Newton was a Good Man

Kimberley 18 July

Nursery winner. Sir Newton could be on the up!

The very valid argument for supporting Kimberley racing and giving turf battlers a new lease on life, gained further momentum on Monday 18 July,  with two James Goodman retreads winning on the card.

Royal Hero, particularly, had been struggling to win his third race and assert himself in KZN, but has earned  two quick stake cheques in a week at Flamingo Park.  With the Racing Association dishing out R10 000 cheques, it makes us wonder why more owners don’t gravitate down to that part of the world.

Then another former Goodman horse in the Avalon Stud – bred Sir Newton had won his maiden at Scottsville on turf in June at long-odds in a small field and there was nothing to indicate that he would take to the sand and win a minor feature at his first start in the dust-bowl. That is, other than the shrewd betting support which saw him roll down the hill from  8-1 to 33-10. He won the R90 000 Kimberley Nursery over 1400m in good style for owner Mayesh Chetty.

He is by Irish-bred stallion  Newton,  a dual stakes winning son of Danehill who stands at Warwick and Karen Render’s Bush Hill Stud for a recession-beating fee of R6000. From his more favourable barrier draw, Sir Newton beat two fair sand youngsters in Vaal winner Keen Smartly and the Requiem colt, Jupiter Symphony, who were both poorly drawn. He also benefitted from a typically aggressive Sherman Brown ‘ bounce and trounce’ style ride, which works so effectively and is lovely to watch – especially if one’s money is on him.  The Gauteng jockey’s decisiveness at the 300m was to prove the decisive move of the race and it was left to the Corne Spies trained Keen Smartly , who flew at the business end, to keep him honest.  Shaun  Miller’s  Jupiter Symphony had every chance in the straight under Marcus, but looked a little one –paced late and plodded into third.

Superman. Marcus had a treble today.

Anton Marcus’ trip to Kimberley in pursuit of the 2010/11 National Jockey Title was not in vain and he came away with three winners and reduced Anthony Delpech’s deficit to just two winners with thirteen nail-biting days left of the season. His first winner of the day came in the second race, where he gave the David Niewenhuizen-trained Crystal Jack a firm aggressive ride to win easily. The most interesting aspect of this 1800m Maiden Plate is the fact that this son of London News, who was on the receiving end of a few hefty back-handers in the final 100m, was backed to touch 9-10. This in spite of the fact that he had never run a place in eleven starts, and his strongest recommendation was a fifth in a Work-Riders’ race at Turfontein. One wouldn’t want to be feeding some of those that ran behind Crystal Jack here. A great pity too that Marcus didn’t find the energy to take the walk to the post-race interview cubicle. He tendered chest problems, but punters want to hear what he has to say, and he is public property as we punters feed and clothe his family.

The visiting jockey followed up in the very next race,an  MR 66 Handicap over 1600m,  where he rode the 11-20 favourite Dream Big from the front to an easy win from his stablemate Augusta Wolf, who ran  on well for second. Marcus suggested the change in riding tactics on the Jooste gelding , and while young trainer Shaun Miller had his doubts, he conceded after the race that it had worked well. It would be interesting to hear Marcus’ motivation for suggesting the change – on a horse that he had never put a leg over before. A brave move at the price as one could just imagine the outcry and ramifications if it had backfired. But all’s well that ends well!

Trainer Shaun Miller’s purple patch continued into the first leg of the Pick Six,  where Anton Marcus sat out and had a break. Miller sent three to post and saddled the trifecta, having switched jockeys Tswaro Appie and Derreck David around on Milvago and Linda My Love. Winning rider Appie, whose 51st winner it was, admitted he wasn’t thrilled when learning about David taking his ride, but he made it work in his favour when riding a patient race and the stronger finish.  It must be said in David’s defence though, that the saddle slipped on the free running Linda My Love late in the race, and this no doubt cost him dearly.  Milvago is a lightly raced daughter of Encosta De Lago and started a generous 28-1, making a mockery of stable preferences and judgements. David made amends when riding another ‘buitelander’ in Hurrican Force, who was having his first run for Jaap Visser. He won the 1200m Pinnacle Stakes in good style, with the favourite Comedy Caravan testing punter’s sense of humour by plodding into fourth spot.

Marcus had to wait for the final leg of the jackpot before steering the former James Goodman-trained Royal Hero to an easy win in the MR 66 Handicap over 1200m. Now owned and trained by local hero Cliffie Miller, the son of Salaadim, who was coincidentally also bred by Goodman, ran away from his field inside the final 200m to win really well.   He ran in the Gold Medallion of his baby year and was rated by his connections at one stage. He will pay his way in the Diamond City.

Gunter Wrogemann is one of the quieter and more unassuming jockeys around, and seldom gets the accolades of some of his more high-profile colleagues. He closed the meeting on the same note he had  opened it, by riding a winner for Shaun Miller. He rode a confident race on the three year old daughter of National Emblem, Nephrodite, who won the first easily in the Jooste silks. Anton Marcus had to eat dust here on the fancied Double Click, who ran downfield. In the final race Wrogemann stole a march on his sleeping counterparts in the MR 62 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1200m. He bounced  the flying daughter of Captain Al, Take Over, into a lead from the jump and she was never headed. She won by many lengths and the favourite, Jay Peg’s half-sister, Cyber Lady, was never sighted in Marcus’ hands and her absence boosted the PA to R156.

On the day Shaun Miller trained four winners for the Ingrid and Markus Jooste partnership.

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