It’s Now Or Never

On The Drift

Greyville 22nd February: A maiden juvenile plate over 1000m got proceedings underway on the poly track on Sunday afternoon and here victory went to the easy to back MISS NIGHTINGALE. Allowed to drift right out to double her opening price of 5/1 at the track, Gavin Van Zyl’s charge was a little slow into stride. She was soon up handy despite that though, and ran on strongly late to score by a half.
There were three races run over 1000m in total and the fastest of these was the girl’s maiden plate won by VARLOTONE. Another to drift considerably on course (7/2 out to 13/2), the daughter of Var was very quickly two lengths clear. She had extended her advantage to three entering the straight, but her lead was then cut back to two by the running on MIDANSWER. The runner up finished very well after losing two lengths at the start and then being baulked for a run 300m out.
The faster of the two 1400m events was the maiden plate won by the favourite HASSEN’S BID. He got away well when the gates opened and soon up handy raced prominent throughout. The pacemaker MYSTERY LEADER rallied gamely when Hassen’s Bid put his head in front 300m from home, and after a thrilling tussle it was only by a neck that he got the verdict.
Run in a time 0,43 seconds slower than that of Hassen’s Bid was the non-black type Fever Tree Handicap in which STOLEN DESTINY registered his sixth career victory. Sent off as the rank outsider of the six horse party at 16/1, the 7yo grey was soon positioned close to the speed. He took up the running going through the 200m and went on to win well by a length and a half.
Bottom weight DOUBLE CLUTCH won the non-black type umThombothi Stakes over 2000m very easily by two and a half.


Quick Buck

Vaal 24th February: Four of the nine races on the Vaal’s outside track on Tuesday were run over 1200m and by far the fastest of these was the graduation plate won by DOLLAR DAZZLER. Allowed to ease right out to 16/10 from 8/10 at the track Alec Laird’s charge raced close up in second early on. He put his head in front as they approached the 400m pole and went on to win without any anxious moments by a length and three quarters.
There was also four races run over 1400m and although not officially, the fastest of these was the MR92 Handicap won by the once very highly regarded THE HANGMAN. Sparingly raced in recent months the Jallad gelding was always handy. He was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 500m marker and easily accounted for the friendless NEWTON POWER (7/1 out to 16/1) by two and three quarters.
The faster of the two maiden races over 1200m was the work rider’s race in which the heavily supported favourite SCAR TISSUE did the business. Backed throughout the morning into 7/10 from 18/10, the 3yo son of Tiger Ridge made all. He soon had the field well strung out and won very comfortably by two from the 10/1 second favourite ANGELUS BELL.
In terms of distance the easiest victory on the card was recorded by OUR JET when winning the MR79 Handicap over 1400m. Not the quickest into stride when the gates opened, Mike Bass’ charge very quickly found himself guarding the rear. He quickened best of all when given rein at the halfway mark though, and went on to score in very good fashion by three and a quarter, going away.
SLINKY JACK won the maiden juvenile plate over 1200m going away by three.
The Geoff Woodruff trained runners SHEA DEVON and ODD ROB had the remainder well beaten when 1st & 2nd respectively in the maiden plate over 1600m.


Tasting Success

Kenilworth 25th February: The best bet on the card for the column in Cape Town on Wednesday was ZUBBADUBBADOO in the maiden 1000m and he didn’t let down his supporters. Deposed at the top of the boards as money came in buckets for BREATHLESS BERTIE, the Jay Peg gelding was always handy. He moved up to tackle the newly installed favourite 150m from home and went on to score comfortably by a length.
Another to win well on this card was CUVEE BRUT in the lucky last, a MR78 Handicap over 1200m. Sent off a well-supported favourite at 18/10 (op 28/10), Brett Crawford’s charge was always doing it easily. She quickened in good style from the backend of midfield when asked for her effort, and despite having to switch out for a run 250m from home, she won going away by three. One to follow.
There were five races run over 1200m in total and the fastest of these was the MR80 Handicap won by the deposed favourite MISTER MATCHETT. Sent off second in the betting market at 28/10, Darryl Hodgson’s charge raced sixth of the eight for most of the journey. He ran on nicely from halfway and went on to beat the heavily supported favourite AZINCOURT fair and square by a length and a half.
The faster of the two 1600m races on the card was the MR64 Handicap in which BE FABULOUS registered her third career victory. On leaving the stalls it was ROYAL FOUNDATION who somewhat predictably made the running, whilst the not so easy to decipher daughter of Kahal was content to sit in midfield. She made her move early in the straight and won comfortably by a length after striking the front 100m from home.
Although only winning by a half, the lightly raced LEYLANI won the maiden juvenile plate over 1200m going away.
The 25/1 shot GAUTENG caught the eye running on from the rear when third in the maiden plate over 1600m.


