Mauritius: Top Hatt

Princess Anne, Henry Cecil among big names on International Jockey's Day

Both Seattle Ice and jockey Glen  Hatt have had a relatively quiet time of it by their own very high standards this season, but that all changed on Saturday when they partnered to win our very last Group race of the season. Hatt in fact scored a double on the day to finish on 21 winners for the season and with just one meeting left the Capetonian will be looking for a few more winners.

THE ICEMAN

The Serge Henry-trained bay gelding started  favourite after a smart forward run in the Gold Cup just three weeks ago  and he appeared to relish the heavy going. The race looked a wide open  affair and with Seattle Ice’s consistent formline of having finished in the money in all of his starts here, he was heavily fancied by the punting fraternity. From the start, Saubestre and Solar Symbol  battled for early supremacy  and after  400 metres,  Solar Symbol was able to hit the front and set his own pace. Glen Hatt had Seattle Ice stationed in midfield and was slowly improving his position to travel just behind Solar Symbol and Saubestre. This group was followed by the fancied  Captain’s Knock  with Johnny Geroudis up, and behind him were  Senor Versace , Just Banter ,  Gliding High  and Major Storm.  The pace picked up a notch or two in the back straight but the positions remained unchanged. At the 600 metres mark, Captain’s Knock started his customary forward move and Seattle Ice followed him to turn into  the final straight two abreast. Both  Solar Symbol and Saubestre  weakened at this point.  Senor Versace was staying on one-paced as Seattle Ice ran on well to hit the front . Captain’s Knock lacked a  finish and faded out. Just Banter and Gliding High were the only two horses to run on but only to secure the second and third place respectively. With the win by Seattle Ice, the Serge Henry stable is now second on the trainers log. Our final race meeting will be very important for both the Maigrot and Serge Henry stables as they battle it out for second place on the 2010 podium.

Robbie Burke who is already the champion jockey for the season here won his 33rd race on  outsider, Flirt With Fame. French jockey Edouard Lacaille and Mauritian apprentice, Roby Bheekary were lucky not to get injured from a very bad fall in the seventh race

JUST DIVINE

Glen Hatt completed the double on Divine Crusader. The latter travelled in second position behind Happy Al and Richard Fourie throughout and though he hung out under pressure in the final straight, he managed to run on to win smartly. Happy Al finished second. Cape-bound French jockey Cédric Ségéon secured his second place on the log with a nice double. Trainer Ricky Maingard’s jockey won the second race with the newcomer, Day Of Reckoning who travelled amongst  the back markers throughout and,  though encountering traffic problems at a crucial moment, the Maingard charge produced a nice turn of foot to pip Pine Nut on the line. Ségéon then had to wait until the seventh race to win with Dealers Choice. The Maingard-trained bay gelding travelled close to the pacemakers in sharp contrast to his usual style of racing, and proved to be the better finisher to edge the favorite, King’s Shilling in the last 100 metres.

SOME CHEER

Johnny Geroudis had something of an up-and-down day  and was very disappointed with Cocktail Parade,  who he regarded as the banker bet of the day. The Gilbert Rousset charge did not enjoy the heavy going and finished unplaced. Geroudis, however, balanced the books and saved some face when he won the last race on the card on the outsider Cheerful News in the last race on the card. Cheerful News kicked on nicely in the final 200 metres to beat City Of Choice. Robbie Burke had a winner  with the outsider, Flirt With Fame, in the third race.  Flirt With Fame travelled among the back markers from the start and quickened well at the 400 metres to turn into the final straight on a par with Powder Snow . Powder Snow was  game for some distance but weakened in the last 75 metres,  leaving Flirt With Fame to run away and win the contest..

Two Mauritian jockeys visited the winner’s enclosure on the day. Rye Joorawon benefited largely from some poor riding by apprentices Horil on Mobschief and Bheekary on Marrakesh to win on the favourite Multi Dimention in the first race. The  two apprentices cut throats and battled for the lead throughout and never settled their horses. Nishal Teeha produced an intelligent ride with Pantaneira in the fifth race  to win nicely. The former Plattner horse proved to be at ease on the heavy going and he showed lots of guts at the finished to win by a short head from Saziwayo. .

ROYAL REPORT

Reliable sources have indicated that French jockey, Cédric Ségéon, will ride in the Western Cape from 2 December. Joey Ramsden has rejected reports that he has signed the Frenchman, but has said that he will support him as and when rides are available.  Ramsden said the Frenchman was clearly very talented but that the stable had prior commitments to their own jockeys. It is believed that trainer Ricky Maingard is the man behind Segeon’s Cape sortie.

There will sadly be no South African jockey participating in the Top Stars category at  the International Jockeys’ Weekend’. According to reports, Anton Marcus was invited by the MTC but the South African has prior commitments and could not make it. He has been replaced by Frenchman, Davy Bonilla. The final two jockeys invited are William Buick (England) for ‘Top Stars’ and Juan Paul van der Merwe  to represent the  ‘Rising Stars’.

With Royalty in the news at the moment, the MTC is proud to announce that Princess Anne will be present at The International Jockeys’ Weekend. She will hand over the Trophy to the winner of the race reserved for the lady riders  of the Fegentri. Other personalities expected to be present are famous English trainer,  Henry Cecil and the ‘Présidents de la Fédération International des Autorités Hippiques’, Louis Romanet.

***********************

THIS WEEKEND IN MAURITIUS

LOOKING FOR APPROVAL

The Mandron Touring Paris Challenge Cup to be run over 1365m is the feature event at our final regular meeting of this season. Returning from a six week break,  Steel Of Approval rises in class, but should nevertheless prove a tough nut to crack. The Gilbert Rousset charge’s prospects will be substantially enhanced if allowed to dictate his own pace.

The presence of a couple of fast horses in the field that like to race up front could make his task very difficult though. Prince Paseo is also looking to register a fifth win this season. In the Vincent Allet charge’s favour is that he can race handy or dictate his own pace. With Indian jockey Imran Chisty on board, he should be a serious contender for victory. African Dancer is a consistent sort and a yet another solid front-runner. Constellation beat him on the line in his last start and that was a very good effort. He is very effective on heavy going and as the track is likely to be wet on Saturday, that should be prove an advantage for the Perdrau charge.

Summer Exposure is a consistent sort and if things go his way, he could easily win this. The Maigrot stable’s grey gelding is holding his form well. He is one of the best finishers in the field and with a reasonable weight to carry; he stands a good chance of striking. While Cult Status seems a little bit off form, he can upset this lot on his day, if he manages to set his own pace.

The former Joey Ramsden-trained son of National Assembly, Pablo,  is coming back to form fast. He finished a good second in his last start and his chances of landing in  the winner’s enclosure for the second time this season are good. Stateship is yet another fellow who is coming to hand. He has finished in the money in his last two starts and if stripping fitter and finding a finish, he could also win it. Cormorant Pass has been very disappointing lately and his chances are difficult to assess as are those of  Desert Storm, as the distance looks a little o the short side for him.

A tough race – it’s Steel Of Approval or the field. And it will all boil down to riding tactics and a lot of luck in the running.

Nominations: African Dancer, American Emblem, Cormorant Pass, Cult Status, Desert Storm, Odysseus, Pablo, Prince Paseo, Sea Of Galilee, Soviet Sun, Stateship, Steel Of Approval, Stunning Do, Summer Exposure.

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