The Classic Endures

Forest Digger wins the Lakeside Handicap

Forest Digger stays on best to win the R100 000 Lakeside Handicap at Fairview (Coastal Photos)

Forest Digger stays on best to win the R100 000 Lakeside Handicap at Fairview (Coastal Photos)

The staying ranks in the Eastern Cape  is always a source of great racing entertainment, and Friday’s supporting feature, the R100 000 Lakeside Handicap, was no exception. Mitch Wiese produced the solid galloper Forest Digger in fine fettle and Warren Kennedy added the finishing touches in an exciting finish.

The non black type race only attracted ten runners and all the talk was for the Alan Greeff trained Drumminor.  But after stalking the leading group, the son of Western Winter had nothing to offer when it counted and disappointed his supporters at a well backed 16 to 10.

The consistent Forest Digger was in a galloping mood though and he was produced in the closing stages to stay on resolutely.

Forest Digger went off at 7 to 1 and won by 1,25 lengths in a time of 151,67 secs.

The former Joey Ramsden runner Crown Of Gold found some of his form of old in his first start for Tara Laing and ran a nice second after threatening down the inside halfway down the straight.

Key Castle ran on well for third, while Gianduja ran fourth and shaded the much trumped favourite Drumminor, who was always battling.

The longtime pacemaker Ice Flag flopped in the blinkers and faded right out.

Flashback to Classic Flag winning the 1998 Rothman's July under Anthony Delpech

Flashback to Classic Flag winning the 1998 Rothman’s July under Anthony Delpech

Forest Digger is a Botha family homebred and is by Classic Flag out of the twice winning Forest King mare, Gold Forest. Interestingly she only won up to 1000m.

A son of Danzig stallion Allied Flag, the Clifton Stud bred  Classic  Flag won the Rothmans July in the hands of Anthony Delpech in 1998 beating  Faralmond and Golden Hoard. He cost his very lucky owner, the late Professor Herbst,  just R20 000 as a yearling.

A horse built on the small side but with the heart of a lion, Classic Flag retired from stud duties in 2011.

The stakes placed 5yo Forest Digger has won 8 of his 28 starts with 9 places and R471 050.

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