The Race That Wasn’t

Riding instructions queried by Stipes

For those of us who have never ridden in a race, it is difficult to criticise or understand the principle of allowing an opposing jockey to take the initiative and build up a lead of 12 lengths or more.

But it would be interesting to hear from the nine jockeys who allowed Marco van Rensburg to, apparently ride them to sleep in Sunday’s Listed The Sledgehammer.

Marco van Rensburg and Orpheus – walk in the park (Pic – Candiese Marnewick)

Most of us in the game talk from our pockets. But the visual spectacle of Marco van Rensburg’s beautiful burgle on the Azzie-trained Orpheus was something to behold.

Coming into the Greyville short straight, Orpheus held a lead of some eight lengths with no visible panic from any of the professionals behind him. Were they expecting Orpheus to fold? He had gone quite quickly…

But the big son of Western Winter with the elastic stride simple powered home to maintain his lead to win by 6,75 lengths in a time of 106,64 secs.

In a largely academic outcome, Roy Had Enough was second, with Our Coys a further 1,30 lengths away in fourth.

The 33-10 favourite Eyes Wide Open finished 8,65 lengths back in fourth.

“When I saw Anton Marcus take back on Eyes Wide Open, I thought okay boys let’s see how quickly we gonna go now,” said Marco van Rensburg after a race that would have given him plenty of satisfaction.

Mike Miller saddled the Gauteng based winner on behalf of the Azzies.

The R2 million National Yearling Sale graduate was bred by Drakenstein Stud and is by Western Winter (Gone West) out of the seven time winner Stratos (Jet Master), who was also trained by Mike Azzie.

He has won 5 races with 6 places from 13 starts for stakes of R434 924..


  1. ORPHEUS (M V’Rensburg), the winner, was selected for the taking of specimens for analysis. Trainer M Miller acting for Trainer M/A Azzie advised. (RJ)
  2. ROY HAD ENOUGH (AUS) (B Fayd’Herbe), placed second, was selected for the taking of specimens for analysis. Trainer F Robinson advised.  (DA)
  3. OUR COYS (AUS) (W Kennedy) was hanging in on the bend and into the straight.
  4. In view of the performance of SHENANIGANS (M Yeni) (10.95 lengths) the Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine this horse.
  5. Certain of the riders who headed the field in this Race appeared before the Board. They were questioned in regard to the instructions given for the running and riding of their respective mounts as well as the manner in which the Race unfolded.  This matter was adjourned for the Board to consider the riders’ statements.

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