Meaker’s Magic Machine

No Star? Anthony Delpech's doubts about his chances were scuttled as Tajmeel cruises home.

For those fatalists preaching that horseracing is a dying game, some fuel would have been provided by the sponsors of the final event at Scottsville on Tuesday 3 April, where the Baker and Baker Undertakers Maiden Plate closed the eight race programme.

It was an entertaining afternoon at the picturesque track in the Capital City of KwaZulu-Natal. The 51mm of rain that had fallen in the past week left the track with a pen reading of 25 and going that declared officially as ‘slightly soft.’

With cigarette,  and no doubt booze sponsors,  a threatened species, the sport of kings is not in  a position to discriminate  and Baker and Baker Undertakers must be the first of their particular trade to associate themselves with the sponsorship of a horse race.

The race itself was no funeral procession either with the favourite Tajmeel leading from start to finish under Anthony Delpech to win going away. The Australian-bred daughter of Nadeem was cautiously described pre- race by Anthony Delpech as ‘no star and not a 5-10 shot.’ In a weak field the result was never in doubt though for Mike De Kock’s three year old.

Machine! Anton Marcus steers Ice Machine to an impressive win.

We saw a promising three year old today at Scottsville. The Silvano gelding Ice Machine wiped the floor with his six older opponents in a display of power galloping that spoke of plenty to come.

The final leg of the jackpot, an MR88 Handicap run over a mile, was the highest rated event of the day. Garth Puller is one of the shrewdest and patient horseman around and he has enjoyed great success as the manager of his brother Glen’s very successful Hollywood sponsored satellite operation at Clairwood.

Puller has brought Gladys and Roy Meaker’s gelding along slowly and he has now won three of five starts. His chief adversary Chill led from King’s Call  into the straight, but Anton Marcus produced the handsome bay in the final 300m to win readily. He showed that his last Greyville effort was all wrong by turning the tables comprehensively on the older Fastnetrock at one kilo worse terms today than when beaten last time.

Described by Puller as a laid back horse that ‘sleeps all day’ and should ‘ go a bit further’, he will avoid a confrontation with the big guns in Champions Season and be allowed to come into his own as a four year old. This patient approach can only pay dividends.

The Meaker family had to wait just a few hours to celebrate another Silvano winner, when Golden Crest won the fifth race in their silks at Turffontein under the lights for Geoff Woodruff.

Great Scott! Piet Du Toit leads That So Atso in after her debut win.

Winning Form sponsored Duncan Howells and jockey Keegan Latham celebrated a double in the second and third races. In the PA opener, a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1200m, the 11-20 favourite Alborada Lady disappointed again after making an auspicious debut in a feature race. The De Kock filly ‘with a touch of class’ as suggested by Delpech plodded into third and she will have to improve plenty.

It was left to the 50-1 shot That So Atso to make an impressive winning debut. In spite of having shown  speed in her work, she was allowed to start at Chrsitmas odds but won readily. This was a first winner for  Scott Brothers American stallion Atso.

Howells and Latham delivered the goods in the next race when the consistent Albarahin filly Point Of Power led all the way at 13-10 to beat a weak field in the Fillies and Mares Maiden Plate run over 1200m. Howells owns the Chris Saunders bred filly.

The MR86 Handicap run over 1200m threw up a tricky opening first jackpot leg. Highwayman’s Gold  and Strike Paradise made the pace here but it was the Sean Tarry-trained  Always Al, who  swept up wide to hold the storming Tipo Tinto. Always Al loves KZN and won his fourth race from eleven starts for owner Chrsi Van Niekerk.  The favourite Indian Connection and the newly blinkered Auto Pilot, who could only finish fourth, will go down as disappointments.

Sutherfeni and Blonde Ambition set a cracking pace in the Fillies and Mares MR81 Handicap over 1400m. In the home stretch there was only one horse in it though as Des Egdes’ Miss Filly streaked clear wide out under Apprentice Bryan Classen to record her third win with ease. Egdes said afterwards that Claassen  had been working the filly and he had ridden her perfectly to instructions. Now rising seven, the daughter of Modern Day somehow feels like she has been around forever, but this was only her 29th run.

One Eyed Jack! Political Playboy streaks clear to win under Sean Cormack.

Glen Kotzen recently settled his KZN Champions Season raiding party into his satellite base at Summerveld, and he would have been thrilled with the performance of Political Playboy who doddled in to win the MR76 Handicap over a mile.

Billy Boy Blues and Africa towed the field along with Political Playboy about 6 lengths off early. The one-eyed Australian bred three year old was brought down the wide outside by Sean Cormack to win smoothly under the hands at a generous 13-2.

It was a particularly valiant effort by a horse with a disability at his first try at a right handed track and he has now won two from six starts. He is owned by bloodstock man Andy Williams and Glen Kotzen.

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