It has not been a great week for the KZN starter. After the fun and games at Scottsville on Wednesday, a false start to the opening feature on Rising Sun Gold Challenge day at Greyville on Saturday drew gasps of shock and horror from punters and connections.
Inexperienced two year olds and big days are a toxic mix and false starts are the last thing anybody needs.
Ten youngsters lined up for the R135 000 Listed Gatecrasher Stakes and things were going smoothly until Skip The Red reared and forced his gate a moment before the rest were sprung. The starter was obliged to make a split second call and there will be many arguments for and against.
They were sent on their way again and Weichong Marwing took the favourite Daffiq out to lead from Lee’s Star and Buffalo Soldier.
Keagan De Melo had Palladium relaxed at the back.
Into the 400m Daffiq continued to gallop strongly and looked to be comfortable in front as challenges from Buffalo Soldier and Lee’s Star fizzled.
At the 200m Palladium had taken off and cut Daffiq’s lead with every stride to get up and win going away by a neck in a time of 84,97 secs.
This victory was a mirror image of his debut win over 200m shorter when he had taken off from nowhere.
The start troublemaker Skip The Red made a miraculous recovery to run on powerfully for third.
Trainer Charles Laird said that Alesh Naidoo had found Palladium at sale.
“We had a mission for July day and we are two thirds of the way there,” he said.
Alesh Naidoo confirmed that he had loved Palladium when he saw him and went to R1,7 million for him at the 2015 National Yearling Sale.
“I was shocked at the Bookies pricing him at 40 to 1. This if for Avontuur and Pippa,” he said.
Bred by Avontuur, Palladium hails from a superb Gr1 winning family and is a son of champion sire Silvano out of the four-time winning Eliiodor mare, Minelli.
The grand mare produced yet another black type winner and Avontuur’s Pippa Mickleburgh was elated.
“Palladium joins his half siblings Val De Ra,Mitra and Tevez to mark this super mare’s great service to the farm.Well done to loyal supporter and friend Alesh Naidoo and master trainer Charles Laird!” she said.
Given the Silvano influence, Palladium looks an athlete with plenty of scope.
Palladium is unbeaten in two starts and took his stakes earnings to R134 375 – that amount excludes the BSA Added Value Stakes Bonus of R77 500.
The further he goes, the more effective he is likely to be and the future looks bright for the exciting 2yo.