Deceiving Merit Ratings

Vaal 26th February: They raced on the sand on Thursday where victory in the non-black type Autumn Sand Sprint went to the Paul Matchett trained DUTY DANCE. Freely available at 11/1 in what proved to be the fastest of the four 1200m races, the son of Muhtafal was soon up handy. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 300m marker and kept on strongly late to beat the gaining STAVINSKY by a length.
Sharing top billing was the Woodland Sprint for fillies and mares over the same distance and in a time 0,77 seconds slower than that of Duty Dance victory here went to JADE VINE. She got away well when the gates opened and soon up handy raced prominent throughout. She put her head in front 150m out and eased over the final 50m, she beat SARVE quite a bit more easily than the official winning margin of three quarters of a length would suggest.
The biggest winning margin on the afternoon was recorded by SMART MART in the MR80 Handicap over 1800m. Now a winner of all three starts on the surface, Mike De Kock’s charge was always poised to strike. He did so going through the 500m and despite easing down from around 60m out, he won very easily by four and a half.
FLYING TERN ran on well from midfield when opening his account in the maiden 1000m.


Top speedratings for this weekend include:-

Fairview (fri)
Race 1: (15) The Captain’s Cat 18
Race 2: (1) Indemnity 6
Race 3: (1) Dance And Destroy 29
Race 4: (11) Dancinginthedesert 56
Race 5: (9) Bow ‘n Arrow 40
Race 6: (1) Charles Lytton 57 (NAP**)
Race 7: (14) Honey Bun 53
Race 8: (8) Le Var 71
Race 9: (9) Range Lights 40
Greyville (fri)
Race 1: (1) Flying Luxmi 20 (NAP**)
Race 2: (1) Gun Fighter 57
Race 3: (4) Ewan’s Dream 15
Race 4: (2) Lady Carter 58
Race 5: (10) Jellylorum 52
Race 6: (4) Delamere 43
Race 7: (2) Acapulco 70
Race 8: (11) Sky Castle 8
Turffontein (sat)
Race 1: (5) Dr Finley 3
Race 2: (1) Princess Milo 11
Race 3: (1) Heavy Metal 102
Race 4: (8) Rampant Ice 71
Race 5: (5) Miss Rambo 62
Race 6: (2) Mogok Master 25
Race 7: (1) Mella Maria 25
Race 8: (2) Winter Passon 70
Race 9: (3) Doing It For Dan 71
Race 10: (1) Rosalie 33
Kenilworth (sat)
Race 1: (1) Saint Donan 24 (nb)
Race 2: (4) Garden Feature 21 (NAP*)
Race 3: (1) Ashram 21
Race 4: (7) Exclusive Knight 12
Race 5: (2) Big Ed 51
Race 6: (2) Casual Fan 39
Race 7: (10) Elite Jet 52
Race 8: (12) High Season 49
Greyville (sun)
Race 1: (6) Lecture D 8
Race 2: (1) Entrée 22
Race 3: (8) Roy’s Guardian 20
Race 4: (1) Raaees 52
Race 5: (10) Dun Carrer 42
Race 6: (9) Pilgovan Star 44
Race 7: (3) Rocky Bay 46
Race 8: (11) Sebueng 39


Top rated winners last week included

C’est Chique won 4/1
Mister Matchett won 28/10
Zubbadubbadoo won 5/2
Political Power won 22/10
Eddie Sweat won 2/1
Fear Not won 17/20
Scar Tissue won 7/10
African Dream won 13/20



Cuvee Brut (B Crawford, W-Cape)
Our Jet (M Bass, Gauteng)


The number of races run over each distance is shown in brackets
*Denotes – Times taken by Clockwatcher

Greyville (poly) 22nd February
Going Standard
1000m (3) Varlotone         57,79
1200m (2) Eddie Sweat    69,17
1400m (2) Hassen’s Bid   83,17
2000m (1) Double Clutch 123,84

Vaal (outside) 24th February
Penetrometer 20 – Going Good
1200m (4) Dollar Dazzler 68,94
1400m (4) The Hangman 80,78
1600m (1) Shea Devon    95,59

Kenilworth (new) 25th February
Going 22 – Going Good
1000m (1) Zubbadubbadoo 59,64
1200m (5) Mister Matchett   72,60
1400m (1) Sail For Gold       88,42
1600m (2) Be Fabulous       102,12

Vaal (sand) 26th February
1000m (1) Flying Tern 61,99
1200m (4) Duty Dance 73,03
1450m (2) Excalivar     93,60
1600m (1) Longstride  103,66
1800m (1) Smart Mart 116,12

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