Joey Keeps Good Company

Strydom brilliance to the fore on Australian-bred galloper

Piere Strydom drives The Conglomerate through to beat Mljet (Pic: Bay Media)

Piere Strydom drives The Conglomerate through to beat Mljet (Pic: Bay Media)

In a race decimated by withdrawals, the high-riding Ramsden and Jooste team produced another feature ace in the Lonhro colt The Conglomerate, who stepped up and won the R250 000 Julius Baer Gr3 Politician Stakes run at Kenilworth on Saturday.

The 1800m race, a traditional Derby trial, lost much of its lustre after trainer Joey Ramsden pulled out his champion 3yo Act Of War for a ‘reason to be advised.’

His smart Trippi gelding Liquid Mercury enjoyed a hard-fought win on Wednesday and thus also joined Act Of War on the no-show list

But one horse is usually enough fire-power for the in-form Ramsden and jockey Piere Strydom wasn’t complaining either. After being engaged to partner Act Of War, he replaced Anthony Andrews on The Conglomerate.

The nine horse field jumped on terms, except for Balance Sheet who was slightly slow away.

Joey Ramsden

Joey Ramsden – a big season continues

It was once again the Byleveld and Marshall combination who set the pace as the 7 to 2 favourite Mljet led from Parachute Man and Imperial Gold, with Seize The Throne and Sheer Trouble further back. The Conglomerate was relaxed near the rear.

Turning for home, in a reversal of his previous tactics, Mljet contnued to gallop as Parachute Man and Imperial Gold crept closer.

Strydom was seen unleashing his run on The Conglomerate and with Mljet drifting to the outside, Piere Strydom slipped The Conglomerate through down the outside rail at the 200m marker.

Under a typically confident ride the Australian-bred went on strongly to win by a half length. He started at 28 to 10.

Mljet ran an improved race but even at his seventh outing is a horse who does not seem to concentrate on the task at hand. Gelding may be the answer, although he should improve with experience.

The rest were miles back with Arniston finishing strongly a further 5,25 lengths further back in third.

The top-class Piere Strydom said that The Conglomerate ‘was improving’ but that the penny had not yet dropped physically and mentally.

“I thought we had it in the bag as we came for home but at the 200m I felt we needed to dig in – and my mount gave it to me when I asked,” he said.

Trainer Joey Ramsden confirmed: “We have changed a few things around for this season and it’s made a huge diference. But we still need the horses and I must thank Markus and Ingrid (Jooste) again for the support.”

The Conglomerate has now won 4 races from 1300m to 1800m in 7 starts with 1 place and R287 825 in stakes.

He was bred by D R Fleming and purchased on the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale for A$160 000.

The winner is by Octagonal stallion Lonhro out of the six-time winning Canny Lad mare, Republic Lass – an Oaks winner.

The colt may not be a serious Investec Derby horse at this stage but he has plenty of scope for improvement over more ground and should get better over time.


Gr3 Politician Stakes  (SAf-Gr3)

Kenilworth, South Africa, January 10, R250k, 1800m, turf, good, 1.50.85

1 – THE CONGLOMERATE (AUS), 55.0, br c 3, Lonhro (AUS) – Republic Lass (AUS) by Canny Lad (AUS). Owner Mrs I Jooste & Mr M J Jooste; Breeder bred in Australia; trainer J Ramsden; jockey P Strydom
2 – Mljet (SAF), 58.0, b c 3, Jet Master (SAF) – Subyan Dreams (GB) by Spectrum (IRE)
3 – Arniston (SAF), 55.0, b g 3, Dynasty (SAF) – Strategic Quest (GB) by Rainbow Quest (ANY)
Margins: 0.50, 5.25, 0.20

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