With Natural Improvement

Promising First Wins


Scottsville 12th January: Three of the nine races run in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday took place over 1200m and the fastest of these was the bill topping MR90 Handicap won by ISLAND FIESTA. The field was always very tightly bunched and although the 9/2 second favourite raced fifth, he was always poised to strike. He ran on stoutly at the business end of the race and in a thrilling three way finish he got up late to beat both FLYFIRSTCLASS and LUXARDO by a neck.

The biggest winning margin on the card was the 2,25 lengths recorded by HARRY’S SON in the maiden juvenile plate over 1000m. Supported throughout the morning into 14/10 favourite from 5/1, the Paul Lafferty trained newcomer also sat fifth for most of the journey. He was ridden to lead going through the 200m and won going away.

Another to win well on this card was Sporting Post’s best bet AZURE SKY in the maiden 1400m. Confidently ridden by Sean Cormack, the 3yo daughter of Sail From Seattle raced in the backend of midfield during the early part of the race. She quickened best of all in the straight and comfortably accounted for DONA AMATA by a length and a quarter.


Recent maiden winner AUCTION KING won the MR66 Handicap over 1750m going away by a length and a half.



Smoking Joe


Fairview 13th January: Followers of the money got off to a nice start in Port Elizabeth on Monday when the heavily supported newcomer SEATTLE JOE did the business in the opening maiden juvenile event over 1000m. Backed throughout the morning into 11/20 from 6/1, Alan Greeff’s charge made all. He was always in command and only having to be ridden with hands and heels won with plenty in hand.

There were five races run over 1000m in total and the fastest of these was the pinnacle stakes won by BLACKMALKIN. The third of four market leaders to oblige on the eight race program, Justin Snaith’s charge was soon up handy. He moved up to dispute matters with LONDON PERFECT shortly after that one took up the running 400m out and after a thrilling tussle it was only by the narrowest of margins that the son of Black Minnaloushe got the verdict.

In terms of distance the easiest victory on the card was recorded by LET’S PLAY in the fillies’ maiden over 1000m. Another to race handy, Yvette Bremner’s charge took up the running going through the 300m and won going away by three and a quarter.


After racing in the rear and then not finding the clearest of runs DANCINGINTHEDESERT was flying at the finish when only failing to land the MR74 Handicap over 1600m by the narrowest of margins.



Mixed Feelings


Scottsville 14th January: Racing returned to Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday where victory in the opening workrider’s maiden event over 1000m went to the aptly named SAFE BET. It was by no means as easy the horses’ name would suggest though. At the head of affairs throughout, Michael Roberts’ charge kept on strongly in the latter stages of the race and just held on by the shortest of short heads from the fast finishing MULLINS MOVER. Sadly for connections Mullins Mover broke a bloodvessel and will now be suspended for 3 months.

Five of the afternoon’s nine races were run over 1600m and the fastest of these was the MR73 Handicap won by the hat-trick seeking RAAEES. The best bet on the card for many, Mike De Kock’s charge wasn’t the quickest into stride and as a result he raced in midfield during the early part of the race. He only really got going late on and going away at the finish won a lot more easily than the official winning margin of half a length would suggest. Raaees has now won three from four.

Another 3yo to win well on this card was ADMIRAL’S EYE in the graduation 1400m. She got away well when the gates opened and soon up handy raced prominent throughout. She was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 200m marker and won going away by two.


RESOLUTION won the maiden 1600m very easily by three going away.

After being seriously threatened by First Lad 200m out, CAPTAIN LARS found extra and won comfortably when completing a hat-trick in the bill topping MR91 Handicap over 1600m.



Winning In Style


Turffontein 14th January: They raced on the old stand side track on Tuesday evening where the best bet on the card for most MR MULLINER couldn’t have been more impressive. Nicely positioned in second at the top of the long straight, the 9/20 favourite took up the running as they approached the 300m pole and cruised clear in the closing stages of the race to score by six.

Another to win with real authority on this card was HELLO POLLY in the maiden 1160m. Having only her second outing following an eleven month break, Michael Azzie’s charge was soon up with the speed. Indeed, both she and the well supported favourite STIRLING LEAVES set a very healthy gallop and they soon had the rest strung out. Stirling Leaves kept on strongly over the final 400m, but despite holding on for second she couldn’t stay with the daughter of Black Minnaloushe who drew clear to win by six and a quarter.

Race seven on the card was a MR88 Handicap and in what proved to be the fastest of the three 1400m events we saw an impressive performance from the Tiger Ridge filly SANTA CAROLINA. An eyecatching winner of her only previous racecourse appearance when sent off at 6/10, the 3yo racing in midfield was hampered 400m out and at that stage it looked as if any chance she held had gone. Undeterred though, Marco Van Rensburg steadily took her through the gears and with the rest well beaten she did very well indeed to collar EUPHORIA close home. One to follow.


