Scottsville 5th April: A maiden juvenile event over 1200m got proceedings underway in Natal on Tuesday afternoon and here we saw a very smart performance from the newcomer VENETIAN LADY (33). Always top of the boards, despite easing out to 2/1 joint favourite from 14/10 at the track, Dennis Drier’s charge raced prominent throughout. She was asked to take up the running as they approached the 300m marker and with nothing else running on, she cruised clear in the closing stages of the race to score by seven.
Well in at the weights in the graduation event over 1000m, Venetian Lady’s stable companion NEVER FOREVER (73) always looked to be the best bet on the card, and he didn’t let down his followers. Another market leader to ease out in the betting (7/10 from 5/10), Never Forever was always close to the speed. His only serious rival in the betting market ALLOCATION made the running and seeking a hattrick here, showed no signs of stopping. Never Forever quickened nicely after switching out for a run at the business end of the race though and asked to do no more than was necessary after striking the front close home, he went on to score by three quarters.
In terms of distance, the easiest victory on the card was recorded by KEY TO SUCCESS (28) in the maiden event over 1600m. Nibbled at into 13/2 from 8’s at the track, the son of Qui Danzig was taken straight to the front by Musi Yeni and led throughout. He quickened well at the top of the straight and tripled the three lengths advantage that he had held turning for home, before crossing the line.
A MR88 Handicap over 1400m topped the bill and here we saw a nice performance from the well supported favourite SAUNA’S ROSE (50). Backed throughout the day into 28/10 from 9/2, Duncan Howells’ charge sat fifth during the early part of the race. She made her move early in the straight and after striking the front 250m from home, she easily drew clear.
Positioned in midfield after being a little slow into stride, the newcomer LUNATEX was baulked for a run at a crucial stage and although he was never able to get in a blow at the winner, he did well to get up for second.
Turffontein 5th April: They raced on the old stand side track on Tuesday evening where somewhat surprisingly, none of the four maiden events were won by the favourite. Indeed, there were a couple of big upsets and none more so than the victory of VICTIXIT (23) in 1000m event for juveniles. Absolutely friendless on course (20/1 out to 66/1), Leon Erasmus’ newcomer sat fifth during the early part of the race. The form horse MIDNIGHT DRAGON (5th in the Pretty Polly Stakes last time out) set the pace and showing no signs of stopping at the business end of the race soon had most (including the heavily supported newcomer SARASINI (12/10 into 7/20!) under pressure. Victrixit ran on strongly under a typically determined ride from Sherman Brown though, and all out at the finish, she got her head in front in the dying strides.
With most of his opponents either badly out of form or returning from a break, the 2008 Summer Cup winner RUDRA (92) always looked to be the right one in the pinnacle event over 1600m and so it proved to be. Surprisingly allowed to leave the stalls at even money, Mike De Kock’s charge was content to amble along in the rear for most of the journey. Once given rein by Anton Marcus though, he quickly reduced the deficit and after striking the front 250m out, he easily drew clear.
A MR87 Handicap over 1160m was next up and here we saw comfortable victory for the Paul Matchett trained SECRET LIFE (75). Always close to the speed, Secret Life took up the running shortly after passing the 300m marker. He kept on strongly in the closing stages of the race and won comfortably from the easy to back WINTERWONDERLAND by a length and a quarter.
The lucky last was a MR76 affair over 1160m and here the locals were sent home happy when the well supported favourite EDICT (46) did the business. Positioned towards the rear during the first half of the race, Lance Wiid’s charge finished by far the best, and with the rest well beaten, he flew up late to beat the free striding OBVIOUS INTENTIONS by a length and a half. Edict has caught the eye running on particularly strongly in each of his last four starts and is clearly better than his current record would suggest
Positioned in the rear of the pinnacle event won by Rudra, last season’s Champions Challenge winner REGAL RANSOM didn’t get the clearest of runs early in the straight. He was never anywhere near the winner, but he did catch the eye running on very strongly at the finish.
Durbanville 6th April: Racing at the country course on Wednesday got underway with a maiden juvenile event over 1400m and although most were left out of pocket, we saw an impressive performance from the newcomer LORD PARAMOUNT. Freely available at 16/1 on the off, Dean Kannemeyer’s charge was positioned eighth of the twelve coming off the bend and was easily six lengths adrift of the leaders. He made up the ground very quickly in the straight though and after striking the front 300m from home, he went on to win very comfortably by three and a quarter.
A maiden event over 1300m was next up and here it was nice to see the regular bridesmaid CHOSEN KID finally get her head in front. Well supported (11/2 into 33/10), as she has often been during the course of her 32 previous attempts at breaking out of the maiden ranks, Chosen Kid raced a little closer to the pace than she usually does here. She struck the front 200m out and went on to win very comfortably from another regular bridesmaid in PROMPTER by a length and three quarters. Although it has taken Chosen Kid an age to gain her first career success, she has run on stoutly on a number of occasions and will probably pick up a second win much quicker than she gained her first.
