Kannemeyer clocks the Classics.

Kenilworth 10 September

Rocking! Dean Kannemeyer and Derek Brugmann lead Liancourt Rock in.

Eight reduced stake maiden races on the Kenilworth card of Saturday 10 September. That is not exactly the stuff of purist dreams but the racing proved competitive with some quality horsepower on show.

It is a sad indictment on the state of racing when we have to sit through a Saturday afternoon watching 116 maiden horses at one of our prime racecourses. But judging from the well patronised fields, the move was probably a means to an end and the local trainers tangibly supported the initiative.

The racing programmers could never hope to get anything right in their quest to cater for all tastes. The unfortunate reality is that there were only eight winners on the day and there are thus still 108 horses who ran this afternoon, who will still be looking for maiden race opportunities. That means that this exercise will have to be undertaken a few times to seriously clear the apparent backlog.

Mommy's girl!Thunder Dance impresses when winning the first.

Milnerton and Phillipi trainers shared the day’s training honours with Dean Kannemeyer and Brett Crawford training two winners each. Crawford was all smiles after the first race when Ian Longmore’s Jet Master filly Thunder Dance won the 1200m sprint with ease. She was bred by Klawervlei and punters will remember her diminutive mom, Shadow Dancing, who was trained by Joey Ramsden and won the Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas and Gr1 Fancourt Majorca Stakes. The latter was a particularly spectacular win when she downed the brilliant but ill-fated Jamaica by a short head. Thunder Dance is beautifully bred. She is by Jet Master and her dam is a half-sister by Fort Wood to Captain Al. Glancing at our 2010/11 season champion stallion log, does it really get much better than that?

Crawford and Longmore enjoyed less good fortune in the second race, when their R1 million Highlands-bred Jackson was backed as if the result was already all clear. The son of Dynasty looked dangerous but had nothing to offer late and finished fifth. He should improve on this. Crawford was smiling again after the fifth race, when Teetan rode his second winner, leading all the way over the mile to score on Gavin Almanza’s Unbridled Joy. The grey Dupont  runner up Groomsman faltered strides from the line, and should be followed  at his next start as this cost him valuable ground.

Dean Kannemeyer has had a rollicking start to the 2011/12 season with ten winners to date. The most impressive and significant aspect of his string is the apparent abundance of class and talent amongst his three year old males. He appears to be sitting on some serious classic potential firepower, and one only has to look at a list of his recent winners to realise the extent of his potent arsenal. Including today’s two winners, the following are his very impressive one-time winners: Divine Jet(Jet Master), Taipan(Dynasty), Caravaggio(National Emblem),Alula Borealis(Go Deputy), Admiral John Peter(Captain Al),Liancourt Rock(Fastnet Rock), Equitoria(Victory Moon) and probably the most impressive of the lot, Kingslayer(Rock Of Gibraltar). Then one thinks of Bernard Kantor’s hugely talented son of Dupont, Depardieu, who has not made an appearance this season yet since his glorious Gr3 Cape Nursery victory in May. That is a spread of horseflesh and blood that any trainer would give his eyeteeth for!

So easy! Equitoria and Karl Neisius seal the Kannemeyer double.

Markus Jooste’s Racing Manager, Derek Brugmann, was on course to lead both Kannemeyer winners in today. The smashing and classy Fastnet Rock colt Liancourt Rock was backed into 4-10 and made short work of his opponents in the Pick Six opener over 1200m. He has classic potential written all over him! Karl Neisius then won the sixth for Kannemeyer with the Victory Moon colt Equitoria enjoying the 1800m trip after two educational sprints. The Litchfield Stud-bred cost R320 000 at Vintage and didn’t beat the strongest of fields. But he did it with contemptuous ease.

Grant Van Niekerk reached a significant milestone in his short career when recording a century of winners when piloting the unfancied Piet Steyn-trained Blushing Grey to a surprise victory in the final race. The grey daughter of Dupont had visited the racecourse on seven previous occasions and had registered no stake earnings prior to today. She came out firing on the heavy going to beat the goodlooking Jet Master filly Razzle Dazzle Rose, who made an eyecatching debut. Harold Crawford’s Surging River filly Princessjacqueline continued to show improvement by running into third place. A huge disappointment here was the highly vaunted R1,9 million Mike Bass debutante Enchanting Cathy who ran a dismal race to finish over eleven lengths back in twelfth position. She probably deserves another chance, but has started her racing career on the wrong foot with punters.

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