Opening Gambit

Ready, Steady, Go


Kenilworth 5th May: Surprisingly the faster of the two 1000m events in Cape Town on Sunday was the opening workrider’s maiden event in which the well tried DANZEY GREEN opened his account. Sent off joint favourite at 7/2, Glen Puller’s charge led throughout. He was always a length and a half to the good and kept on strongly in the closing stages of the race to beat the perennial maiden WHISTLE FOR GOLD.

Another to win well in the maiden ranks on this card was ARMED ‘N DANGEROUS in the 1600m event. Always handy, Alan Higgins’ charge was asked to take up the running as they approached the 200m marker and comfortably accounted for the odds on favourite CATWALK MODEL by a length and three quarters.

The best bet on the card for most was BLUERIDGE MOUNTAIN in the non-black type Sweet Chestnut Stakes over 1400m and she didn’t let down her supporters. Always deep in the red, the daughter of Giant’s Causeway also made all. She was a length and three quarters clear turning for home and doubled her advantage over the final 600m.

The Gr3 Winter Guineas topped the bill and here a bit of an upset was to be had when the Justin Snaith trained READYTOGORIGHTNOW landed the spoils. On leaving the stalls it was his stable companion LION’S ROAR who elected to make the running whilst the son of More Than Ready raced close up in third. He was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 200m pole and won going away from the 8/10 favourite KING OF PAIN.


The lessor fancied of Brett Crawford’s two runners, WAVIN’ FLAG ran on well from the rear when runner up, beaten just half a length, in the maiden 2000m.



Playful Tiger


Vaal 7th May: Tuesday’s meeting took place on the outside track where victory in the opening workrider’s maiden event over 1200m went to the favourite IN EIGHTY DAYS. Allowed to ease out to 9/10 from 5/10 in this his first outing for 60 weeks, the son of Trippi raced in midfield for most of the journey. He quickened well over the final 300m and under a determined ride from Francis Semela he got up in the very last stride to deny the friendless FIRST SUGAR (75/1).

Five of the afternoon’s ten races were run over 1200m and the fastest of these was the bill topping pinnacle stakes in which SNOWDON did the business. Sent off a strong favourite at 15/20, Ormond Ferraris’ charge raced towards the rear early on. The field was always very tightly bunched though and once given rein he quickly began to make headway. Having his first outing since being gelded, DESERT SHEIK was the first to make a move and struck the front 200m out. He kept on strongly from there onwards and in another breathtaking finish it was only on the nod that the favourite got the verdict.

At the other end of the scale the easiest victory on the card was recorded by TIGER PLAY when opening his account in the maiden 1600m. Backed into 8/1 from 33/1 during the afternoon, despite having failed to get within thirteen lengths of a winner in two starts since returning from a short break, the lessor fancied of Brian Wiid’s two runners was taken straight to the front by Piere Strydom and led throughout. He was three lengths clear going through the 400m and with plenty in hand he extended his advantage to six and a quarter in closing stages.

National jockey’s log leader Piere Strydom was also on the mark in the next, a MR68 Handicap over the same distance when SOLEIL ROYAL registered his second career victory. Sent off a rather uneasy favourite at 11/2, Grant Maroun’s charge was soon up handy. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 300m marker and kept on strongly late on to beat the second favourite ACES HIGH by a length and a half.


The newcomer CASHA ran on strongly late and did well to collar the free striding favourite GEMS A PLENTY in the very last stride.



Promising Captain


Scottsville 8th May: A maiden juvenile plate over 1200m got proceedings underway in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday and here we saw a very smart debut performance from CAPTAIN’S RESERVE. Taken straight to the front by Anton Marcus, the son of Captain Al led throughout. He began to assert his authority going through the 300m and went on to score comfortably by three.

There were six races run over 1200m in total and the fastest of these was the bill topping MR86 Handicap in which the Charles Laird trained INDABA MY CHILDREN registered his third career victory. Another to lead from pillar to post, the son of Tale Of The Cat held just a slender lead for most of the journey. He quickened well as they approached the 400m marker and with the rest well beaten he comfortably accounted for ISLAND FIESTA by a length and three quarters.

Apart from the 1200m affairs, the only other distance raced over on the day was 1400m and the fastest of these three events was the novice plate in which BLUROUTE did the business. Backed into favouritism at the track Mike De Kock’s charge raced fifth of the nine during the early part of the race. She ran on strongly in the short home straight and with the benefit of first run she just got the better of the running on WESTERN JET (the deposed favourite) by a neck.

The biggest upset on the card was undoubtedly the victory of KHANYA in the girls’ maiden event over 1400m. Sent off as the rank outsider of the twelve horse party at 66/1, the daughter of Kahal was a little slow into stride and as a result she was positioned at the back turning for home. Once in the straight though she quickened best of all, and easily drew clear after striking the front 150m from home.


ANGIE ran on strongly from midfield and won going away when opening her account in the maiden juvenile 1200m.



