Trainer Alec Laird and international owner Fred Crabbia teamed up to provide a surprise in last Tuesday evening’s R150 000 Listed Swallow Stakes run under the lights at Turffontein. Their Australian-bred Nona In Command was rewarded for her consistency with a smooth win.
After the scratching of Geoff Woodruff’s smart Ferrari Dawn, Kom Naidoo and jockey Fanie Chambers were expected to provide the fireworks with the SA Fillies Nursery winner King’s Temptress, who was despatched an 8-10 favourite. But it seems that the daughter of King Of Kings just cannot get into the winner’s enclosure for a second win.
With Katch losing one length at the jump, the field was quickly into stride and Danish Blue showed good toe, just ahead of Nona In Command and It’sgottobeme, with Sol’s Gold and Hlatikulu further back.
At the 400m marker Hennie Greyling sent Nona In Command on her way and she shot a few lengths clear with King’s Temptress battling to get past It’sgottobeme.
Nona In Command drew off to win by a length in a time of 66,75 secs.
She started at 14-1 and beat the 45-1 outsider Margot On Stage, who ran a cracker in second.
The odds-on favourite King’s Temptress once again ran on too late, for what was a rather weak 7,25 length third . She is proving very disappointing to follow. She runs off a merit rating of 99 and gave the winner (an 82 rating) 1,5kgs. Work that out.
The second favourite Danish Blue faded badly after showing nice pace under Piere Strydom to finish seventh and some twenty-one lengths behind. She was reported not striding out. It was a rare blank evening for Strydom, who also went missing on four favourites.
Nona In Command’s stablemate, the debut winner Hlatikulu, ran 26 lengths behind after receiving some solid betting support. She was reported to be lame afterwards.
Robbie Fradd replaced Gavin Lerena on Steve Kenny’s Katch, who ran last but was reported to have made an abnormal respiratory noise.
Bred in Australia by Kitchwin Hills, M Brown and M Malone, the winner is a daughter of Commands out of the High Yield mare, Bashaayer.
Darley’s Danehill stallion Commands is a leading sire of winners in Australia over the past three seasons and has produced nine Gr1 winners.
Nona In Command has now won twice with 5 places from 9 starts. She just about doubled her career earnings with this win to R188 750.
And she earned that first vitally important black-type credit, which, with her breeding, can only make her a valuable broodmare prospect.