Pleasure – Or The Pain?

The lucky last - or the get-out stakes - it's wide open !

Vars Dream wins Sville debut

Var’s Dream impressed on winning debut

The KZN Yearling Sale Million run over 1300m on the turf will bring the curtain down on a dozen glorious races at Greyville on Saturday. With an outsider colt and a fancied filly having won the first two years, there isn’t much in the way of historical statistical pointers. And the fact that the youngsters are being exposed to racing under the lights early on, clouds the picture.

The principle of racing inexperienced juveniles under the lights was raised by trainers on the occasion of the inaugural Million, but those calls appear to have gone unheeded.

While it can be argued that the playing fields are level as they are all in the same boat, there are obvious associated behavioural issues– that can affect their commitment and have safety implications.

One All

The KZN Breeders introduced this incentive for qualifying graduates of the KZN Yearling Sale and it was won by Vaughan Marshall trained Ace Antonius in 2013. He started at 12-1 and got home from a 12 draw. He sadly never won another race and is campaigning down in PE these days.

In stark contrast, Duncan Howells’ Same Jurisdiction won the race in 2014 and went off at 6-1 from a 7 draw. The daughter of Mambo In Seattle has developed into a leader of her generation and followed up her victory in the Million with a Gr1 and Gr3 win.

She has recently run a Gr1 and Gr2 second and lines up on Saturday with an MR of 111 as a fancied runner in the Gr1 Garden Province Stakes.

A Pleasure

Royal Pleasure - big question mark against the extra

Royal Pleasure – big question mark against the extra

In the absence of too much form and official ratings, the Sporting Post ratings point to the speedy Gr3 Strelitzia Stakes winner Royal Pleasure.

The daughter of Visionaire won her first three races on the trot, but was beaten out of the money in the Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship, finishing 5,50 lengths behind Entisaar.

She jumps from a 12 draw at her first race on a turn – and while unquestionably the best performed runner in the field, her ability to stay the 1300m is the major question mark.

Corne Spies’ Gr3 Pretty Polly Stakes winner Speedy Suzy finished a half length ahead of Royal Pleasure in the Allan Robertson, and is drawn a good few gates closer to smoother passage.

These two look likely to be out of the gates and flashing early on.



Chosen Dash – a good prep

Charles Laird and Anton Marcus team up with the very interesting Muhtafal colt Chosen Dash, who won a cracker over 1200m on the polytrack on Sunday. He beat the dual Gauteng winner Malak El Moolook easily and could well be on the up.

He will certainly strip fit.

Robbie Hill-trained Var’s Dream won a cracker at any price on his Scottsville debut and impressed with a great turn of foot to beat Bank It. The latter was beaten over 7 lengths by Chosen Dash on Sunday, so the collateral is shaky – but there was something special about the manner of Var’s Dream’s win.

Watch the re-run here:

It is just a pity that he has drawn 12, but Fayd’herbe could drop him in and run at them.


Mike Azzie’s Hot August is one of the few with course and distance experience. He won his maiden over 1000m at his second start, but was well beaten by Muwaary on his KZN debut. His 3 draw will give his connections hope.

Natal wins Scottsville debut

Natal cruised in on debut

Michael Roberts’ Argonaut gelding Natal showed pace when winning his Scottsville 1000m maiden on his coconut. He beat Son Of Silver in a small field – and that one has gone on to run two fair races.

He could be anything.

His stablemate Durban Blues has run three seconds and one of those was on the Greyville polytrack. So experience will be there and he could improve to run a better race.

Sean Tarry’s Rikitikitana ran on strongly over the 1400m at Scottsville at his second start and was only narrowly beaten by Roy’s Ambassador.

He saw the track as a galloping companion at the July gallops and is an obvious inclusion in callculations.

Gray Duo

St John Gray has bought two to town and unfortunately the better one has drawn in the bush.

Shivering Sea beat Sapsan and Old Em to shed her maiden in a plate race at Turffontein over 1160m last time and the Boland Stud bred daughter of Captain Al looks likely to relish the step up in trip.

Her stablemate Night March got the 2 draw – but has lost form at his last two outings and cannot be fancied.

Trainer Duncan Howells won this race last year and he will be keen to repeat the feat. Against him is that he has drawn 17 with recent maiden winner Trini’s Collateral.

The daughter of Lateral improved in three starts to win going away by six lengths and is another who will enjoy the 1300m plus.


This is a very tough race to analyse.

Royal Pleasure would be a shoe-in over 200m shorter. She is talented and fast – and could get lucky. But she cannot be classed a betting proposition – both for her own stamina limitations and the unknowns amongst her opposition.

Chosen Dash won a good race on Sunday – and there is talk about Rikitikitana.

A minefield – so tread wearily.

2015-Vodacom-Durban-July (2)



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