Fairview 18th March: The locals got off to a nice start in Port Elizabeth on Friday when the Gavin Smith trained IN A RUSH did the business in the opening juvenile event over 1100m. Always in the red, the son of Windrush got away well when the gates opened and was soon up handy. He was asked to take up the running as they approached the 200m marker and only having to be ridden hands and heels from there onwards, he comfortably accounted for the front running newcomer CALLUM’S RILL by three and a quarter.
The easiest victory on the card was undoubtedly that of PRINCESS ALBERTA who came home smoking in the first of the afternoon’s two feature events, the listed Eastern Cape Fillies Nursery. Sent off a well supported favourite at 12/10 (opened 22/10), Joey Ramsden’s charge raced prominent throughout. She moved through to take up the running 250m from home and without ever having to engage the upper gears, she cruised in by three and a half.
The stable of Joey Ramsden were also on the mark in the listed Breeders Guineas over 1600m when as expected IN LIKE FLYNN landed the spoils. Sent off at the prohibitive odds of 3/10, this grey daughter of National Assembly flyjumped at the start and as a result quickly found herself at the back of the field. The pace was a sedate one in the early stages though and turning for home she was only four lengths off the leaders. She clearly had a ton in hand as she struck the front 150m from home and eased down late, she went on to win a lot more easily than the form book will reflect.
Having her first outing since relocating from the Western Cape, and racing over a trip which will prove to be well short of her best, TURBODANCE ran on well from the rear in the maiden event over 1000m and did well to get up for third.
PINMAC came from towards the rear when getting up in the dying strides to win the maiden event over 1600m.
Turffontein 19th March: They raced on the inner track on Saturday where the easiest victory in the maiden ranks was recorded by STRIKE A LIGHT (40) in the 1800m event. Sent off a rather uneasy favourite at 5/2, Weiho Marwing’s charge was quickly steered over from a wide draw by M J Odendaal and raced in midfield. He cut through the field with ease at the top of the short home straight and after striking the front 330m from home, he drew clear easily in the closing stages to beat the well tried KENTANO by eight and a half.
That wasn’t the easiest victory on the card though, that honour went to the easy to back CAMPO DE SANTANA (40) who opened his account on turf in the MR78 affair over 2600m. Freely available at 25/1 on the off, the son of Camden Park raced towards the back end of midfield during the early part of the race. He was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 400m marker and clearly relishing the soft underfoot conditions, as well as the continual rain, he bolted clear to score by twelve.
The afternoon’s feature event was a MR94 Handicap over 1450m and here the stable of Weiho Marwing were again on the mark when JEDI JOSHUA (60) registered his fourth career victory. On leaving the stalls it was the easy to back Cape visitor STORMINATEACUP who elected to set the pace, whilst Jedi Joshua sat close up in fourth. The veteran SWORDSMITH was the first to make a move coming off the strip and after striking the front 500m out, he never showed any signs of stopping. Jedi Joshua ran on stoutly at the business end of the race though, and with the rest well beaten, he got up late to win by a half.
After the running of race six the remainder of the meeting was abandoned due to the unsafe condition of the track.
Runner up to San Clemente in the maiden event over 1600m, the poorly drawn TRIPPLE SEVEN was running on stoutly at the finish.
Kenilworth 19th March: The 3yo KALATION caught the eye running on stoutly when second in a workrider’s maiden plate last time out and so it was no surprise to see him go one better in a similar event here. Sent off a rather uneasy favourite at 28/10 (opened 22/10), Dean Kannemeyer’s charge was always in touch with the leaders. Kalation quickened well at the business end of the race and with the pacemaker falling shortly after he took up the running 250m out, he went on to win very easily by six and a half.
A MR96 Handicap over 1000m topped the bill and in what proved to be a real thriller, victory here went to the 5yo HOWDOULIKEMENOW. On leaving the stalls it was ISIDINGO who not surprisingly elected to set the pace and he was very quickly six lengths clear. As is usually the case with Ronnie Sheehan’s charge though, just when you think that he is going to win, his stride begins to shorten. Howdoulikemenow and MONSIEUR DUPONT ran on best over the final 200m and inseparable all the way to the wire, it was only by the narrowest of margins that Joey Ramsden’s charge got the verdict.
Race eight on the card was a MR78 Handicap over 1400m and here we saw a nice performance from the Yogis Govender trained FIRST LAD. Not the quickest into stride, First Lad raced at the back of the eight during the early part of the race. Once in the straight though, he steadily began to work his way through the field and under a well judged ride from Andrew Fortune, he got up nicely late to beat CASTLE ROCK by a length.
Racing in the rear turning for home, the 15/10 favourite XERXES was out of his ground when the race began in earnest and did well to get within two and a half lengths of the winner Locked On Target.
Clairwood 20th March: A maiden juvenile event over 1000m got proceedings underway in Natal on Sunday and here we saw an impressive performance from the newcomer SUGAR BERRY BABE (28). Freely available at 33/1 on the off, the daughter of Mogok was a little slow into stride and with the experienced NOBLE DREAMS setting a hot pace, she soon found herself some seven lengths in arrears. She had made only negligible headway on passing halfway, but as they approached the 300m pole, she suddenly found another gear. Sugar Berry Babe fairly flew from there onwards and in what proved to be a real thriller, she got up in the very last stride.
Another to win in impressive style on this card was BEACH BEAUTY (72) who registered her third career victory from just four starts in the graduation event over 1450m. As with the race won by Sugar Berry Babe, the frontrunner, MISS ZUMMERUDD, set a very brisk pace. Beach Beauty had been drawn wide and although she was positioned in midfield turning for home, she still had a good five lengths to make up. Miss Zummerudd kept on strongly down the long Clairwood straight and even 200m from home, it looked as if she would go on to score. Beach Beauty produced a very nice turn of foot below the distance though and in eyecatching style she went on to score by a length and a quarter.
A Pinnacle Stakes over 2500m topped the bill and here victory went to the recent non black type Umsinzi Handicap winner WHITE MISCHIEF (65). Allowed to drift out to 28/10 from 2/1 at the track, although still maintaining her position at the top of the boards, Joey Ramsden’s charge was always handy. She ran on best of all at the business end of the race and under a well judged ride from Glen Hatt, she got up late to deny the nibbled at ANTONIA FRASER.
Shouldering 62kg and racing over a trip short of her best, LEGAL ACCOUNT was gaining rapidly on both Outback King and Western Baby at the finish of the MR80 Handicap over 1000m and would surely have won with another 30m or so to travel.
After losing two lengths at the start, the newcomer PUNK ROYALE raced in the rear of the maiden event over 1200m and caught the eye running on very nicely down field.