Poly Challenge Thriller

Three winners for Ryan Munger

In a dramatic finish to the R175 000 Nelson Mandela Bay Racing Poly Challenge 1400 at Fairview on Friday, Richard Fourie timed things to perfection to get Celtillus up on the line to nab the luckless perennial bridesmaid Greenlighttoheaven on the line.

While Greenlighttoheaven was banking his fifth second cheque in his last eight starts, the Cliffie Miller charge surged ahead in the R50 000 Nelson Mandela Bay Racing Poly Challenge consolation bonus chase after his second behind stablemate Naval Secret in the opening leg – but will have to win the final leg run over a mile on Friday 21 October if he is to secure the bonus.

After winning the first leg with Naval Secret, Friday’s show was something of a frustration for trainer Cliffie Miller who had the talented Greenlighttoheaven (2-1) in peak trim.

Celtillus (Richard Fourie) slips through down the inside of the gallant Greenlighttoheaven (Wayne Agrella) to score an exciting win (Pic – Pauline Herman)

The Riyo Stud 5yo gelding was given a near perfect ride by Wayne Agrella, but Richard Fourie had other ideas and grabbed a brief bit of sunshine for the Alan Greeff yard on a tough day at the office when he got Celtillus’ (5-1) head down on the bob to grab the verdict in a time of 82,33 secs.

The pacy Life On Mars (10-1) stayed on dourly for third, ahead of Naval Secret (15-4) who was a further 1,35 lengths back.

The Boland Stud-bred winner, a R2 million National Yearling Sale buy, is by Vercingetorix (Silvano) out of the unraced Al Mufti mare, Five Star Girl.

A winner of 6 races with 9 places from 21 starts, Celtillus, who races for Edmund Siu, took his earnings to R329 958 – some way off his pricy ticket!

The spoils were well spread on the day – Ryan Munger rode 3 winners, while Muzi Yeni grabbed a double for Ziets Oosthuizen. Jacques Strydom shared the training honours with two nice winners.

The Hollywood Syndicate overcame a disappointment in the opener to register a double on the day.

The KZN Champion owners celebrated their 350th winner when Craig Bantam steered the Gavin Smith trained Vegas Gold to win the sixth.

Soweto Rose made it winner 351 for the Hollywood Syndicate when winning the last for trainer Juan Nel and jockey Chase Maujean. This makes September 2022 a record month for the team with 17 winners for the month, a very healthy 26 for the season so far.

The next Fairview racemeeting is on Friday 7 October.

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