
Alan Greeff’s Silvano filly Kanara was no pushover. She had won twice over the course and distance – and Jane S Piddy had never won – and never seen action on a right handed turn either.
But well done to the Kotzens and the Woodhill Racing Team. The decision to raid always takes some courage and serious planning – and also costs a few rand, with the ever-present danger of returning home empty handed.
But the ‘Piddy plan’ came together handsomely, and all’s well that ends well – as a happy looking Glen and Kathi Kotzen, together with their elegantly attired local assistant Lunga Gila attested, with broad smiles and much joy in the winner’s enclosure.
The race panned out beautifully, without incident.
Kanara and Sunrise in Africa vied for punter’s attentions with Shiraz Cabernet and Jane S Piddy also coming in for plenty of support on the betting boards.
At the off, Mock Mambo jumped slightly awkwardly and trainer Alan Greeff showed that he had a tactical plan up his sleeve as he sent Kanara’s stablemate City Express out to make the pace a decent one.
The daughter of King’s Chapel led Shiraz Cabernet, with Jane S Piddy always within striking distance.
At the 400m marker City Express continued to lead as Gavin Lerena gave Jane S Piddy the office and she glided into the lead.
With whips cracking desperately behind her, Jane S Piddy had it sealed at the 200m and she ran on strongly to enjoy her first win thrill by 2,75 lengths in a time of 86,88 secs.
Shiraz Cabernet reversed the form with Kanara, beating her by 1,75 lengths, as she stayed on best for second.
The beautifully bred Kanara was always some way out of her ground and got going late. She is bound to win her fair share of races over a little more ground.
The Shams’ maiden Misnomer was a well beaten eight length fourth, but caught the eye when making up some ground halfway down the straight and she could be one for the notebook when dropping back in the non-winner ranks next time over further.
The Snaith’s 16-10 Sunrise In Africa ran stone last – on a blank day for the champion yard, where nothing ran up to expectations.
Trainer Glen Kotzen said afterwards that he felt his charge had been terribly unlucky ‘a few times’ when trying to shed her maiden in her home province, and her showing here had vindicated their belief in her ability.
Jane S Piddy was bred by Willempie Engelbrecht jnr, who also races her in the longstanding Englebrecht family royal blue, grey and red silks, carried by some top horses over many years.
She is by the superb Trippi out of a modest racehorse, but decent broodmare, in the Flaming Rock mare, Dame Kiri – who raced in the same colours.
Dame Kiri won only once at 1400m. She is the dam of 11 foals, 9 of which have raced, of which 8 are winners.She is a half-sister to Dancing Miss (the dam of Dance With Al).
Her progeny honours list includes stakes winner Talahatchie (Jallad), the versatile five-time winner and stakes placed Mystery Dame (Jet Master) and the four time winning stakes performer, Flaming Dame (Jet Master).
Jane S Piddy has now won once from 5 starts, with 4 places and R139 300 in stakes.
She will pay to follow.
Title chasing Gavin Lerena, who is generously donating R500 from each of his winning ride commissions to the local Horse Care Units, and Greg Cheyne, shared riding honours on the day, grabbing three winners apiece.