In the rear early on fifth placed DESERT SHEIK was finishing best of all when only beaten 0,55 lengths in the bill topping conditions plate over 1400m.

NOT SULKING came from the rear when winning the MR72 Handicap over 1400m going away by three.



Steeplechase Margins


Vaal 16th January: We saw a number of very easy victories at the Vaal’s sand track on Thursday, but none more so than that of ALAREEF in the MR75 Handicap over 1450m. Trying the sand for the first time Mike De Kock’s charge led throughout. He was always clear and with the handily placed runners all fading late on he came home lonely by ten.

More often than not seen sprinting, the Sean Tarry trained JACKODORE showed her appreciation of the extra when winning the afternoon’s feature event, a conditions plate over 1600m. Another to make all the top weight led by just a length for most of the journey. She quickened well when asked for her effort 400m out and cruised clear in the latter stages of the race to score by five.

Four of the afternoon’s nine races were run over 1200m and the fastest of these was the MR72 Handicap won by HALLOWED. Freely available at 8/1 on the off, the Silvano gelding also led from pillar to post. He was two lengths clear at the halfway mark and although the 28/10 favourite TRIBAL CODE chased hard at the business end of the race he extended his advantage to four and a quarter.


Both SON OF APPROVAL (midfield) and SIAMESE FIGHTER (rear) ran on strongly when 2nd & 3rd respectively in the maiden 1200m.



Top speedratings for this weekend include:-


Race 1: (4) Hollywood Sunset 8
Race 2: (7) Estrella 16
Race 3: (5) Lake Benjamin 18
Race 4: (11) Tsotsomea 37
Race 5: (16) Black Thunder 45
Race 6: (13) Romanella 56
Race 7: (6) Intimate Touch 58
Race 8: (5) The Ford 63
Race 9: (4) Katie Em 44
Race 1: (1) Lunar Legacy 3
Race 2: (2) Sea Shadow 72 (NAP*)
Race 3: (1) Fighting Force 32
Race 4: (1) Tuscon Dream 15
Race 5: (12) Tiger Tales 40
Race 6: (12) Lost Island 74
Race 7: (4) Rand Club 55
Race 8: (10) Matilda’s Love 44
Race 9: (5) Carlisie 32
Race 1: (7) Full Court 22
Race 2: (2) Harlem Nocturne 27
Race 3: (2) I Am The Law 13
Race 4: (1) Mystical Moon 17
Race 5: (6) Lola Bud 64
Race 6: (2) Sister Lynn 48 (NAP*)
Race 7: (6) Elusive Love 38
Race 8: (10) Via Africa 104
Race 9: (7) Dragonstone 15
Race 1: (3) Garden Treasure 23
Race 2: (3) Admiral’s Eye 91
Race 3: (11) Ilitshe 20 (NAP*)
Race 4: (1) Lady Captain 15
Race 5: (11) Storm Coast 34
Race 6: (15) Cape Vesta 36
Race 7: (6) Midnight Run 82
Race 8: (12) Sebastian Bolt 54
Race 9: (7) Imagine 13


Top rated winners last week included

Hallowed won 8/1
Island Fiesta won 9/2
Let’s Play won 3/1
Guided Arrow won 2/1
Iswithi won 13/10
Safe Bet won 12/10
Azure Sky won 8/10
Resolution won 8/10



Raaees (M De Kock, KZN)
Santa Carolina (M De Kock, Gauteng)
Seattle Joe (A Greeff, E-Cape)



The number of races run over each distance is shown in brackets
* Denotes times taken by Clockwatcher
P = Poly track


Scottsville (new) 12th January
Penetrometer 23 – Going Good
1000m (1) Harry’s Son               58,71
1200m (3) Island Fiesta             68,37              
1400m (2) Raunchy                    85,11
1600m (1) Tara Dawn               96,83
1750m (1) Auction King            105,68
2400m (1) Sparkling Wood     155,54


Fairview 13th January
Penetrometer 20 – Going Good
1000m (5) Blackmalkin           56,64  
1400m (1) Ipanema Dancer     86,47
1600m (2) Protest Song           96,45


Scottsville 14th January
Penetrometer 25 – Going Good
1000m (2) Icefire                      57,72  
1200m (1) Interface Ace         70,89  
1400m (1) Admiral’s Eye       84,76
1600m (5) Raaees                   97,97  


Turffontein (old) 14th January
Penetrometer 20 – Going Good
1000m (1) Kiss Me Hardy                   58,18  
1160m (3) Dennis The Menace           67,00  
1400m (3) Santa Carolina                 84,20
1600m (1) Mr Mulliner                      98,34         


Vaal (sand) 16th January
Going Standard
1000m (1) Contador     56,75  
1200m (4) Hallowed    71,64  
1450m (2) Alareef        88,07
1600m (2) Jackodore  99,14  



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