The only favourite on the eight race program to oblige was ANJUM who did the business in the maiden event over 1600m. The first of two winners on the card for jockey Grant Van Niekerk, Anjum was always in touch with the leaders. She was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and although the easy to back RAINBOWINJUNE finished well from off the pace, she went on to win very easily by three and a quarter.
The afternoon’s feature event was a MR92 Handicap over 1600m and here it was nice to see the top weight SABATINO gain a well deserved third career victory. Never the quickest into stride these days, Dean Kannemeyer’s charge was guarding the rear as the eight runners turned for home. Once in the straight though, he quickened nicely and under a well judged ride from Oswald Noach, he got up nicely late to beat SEALED ORDERS going away. Sabatino won well and clearly has more to come.
Although never able to get in a blow when second in the race won by Lord Paramount, stable companion DOUBLEDANE was running on strongly at the finish.
Support, But No Favs!
Vaal 7th April: Racing at the Vaal has been a minefield of late and with no favourites arriving at Thursday’s turf meeting, it was another tough day for punters. A workrider’s maiden event over 1200m was first up and here victory went to the easy to back RUM ‘n SUGAR. Freely available at 14/1 on the off, the 3yo daughter of Modus Vivendi was always handy. She was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and just had enough in hand to hold off the very well tried HEADLINER by a half.
The bookies did have to reach into their satchels in the next though when the heavily supported newcomer BURMA (29) did the business in the second division of the maiden 1200m. Backed throughout the day into 3/1 second favourite from 8/1, Scott Kenny’s charge was always positioned close to the pace. He made his move passing halfway and after striking the front 350m later, he drew clear easily in the closing stages to beat EGOLI GAS by three.
Another to win after finding good support in the betting market was FANTASIA ISLAND (68) who registered his seventh career victory in the afternoon’s feature event, a MR90 Handicap over 1800m. Backed into 5/1 from 8’s at the track, Fantasia Island was taken straight to the front by the rejuvenated Gavin Lerena and led throughout. He was always clear of his rivals in what soon became a very strung out field and although BOLD AL did make good headway from ten lengths away in fifth, the son of Lizard Island still had enough in hand to score by a half.
Followers of the money were also on the mark in the MR76 affair over 1400m when the Goldkeeper mare SMART GIRL (55) landed the spoils. Nicely positioned in fourth when the race began in earnest, Smart Girl quickened in good style and after striking the front as they approached the 200m pole, she easily drew clear.
Newcomer BRANDY NAN found extra when challenged in the maiden event over 1700m and drew clear nicely in the closing stages to win by four.
After losing two lengths at the start, the lightly raced AL BLING ran on well and won the maiden event over 2000m going away by five.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Fairview Race 1: No Qualifiers Race 2: (5) Jamberoo 15 Race 3: (13) Legend Of Zelda 39 Race 4: (12) Played On 53 Race 5: (1) Lucky Boy 77 Race 6: (6) Jervis 60 (EW) Race 7: (3) Another Mistral 51 Race 8: (12) Beautiful Blue 47 Turffontein Race 1: (7) The Domain 13 Race 2: (6) Sizzling Guy 21 Race 3: (15) Secret Ravine 50 Race 4: (12) Nautical 31 Race 5: (3) Gunner Girl 49 Race 6: (6) Danish 66 Race 7: (3) Beta 54 Race 8: (2) Dubai Rainbow 50 Race 9: (16) Rock The World 79 Kenilworth Race 1: (4) Marvellous Captain 4 Race 2: (5) Kiss Again 98 Race 3: (2) Santorina 18 Race 4: (7) Soul Singer 14 Race 5: (5) Reptilian 54 Race 6: (7) Boys Will Be Boys 55 Race 7: (7) Danish Diva 80 (EW) Race 8: (11) Asaal’s Magic 76 Clairwood Race 1: (1) Charlie Trimble 17 Race 2: (2) Tijgerbeech 27 Race 3: (10) Fort Conquest 21 Race 4: (2) White Mischief 61 (NAP*) Race 5: (5) Bouquet-Garni 101 Race 6: (3) Comtesse Dubois 39 Race 7: (5) Jungle Ruler 42 Race 8: (9) Va Va Voom 60 Race 9: (1) Sugarformyhoney 32 .
Top rated winners last week includedDawn Light won 11/2 Chosen Kid won 33/10 Double First won 3/1 Spellcaster won 22/10 Anjum won 2/1 Justthewayyouare won 2/1 Never Forever won 7/10 Salsabeel won 1/4 .
Notebook:-Lord Paramount (D Kannemeyer, W-Cape) Sabatino (D Kannemeyer, W-Cape) Venetian Lady (D Drier, Natal) .
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Scottsville 5th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Vintage Charm Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (5)First ‘n Fast Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers . Turffontein 5th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (5) Dawn Light Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3)Rudra Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers . Durbanville 6th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Lenton Grove Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (6)Sabatino Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers . Vaal 7th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (2) Burma Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (6)Smart Girl Fastest Long 1900-3600 (2) Tapuya