Isn’t This Basic Stuff?

Michael Roberts debutante wins feature in thriller

When are the National Horseracing Authority and the racing operator in KZN going to sort out the volume on their false start signal? A null and void race again marred what looked to be a well patronised Sunday meeting at Scottsville.


In this blanket finish, Keagan De Melo gets Seatops’ head down on the line

This wasn’t the greatest weekend for South African horseracing.

Two days – two incidents. That’s not a great strike rate, when you are talking seemingly mostly avoidable negative nonsense.

With runners loaded for the Scottsville fifth, jockey Keagan De Melo and the handler were attempting to readjust a bridle that had slipped over the head of the Mark Dixon runner Dundrum, when the Assistant Starter (who may need a pair of specs) gave the all-clear from the rear.

The Starter released the field and then realised what was going on in stall-gate five, calling a false start.

Some jockeys heard it, some didn’t.

Anthony Delpech rides Music World

Anthony Delpech – the winner that wasn’t

Anthony Delpech steered the well supported Magic Memory home to win easily.

Only two options are left to the Stipes once the Starter has declared a false start – either rerun the race or void it.

What a disappointment – and even though Chief Stipe Shaun Parker said that ‘aspects would be looked at’, how are we supposed to believe it? After all, this is not the first time this ‘recall defect’ has been a culprit.


  1. Shortly before the start was effected the bridle on DUNDRUM (K de Melo) slipped over this mare’s ears which resulted in Jockey K de Melo removing his feet from the irons in order for the handler to re-fit the bridle. This resulted in Jockey de Melo not being seated when the start was effected and DUNDRUM leaving the starting stalls rider-less.  The Starter called a no start.  The balance of the field continued to Race to the finish.  Acting in terms of Rule, the Stipendiary Board had no option but to declare this Race a “no RACE” and abandoned it.  The Stipendiary Board will investigate the reasons for the riders failing to respond to the false start.     

Only nine runners lined up in the afternoon’s feature, the R150 000 KZN 3yo Series Fillies 1200.

The 1200m non black-type feature was the first leg of the 3-year-old Series for Fillies.

The unfancied debutante Seatops spooked favourite backers when Keagan De Melo produced her at double digit odds with a sustained burst to get up in the last stride and beat the odds-on shot Anime by a short head in a time of 70,22 secs.

Seatops lead in

A thrilled Dr Nic Labuschagne leads Seatops (Keagan De Melo) in after a thrilling debut win

Only a quarter length covered the top four, with Just Vogue getting the better of Accidental Tourist for third.

The favourite Anime was under a hard ride by Sean Veale in the latter stages and her lack of discipline when running around late (Vine Street Star suffered most), undoubtedly cost her the race.

A R70 000 National Yearling Sale buy, the Wicklow Stud-bred Seatops is a daughter of Mambo In Seattle out of the one-time winning Captain Al mare, Seatops.

The Michael Roberts-trained Seatops has a 100% record from her one run and put her owner Dr Nic Labuschagne into credit, banking R93 750.

Duncan Howells

Duncan Howells – Savannah Cat disappoints

After the top ticket R5,2 million buy Horizon had made an undistinguished debut at Kenilworth on Wednesday, another high priced item opened her account at Scottsville.

The Lammerskraal bred Savannah Cat, a R4,75 million National Yearling Sale purchase by Fort Wood stepped out in the first at Scottsville for Duncan Howells.

Supported into 33-10, she was beaten 8,85 lengths out of the money by the Mike De Kock Aussie-bred first timer, Dame Eleanor.

She should improve on this and deserves another chance.

bsa graduate_web winner

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