Married In A Hurry

Listed Umngeni Handicap at Greyville on Saturday


One Better. The Mike De Kock trained Welwitschia looks set to shed her bridesmaid tag in the Listed Umngeni Handicap at Greyville on Saturday

The most beautifully bred bridesmaid on the card can bring the curtain down with a rousing encore in the final Super Saturday show. Mike De Kock’s Welwitschia looks to have the R 150 000 Listed Umngeni Handicap hers for the winning over the Greyville 1000m on Saturday evening.

The UK bred mare is consistency personified and despite having won 6 of her first 14 starts, has somehow managed to run second at 5 of her last 7 outings.

Slow Train

Her propensity to dwell at the start has bestowed upon her the frustrating label and cost her dearly. It won’t be in her favour that she is racing against some speedy sorts here in a 1000m race where nobody will be hanging around. Her 10 draw won’t help her cause either, but Anthony Delpech knows Welwitschia well and will be pointing her at the inside rail before they jump, with all of that speed on her inside.

And the daughter of Oasis Dream just doesn’t know how to run a poor race. Welwitschia has two top class seconds at her two most recent outings and last time got the better of champion What A Winter, when running second to the runaway grey All Is Secret in The Mercury Sprint.

She gave a half kilo to her younger rival, who beat her fair and square in the end. If she does not lose too much initiative at the start, this race could be hers for the taking.


Sharp Design

Fast. Ormond Ferraris’ Sharp Design could steal it out front with his electrifying pace

Her stablemate Honorine is a winner of 3 of her 9 starts, and probably registered her best ever effort at this venue with a third to War Horse in the 2012 Gr1 Golden Horseshoe. That was an outstanding effort and while she has remarkably won once ince, she is capable of a good effort from her 3 draw.

Ormond Ferraris’ Sharp Design is a 1000m specialist who is one of the quickest customers around. The Tommy Hotspur winner returned from a ten week break and showed good toe in an MR 100 Handicap on his return to action at the ‘July Day in Jozie’ meet at Turffontein.

He will improve on his narrow third to Gemmayze Street there and gets the services of the internationally experienced Weichong Marwing. He has won more than half of his career starts and must be taken seriously.

In The Bay

Piere Strydom and Dom Zaki team up with the Jallad 3yo, Jade Bay. The speedy and very capable gelding faces his first serious test and beat the capable De Var Hyt at his penultimate outing. He then gave 5kgs to Power Jet,who beat him narrowly next time of asking.

He steps into the champions season bullring here and even though he ran unplaced in the Gr2 Umkhomazi Stakes at Scottsville as a 2yo in his previous run in KZN, he may well have improved enough to challenge. Ignoring Strydom makes no sense, anyway!


Trainer Duncan Howells got lucky with a 1 draw and the speedy course and distance winner Guantanamera comes into the play.He was formerly trained by Jeff Freedman and the change of scenery may do the trick for him. Guantanamera was outclassed in the Computaform Sprint and was not striding out at his last start over two months ago. He could strip fresh in the hands of Alec Forbes.


Garth Puller’s coupling of Tetelestai and Jinzo have won a basket of 18 races between them, but neither inspire the world of confidence for a punt on the nose. The better of the two is probably Tetelestai who drawn nicely at 4 and has the speed to cope with the big guns.

The son of Bezrin is a course and distance winner and showed his ability when running on strongly last time out in an MR 104 Handicap. He finished only two lengths behind November Rain there, and the Snaith horse came out firing and pinched that race from the front. Tetelestai could be the surprise package if the top three fluff their lines.

Not Wide Enough?

Vaughan Marshall saddles The West Is Wide and Valdivia. The West Is Wide is 3kgs better off with Welwitschia on their  Post Merchants clash, where he finished 1,50 lengths behind her. That should make the difference, but it is worth noting that Welwitschia was going forward with her effort while The West Is Wide had nothing more to come in the latter stages of that contest. He has been disappointing.

The second Marshall runner is the 3yo filly Valdivia, who has a tough task, but has the speed to rattle their cages. She ran a fair second behind Victorian Secret at her penultimate start, but was then slow away when a tame ninth in a Pinnacle Stakes last time.

Place Hope

The rest look likely to have place prospects at the very best. Showmetheway is 2,5kgs better off with Welwitschia on the Post Merchants where he finished 1,25 lengths behind the De Kock mare. Showmetheway subsequently ran second behind Panama Man in a Conditions Plate at Clairwood to show his wellbeing. He has notdrawn well at 13, and will need some luck to overcome that hurdle.


Michael Roberts’ Mike’s Choice is a 5 time winning son of Tamburlaine. He has not found the winner’s enclosure since capturing the Post Merchants in June last year at this track and was not striding out the Mercury Sprint last time. He will need to improve dramatically. Joey Ramsden’s grey Indigo Magic gelding Shades Of Indigo has drawn on the wide outside and comes off a less than inspiring effort in the Mercury Sprint where he was not perservered with.

Shades Of Indigo may not have the pace to win this type of race, but will think that he hasn’t got a jockey on his back with only 54kgs to shoulder.  He should be running at them late, and if they go too fast early, he will be gaining late.


Welwitschia only needs to be in a striking position at the 300m marker to challenge for top honours. She is a confident selection to grab Sharp Design, while Tetelestai and Jade Bay may be best of the balance.

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