Vaal 26th April: Thursday’s action took place on the turf where victory in the opening maiden juvenile event over 1200m went to the friendless DALALAAT (16). Allowed to drift right out to 6/1 from 7/2 jt2ndfav at the track, Stephen Moffatt’s charge was always handy. She ran on strongly at the business end of the race and in a thrilling three way finish she just held on from the running onANTIGUA.
Much easier a winner was the newcomer DANESCO (19) in the boys division of the maiden juvenile 1200m. Well supported in the ante post market, the son of Albert Hall was taken straight to the front by Robbie Fradd and led throughout. He was always in command and although the easy to back AUTHENTICATED tried his best to make a race of it, he went on to score very easily by three and a quarter.
The afternoon’s feature event was a MR94 Handicap over 1200m and here victory went to the improving St John Gray runner WHERE’S MY CHOP (72). Nibbled at on course into 7/1 from 8’s, Where’s My Chop raced towards the back end of midfield for most of the journey. Once given rein though, he quickened best of all and under a well judged ride from Glen Hatt, he got up close home to beat the more fancied PAELLA by a length and a quarter.
The lucky last was a MR70 Handicap over 1600m and here the locals were sent home happy when CYCLONE MICHELLE (47) did the business. She got away well when the gates opened and soon up handy raced prominent throughout. She was ridden to lead going through the 200m and drew clear easily in the closing stages of the race to beat the running on SMANYO by three and a quarter.
Despite racing green the newcomer PUNTA CHICA was running on nicely from the rear when fourth in girls maiden juvenile 1200m.
A little slow into stride and baulked for a run 400m out to boot, CAPTIVE ACTION ran on well in the latter stages of the MR77 Handicap over 1200m and was only beaten by three quarters of a length.
Shock Of The Day
Turffontein 28th April: The first of nine graded races to be run on “Champion’s Day” was the Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery over 1160m and here a major upset was to be had when the newcomer KING’S TEMPTRESS (67) landed the spoils. Priced up as one of the rank outsiders of the party at 150/1, Corrie Lensley’s charge was positioned at the back going through halfway. Running on best of all at the business end of the race though, this daughter of King Of Kings won going away after striking the front 100m from home.
Another to impress when running on to score from the rear was WELWITSCHIA (94) in the Gr2 Camellia Stakes. Racing over a sprint distance for the first time since cruising in by 7,5 lengths on debut, Mike De Kock’s charge was content to guard the rear for most of the journey. She was visibly cruising going through halfway and once given rein she cut through the field like a knife. She hit the front as they approached the 200m marker and went on to score very easily by three and a quarter.
The easiest victory on the card was recorded by Sporting Post’s top bet ILHA BELA (86) in the Gr2 SA Oaks. Sent off a strong favourite at 11/10, the daughter ofFortWoodraced towards the rear during the early part of the race. She began to take closer order at the top of the long home straight and after striking the front shortly after passing the 400m marker, she cruised clear in the latter stages of the race to win by six and a quarter.
Amongst the four top grade events was the Gr1 Champion’s Challenge over 2000m and here we saw another smart performance from the Rock Of Gibraltar mare EUROPA POINT (96). Another to run on stoutly from off the pace, Mike De Kock’s charge took up the running at the 300m marker and comfortably accounted for GALANTHUS by a length. Europa Point has won all six starts this season.
Unbeaten SOFT FALLING RAIN ran out a very easy winner of the Gr1 SA Nursery.
SHEA SHEA won the Gr1 Computaform Sprint with authority. As well as being reported as lame on the off fore, the favourite for the race Val De Ra broke a bloodvessel and will now be suspended for three months.
Clairwood 29th April: A maiden juvenile event over 1000m got proceedings underway inNatal on Sunday and here we saw a nice performance from the well supported BLIZZARD OF OZ (28). Backed into 14/10 favourite from 3/1 at the track, Dennis Drier’s charge raced up with the speed throughout. He began to assert his authority going through the 200m and comfortably accounted for the friendless MIDNIGHT RUN (4/1 out to 8/1) by two and a quarter.
Another to win well after finding good support was STERN LINE (52) in the novice 1450m. Sent off second favourite at 18/10 (op 5/2), the daughter of Captain Al led from pillar to post. The favourite CENTIMES had looked a threat when moving up to within a length and a half 200m from home, but try as she might, she couldn’t get any closer at the business end of the race.
The Gr3 Poinsettia Stakes over 1200m topped the bill and as expected victory here went to the champion filly PRINCESS VICTORIA (84). Always in the red, the daughter of Victory Moon was soon up handy. She was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and although the well supported BEACH BEAUTY (14/1) ran on well from off the pace, she went on to score comfortably by a length and a half.
Also worthy of note on this card was the performance of SUPREME LORD (30) in winning the maiden 1800m. Always at the top of the boards, Glen Puller’s charge sat in midfield for most of the journey. He quickened well at the top of the long home straight and after striking the front 200m from home, he easily drew clear.
After making all, the heavily supported newcomer LONSOME DOVE (op 7/1 touched 4/10) was eased late and won the maiden juvenile 1000m much more easily than the official margin of a length and a half would suggest.
Sporting blinkers for the first time, FAIRE SILVANO ran on well from off the pace when third to Stern Line in the novice 1450m.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Flamingo Park Race 1: No Qualifiers Race 2: (1) Pebble Rock 5 Race 3: (6) Tenacious Tess 47 Race 4: (11) Man Of Letters 36 Race 5: (10) HandsomeHudson37 Race 6: (10) Running Tide 23 Race 7: (2) Roses For Lizzy 60 Race 8: (12) Manonthecatwalk 31 Race 9: No Qualifiers Vaal (Tues) Race 1: (11) Music Affair 22 (NAP*) Race 2: (3) Blushing Peter 23 Race 3: (4) Full Quest 1 Race 4: (15) Tidy Tiger 13 Race 5: (13) Vivid 52 Race 6: (3) Kayhaladin 54 Race 7: (10) Where’s My Chop 76 Race 8: (8) Aerofoil 59 Scottsville Race 1: (2) Indaba My Children 37 (nb) Race 2: (1) Valdivia 43 (NAP**) Race 3: (3) Dancing Man 30 Race 4: (13) Roman Legion 8 Race 5: (7) Roman Wall 85 Race 6: (4) Mainspring 65 Race 7: (2) Desert Raptor 48 Race 8: (2) Pocket Venus 16 Vaal (Thur) Race 1: (6) Kingdom’s Key 10 Race 2: (3) Totem 9 Race 3: (2) Hollywood Chief 17 Race 4: (6) Mer De Miesque 5 (EW) Race 5: (3) Challenger Quay 69 Race 6: (14) Spiritofamphitrite 41 Race 7: (6) Mr. Premier 47 Race 8: (10) Sateen 42
Top rated winners last week includedDaddy’s Dollars won 8/1 Razzle Dazzle Rose won 11/2 The Edge won 19/10 Stern Line won 18/10 Suncat won 15/10 Blizzard Of Oz won 14/10 Soft Falling Rain won 13/10 Ilha Bela won 11/10
Notebook:-Europa Point (MDe Kock,Gauteng) Ilha Bela (MDe Kock,Gauteng) Soft Falling Rain (MDe Kock,Gauteng) Welwitschia (MDe Kock,Gauteng)
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Vaal 26th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (6) Where’s My Chop Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Varlet Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers
.Turffontein 28th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Shea Shea Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (1) Golden Crest Fastest Long 1900-3600 (5) Europa Point
.Clairwood 29th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Princess Victoria Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (5) Auto Pilot Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) In Writing