Maroun’s Magic Machine

Great training feat by Grant Maroun

Marriage and hard work have done wonders for jockey Karl Zechner who is enjoying the time of his life, clocking up 50 winners for the season at Fairview on New Year’s Day. He was back in the winner’s box again at Turffontein on Saturday when producing a polished ride on Viking Hero to win the R250 000 Gr3 Lebelo Sprint for Grant Maroun.

Karl Zechner

Karl Zechner – two winners on the day

The Zimbabwe born Zechner married Lauren O’Reilly on 21 November, and with his natural riding ability and the enthusiastic and professional support of one of South Africa’s most vocal jockey agents, he is carving himself a niche as one of our leading riders.

Even with agent extraordinaire Desmond Zacpack Zackey enjoying a well deserved working holiday down in a heat-wave hit Cape Town, Zechner has been booting them home all over and the now familiar victory chant, ‘Galiek Yo Baby’, has become a regular jingle on the social media airwaves. He rode a double on Saturday.

A man who must take plenty of credit for the feature win is trainer Grant Maroun, who showed good judgement and the courage to run Viking Hero just four days after he went down narrowly to Kapelmeister at the Turffontein Tuesday night meeting.

Zechner never panicked as Greasepaint went quickly, chased keenly by Mod Barley and the 3yo Wisaam .

With the group packed on the middle outside, Zechner had the fit-as-a-fiddle Viking Hero angling to the outside to find a clear passage.

Viking Hero wins Lebelo sprint

Karl Zechner drives Viking Hero out to win well

At the 300m he found daylight and ran on strongly to hold  off a determined challenge from Tiger Territory, ahead of the omnipresent Mod Barley, who showed his usual fiery toe.

Viking Hero capped two consecutive seconds to win by 0,25 lengths in a time of 56,75 secs.

One Man’s Dream moved up well but his weight told and he ran on into fourth to finish just 2 lengths off the winner.

Viking Hero has now won 5 races with 19 places from 36 starts and has banked stakes of R684 250.

The 6yo gelding Viking Hero was bred by Barton Hall Stud and is a rare sprinting son of retired Summerhill stallion Mullins Bay out of the four-time winning All Fired Up mare, Out Of Norway.

He was purchased for just R30 000 by Tawny Syndicate off the 2011 Emperors Palace National Two Year Sale.


Gr3 Lebelo Sprint (SAf-Gr3)

Turffontein, South Africa, January 2, R250k, 1000m, turf, good, 56.75

1 – VIKING HERO (SAF), 54.0, ch g 6, Mullins Bay (GB) – Out Of Norway (SAF) by All Fired Up (USA). Owner Miss M Uren & Mr G J Maroun; Breeder Barton Hall Stud; trainer G Maroun; jockey K Zechner
2 – Tiger Territory (SAF), 58.5, b g 5, Trippi (USA) – Fragrant Filly (SAF) by Model Man (SAF)
3 – Mod Barley (SAF), 56.5, b g 5, Antonius Pius (USA) – Summers Sweet Song (SAF) by Model Man (SAF)
Margins: 0.25, 1.50, 0.25

bsa graduate_web winner

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