Finding Extra


Vaal 8th May: Thursday’s action took place on the sand where the easiest victory on the card was recorded by VELVET VERONA in the opening maiden juvenile event over 1000m. Taken straight to the front by Robbie Fradd, the son of National Assembly soon had the field well strung out. He kept on strongly at the business end of the race and with some in hand he cruised in by six.

The afternoon’s feature event was a MR96 Handicap over 1000m and here it was nice to see the 5yo BENBOW register his sixth career victory. Usually one to run on stoutly from off the pace, Leon Erasmus’ charge broke well here and nicely positioned in second was always poised to strike. He did so going through the 300m and rallied gamely after being headed 100m later to beat SECOND TYCOON by three quarters.


SHOW AND TELL made all and won without any anxious moments when opening her account in the maiden 1000m.



Just The Two


Greyville 10th May: A maiden juvenile plate over 1400m was first up on Friday evening and in what proved to be a real thriller victory here went to the well supported favourite CHELSEA. Backed into 15/20 from 13/10 at the track, Duncan Howells’ charge was soon up handy. She ran on stoutly at the business end of the race and with the rest well beaten it was only on the nod that she got the verdict over the pacemaker FLAMENCO FUSION.

Favourite backers were also on the mark in the boys division of the maiden juvenile 1400m when DELAWARE BAY did the business. Another to find plenty of support, the even money favourite (op 22/10) was nicely positioned in third as they came off the bend. He moved through to take up the running shortly after passing the 300m pole and although the pacemaker TOSS THE DICE kept on strongly after being headed, he went on to score comfortably by a length and a quarter.

After the running of the first two races the rest of the meeting was abandoned as a part of the track was softer than the remainder, and was considered unsafe.


TRANSLATOR (stable companion to the winner Delaware Bay) caught the eye running on nicely from the back end of midfield when fourth in the second division of the maiden juvenile 1400m.



Top speedratings for this weekend include:-


Race 1: (15) Platinum Fox 21
Race 2: (1) Nomenclature 15
Race 3: (3) Lago Cuomo 11
Race 4: (1) Ivanka 18 (EW)
Race 5: (14) Act Of Supremeacy 84
Race 6: (2) Vivalda 73
Race 7: (1) African Alliance 75 (EW)
Race 8: (7) Ebro 57
Race 1: (4) Forest Panther 22
Race 2: (6) Lemonade River 8
Race 3: (1) Lady Jade 15
Race 4: (3) Silk Master 47
Race 5: (11) Cossack General 89
Race 6: (8) Chisler 63
Race 7: (4) Experience Counts 79
Race 8: (6) Infinite Wisdom 58
Race 9: (10) Special Occasion 60
Race 1: (4) Heart Of A Lion 20
Race 2: (2) Belle Coco 19
Race 3: (1) Delaware Blues 21
Race 4: (1) Swift Bow 19
Race 5: (2) Arctic Sun 35
Race 6: (1) Oh Driscoll 40
Race 7: (10) Olympia Beijing 46
Race 8: (1) Heavy Metal 93
Race 9: (4) Pure Silver 65
Race 10: (16) Perfect Winter 38
Race 1: (4) Captain Of All 35 (NAP*)
Race 2: (4) Coco Love 7
Race 3: (6) Yankee Master 24
Race 4: (12) Inventive Girl 22
Race 5: (7) Cotswold 55
Race 6: (8) Put The Kettle On 82
Race 7: (9) Adobe Pink 85
Race 8: (11) Tiger Cub 56
Race 9: (4) Grecian Moon 21


Top rated winners last week included

Aim Of The Game won 12/1
Angie won 8/1
Soleil Royal won 11/2
Caviar won 3/1
Miss Tiger Eyes won 16/10
Bluroute won 14/10
Delaware Bay won 1/1
Snowdon won 15/20



Blueridge Mountain (J Ramsden, W-Cape)
Captain’s Reserve (V Marshall, KZN)
Readytogorightnow (J Snaith, W-Cape)
Tiger Play (B Wiid, Gauteng)



The number of races run over each distance is shown in brackets
*Denotes – Times taken by Clockwatcher


Kenilworth 5th May
Penetrometer 25 – Going G/Soft
1200m (2) Danzey Green                    73,99              
1400m (2) Tight Ship                          86,48
1600m (2) Readytogorightnow        100,40
2000m (1) King Of The Deep             127,23
2500m (1) Barossa Valley                  158,13


Vaal (outside) 7th May
Penetrometer 19 – Going Good
1000m (2) Casha                                 58,32  
1200m (5) Snowdon                            69,14              
1400m (1) Aim Of The Game            83,84
1600m (2) Tiger Play                          95,20


Scottsville (inside) 8th May
Penetrometer 21 – Going Good
1200m (6) Indaba My Children           69,42  
1400m (3) Bluroute                               84,84


Vaal (sand) 9th May
Going Standard
1000m (3) Benbow                             59,01  
1200m (1) Start Your Engines 74,94  
1450m (2) Storm Surf             92,17
1800m (2) Henry Higgins                    116,08


Greyville 10th May
Penetrometer 20 – Going Good
1400m (2) Delaware Bay                    86,42


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