Milnerton trainer Paul Reeves probably wouldn’t have been doing a lot of dancing after breaking his foot on New Year’s Eve, but he may have done a little jig on Friday as his game Stagelight filly Nonki Poo travelled to Port Elizabeth and grabbed the lion’s share of the R150 000 Listed Lady’s Bracelet.
The first PE meeting of 2015 was a memorable one for Reeves’ colleague Justin Snaith as he saddled three winners in the first six races.
But the Snaith fortunes turned in the feature, with their fancied 15 to 10 favourite Highly Decorated failing to stay the mile, while her 14 to 1 stablemate Lupin was an unlucky last stride loser.
Reeves’ Stagelight mare Nonki Poo has always been found wanting at the highest level and in the circumstances it was a shrewd move for Reeves to allow her to take her chances at grabbing some black type and decent pocket money in the Eastern Cape.
Reeves had successfully performed the same trick with the Var filly Sea Cat (now with Mike De Kock in Dubai) who won the Breeders Guineas and the Listed East Cape Guineas in early 2014.
With Silver Spirit withdrawn at the start, the Bracelet field was reduced to just nine runners and Music Affair was the early leader from La Salle, Miss Imperial, Coco and a relaxed Nonki Poo, with Lupin and Nice Catch in front of Diva’s Daughter.
Into the final 350m Lupin and Coco came forward with Highly Decorated under a ride and going nowhere fast down the outside.
Lupin drew away under replacement rider Robert Khathi at the 250m marker and looked a winner, but JP van der Merwe had other ideas and he had Cape visitor Nonki Poo in full stride.
Under an inspired ride, the daughter of Stagelight stormed home and got up to nab Lupin by 0,25 lengths in a time of 100,79 secs
Nonki Poo was bred by Erhard Strooh, in whose yellow and red silks she races.
She is out of the twice winning Special Preview mare, La Special.
Nonki Poo has now won 6 races with 8 places from her 34 starts and R350 180 in stakes.
In a bad start to the new year, jockey Sandile Khathi broke his collar bone earlier in the meeting.