Magic Ride By Keanen Steyn

Gavin Smith yard in the winner's box

Keanen Steyn took the opportunity of a second hand substitute ride to grab the feature honours at Fairview on Friday when he guided Gavin Smith’s Zatara Magic to an exciting win in the R175 000 non black-type Glenlair Trophy.

Originally carded to be ridden by the indisposed Craig Zackey, and then replaced by Marco van Rensburg, the difficult customer Zatara Magic found a new best mate in the shape of Keanen Steyn who gave him an ‘impeccable ride’, in the words of champion trainer Gavin Smith, to win a muddling pace 2800m feature.

Keanen Steyn has Zatara Magic in control (Pic – Pauline Herman)

With the leader Meddler’s Tart crawling along out front under Louis Mxothwa, and eventual winner Zatara Magic under a tight hold in his slipstream, Richard Fourie took the 5-4 favourite Bournemouth around the field to briefly challenge Meddler’s Tart for the role of the hare.

Bournemouth stayed in touch a few lengths off the leader, but he never really looked comfortable and was to run accordingly.

On the flipside, Keanen Steyn found things unfolding perfectly as he got Zatara Magic (13-2) to challenge the game leader Medlers Tart (7-2), eventually getting the better of her to go by and win by 1,25 lengths.

The winner’s time of 180,28 secs was over 6 seconds outside the 2800m course record of 174,80 secs set by the Meadowville filly What A Card in December 1989.

Great Affair (66-1) looked dangerous late and  boosted the trifecta, running into third but appearing to contribute to the traffic issues experienced by the winner’s late finishing stablemate, Peace IN Our World (9-2).

Keanen Steyn explained afterwards that the jockeys were ‘yanking more than what we’d like to, while trying to get round the bend’.

“Zatar Magic was an angel. He never fought and gave me when I asked,” he added.

Hollywoodbets-sponsored winning trainer Gavin Smith that Meddlers Tart leading had worked perfectly for his charge.

“He is a bit of a a bull in a china shop. Getting him to settle is one thing. But then he often doesn’t turn it one when asked. Keanen (Steyn) is an old friend of our yard and he rode and impeccable race on a superbly fit horse,” added the veteran conditioner.

The extremely versatile winner, who extraordinarily shed his maiden as a juvenile over 1200m in 2022 under New Zealand champion jockey elect Warren Kennedy, has won at non black-type feature level on the all-weather over 1900m, and won at his first try over 2800. So he really is versatility personified!

A Summerhill bred son of the Bloomhill-based Brave Tin Soldier stallion Rabada, the winner is out of the five time winning Parade Leader mare Maritime Mist who scored up to 2200m.

A R120 000 November 2yo Sale graduate, Zatara Magic has won 4 races with 7 places from 24 starts for stakes of R407 714.

Honours were evenly spread on the day, with Kelly Mitchley and Smanga Khumalo enjoying a race-to-race double.

We received a number of queries regarding the circumstances of the Silvery Blue jockey substitution and eventual scratching, and the delay in the fourth race. More on that later.

 

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