Ashburton trainer Duncan Howells looks to have another very decent potential classic prospect on his hands and his Australian-bred Ten Gun Salute earned himself a host of new fans when streaking to victory in Sunday’s R150 000 Listed Michael Roberts Handicap at Greyville.
The feature is named in honour of 61 year old Michael ‘Muis’ Roberts, an eleven time Champion jockey of South Africa and 1992 Champion jockey of Britain, who trains horses these days out of Summerveld.
A neck injury, resulting from a fall in the UK in 2001, led Roberts to retire from riding and, as always, he was on track to hand over the trophies.
The race, usually run at Scottsville, was contested over the Greyville turf 1800m and presented a tricky handicap puzzle as it usually does, with a mixed bunch lining up.
Howells’ lightly raced colt was the only 3yo in the fourteen horse field, but went off a well supported 17-10 shot, and didn’t let the side down.
And it looked tight in the final 300m as Gavin Van Zyl’s power galloping 7yo Silver Spring appeared to have poached a winning break in the hands of the in-form Warren Kennedy, after Serissa had led for a long way.
But Muzi Yeni, who had recovered quickly from an awful fall at the Vaal a few days earlier, was full of fire and never stopped riding his mount, who went on to win by 0,25 lengths in a time of 107,67 secs.
Yeni scored a treble on the afternoon.
Garth Puller’s polytrack performer Way Of Light ran on nicely for third, a further two lengths back.
Dean Kannemeyer-trained Solar Star stayed on gamely for fourth.
Ten Gun Salute, an Australian-bred son of Henrythenavigator, topped the final session of the CTS Lanzerac Ready To Run Sale. David Allan of Allan Bloodlines bid R1,15-million for the Australian-bred.
The colt, who had been snapped up for just A$10,000 at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale ten months earlier, boasts impressive credentials as a half-brother to ten winners, headed by Gr3 South Australia Classic victress Red Typhoon (Hold That Tiger) and the Stakes-placed Bella Princess (Flying Spur).
He is out of the Bluebird mare, Ladybird Blue, a Gr1 placed dual Stakes winner and traces in her female line to Noble Lassie, the dam of Vaguely Noble.
Ten Gun Salute has now won 3 from 6 with 2 places and took his stakes earned to R227 000.