Peter’s Big Five
Flamingo Park 28th March: Race three in the Northern Cape on Monday was a maiden event over 1200m and here we saw a nice performance from the former Gauteng campaigner PRIDEOFTHENATION. Allowed to flirt with 14/1 at one stage after opening up at 12’s Peter Miller’s charge was always handy. She was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and although the pacemaker CASARINA kept on gamely once headed, she went on to score very easily by two and a quarter.
The afternoon’s feature event was a Pinnacle Stakes over 1200m and here the stable of Peter Miller were again on the mark when COMEDY CARAVAN landed the spoils. The second of five winners on the card for the stable, Comedy Caravan broke well when the gates opened and was soon at the head of affairs. He kept up a healthy gallop throughout and despite the efforts of the chasing pack, he went on to score without any anxious moments by three.
Another to win with authority from the stable was AFRICAN VISION who under top weight recorded his fifth career victory in the MR84 affair over 1600m. Always prominent, this son of Rabah took command early in the straight and with jockey Andrew Fortune looking around for challenges over the final 150m, he coasted home by three.
After racing in the back end of midfield, the well supported favourite ETERNAL GLORY was baulked for a run at a crucial stage in the MR77 Handicap over 1600m and flying at the finish was only beaten a half length.
Eight lengths off the pace turning for home, the former Natal campaigner BACARDI KEEPER made good headway in the straight and did well to get within 3,25 lengths of the winner Prideofthenation in the maiden event over 1200m.
Few To Follow
Greyville 29th March: A maiden juvenile event over 1300m got proceedings underway in the good to soft going in Natal on Tuesday evening and here victory went to the form horse TO GO WEST (31). Only very narrowly beaten by the non black type King’s Pact Stakes winner SUPERLICIOUS last time out, To Go West broke well when the gates opened and soon at the head of affairs quickly had the field strung out. She was two lengths clear coming off the bend and although the second horse KATY’S DREAM tried her best to make a race of it over the final 400m, she didn’t surrender an inch of her advantage on the run to the line.
Another to score very comfortably in the maiden ranks here was MIDNIGHT DAZZLER (45) who did the business for favourite backers in the 1900m event. Confidently ridden by national jockey’s log leader Anthony Delpech, the daughter of Victory Moon raced fifth during the early part of the race. She was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 300m marker and went on to score comfortably from the easy to back pacemaker COOL CRYSTAL by two and three quarters.
A MR96 Handicap over 1400m topped the bill and here we saw a smart performance from the Michael Roberts trained MIKE’S CHOICE (72). Sent off as one of three co-favourites at 33/10, Mike’s Choice was soon up handy. He quickened well at the top of the short home straight and after striking the front shortly after passing the 300m pole, he easily drew clear.
Also worthy of note on this card was the performance of the easy to back TRENDLINE (55) in winning the MR79 affair over 1400m. Freely available at 20/1 on the off, Des Egdes’ charge was content to amble along in the rear for most of the journey. Once in the straight though, he quickly began to work his way through the field and under a well judged ride from Sean Veale, he got up late to win going away. Trendline won well and is clearly better than his current record of just two wins from sixteen starts would suggest.
Positioned in midfield turning for home, the recent maiden winner SURFING SAFARI ran on very nicely in the latter stages of the MR74 Handicap over 2000m and the winner Black Wing was completing a hattrick.
The heavily supported favourite EXCUSE MY FRENCH (4/1 into 13/10) was four lengths off the eventual winner JUNGLE CALL turning for home and did well to get within a length and a half at the wire.
On the Upgrade
Kenilworth 30th March: The locals got off to a rough start in Cape Town on Wednesday when the friendless QUESTION TIME got off the mark in the opening Juvenile Plate over 1200m. Allowed to ease right out to double his opening price of 7/1 before the off, Carl Burger’s charge was taken straight to the front by apprentice Gould and led throughout. The heavily supported newcomer AMBER PALACE (8/1 into 3/1) challenged strongly as they drew clear from the remainder over the final 200m, but try as he might, he couldn’t get his head in front. Amber Palace had been slow away and looks sure to come on stacks for the experience.
Race five on the card was a MR74 handicap over 2800m and here we saw a nice performance from the Joey Ramsden trained VENGENCE. On leaving the stalls it was the rank outsider of the eleven horse party HOUSE PARTY who elected to make the running whilst Vengence was content to sit in midfield. He was asked to take closer order early in the home straight and after striking the front 200m out, he easily drew clear. The 3yo Vengence has now won three of his last four starts.
The first of just two favourites to arrive was FOREIGN SOVEREIGN in a very dodgy looking graduation event over 1000m. Initially priced up third in the betting at 3/1, Darryl Hodgson’s charge found good support at the track and was eventually sent off at 19/10. Sporting blinkers for the first time here, Foreign Sovereign was taken straight to the front by Gerrit Schlechter and led throughout. He was two lengths clear going the 300m and despite the efforts of the chasing LORD FORT WOOD and THREATRE CAT, he almost doubled that advantage in the closing stages.
The lucky last was a MR78 affair over 1800m and here we saw a smart performance from the rapidly improving CHESALON. Backed throughout the day into 2/1 from 7/2, Mike Bass’ charge raced sixth during the early part of the race. He made his move early in the straight and after striking the front 300m from home, he easily drew clear.
After being positioned at the back of the twelve some nine lengths off the pace turning for home, the favourite RIGHT AND READY did very well to get within a length and a half of the winner MYSTERY DAME in the MR84 affair over 1800m.
The very costly to follow PROMPTER was again beaten with every chance when odds on in the maiden event over 1000m.
Sent Home Happy
Vaal 31st March: Thursday’s action took place on the turf where victory in the opening workrider’s maiden event went to the favourite KING BLING (22). Soon up handy, Weiho Marwing’s charge raced prominent throughout. He was ridden to lead at the 300m marker and although SANINT ENOUGH ran on stoutly from the off the pace in the closing stages of the race, he went on to score very comfortably by three and a quarter.
Another to win well in the maiden ranks here was AMUR AFFAIR (29) who opened her account in a very competitive looking juvenile event over 1200m. Always close to the speed, Mike De Kock’s charge took up the running shortly after passing the 400m marker and after quickly drawing clear, she easily accounted for the running on UP FRONT by two and a quarter. Keep an eye open for the runner up, Up Front. Barend Botes’ charge had been seven lengths adrift early on and did well to get within two and a half lengths of the winner.
The afternoon’s feature event was a MR94 Handicap over 1000m and here victory went to the nibbled at WINKING JACK (74). Sent off favourite at 7/2, this 6yo son of Super Magic was always handy. He was asked to take up the running at the 200m marker and although the pacemaker BLUE NILE kept on gamely to hold second position, he went on to score very easily by three and a quarter.
The final event on the card was a maiden event over 1400m and here the locals were sent home happy when the heavily supported ALIBABA’S JEWEL (46) did the business. Backed throughout the day into 18/10 favourite from 5/1, Geoff Woodruff’s charge was soon at the head of affairs. He was always in command in what soon became a strung out field and went on to score very easily by three and three quarters.
The newcomer COHIBA ran on very well from the rear when third in the maiden juvenile event over 1200m.