Patience and faith are probably the two key components of optimising the rewards of racing thoroughbreds , and two diverse examples were illustrated at Kenilworth on 13 July. The narrow maiden win by the tiny Lady Dappleloo and the post-maiden success of the upwardly mobile Das Beste showed that perserverance can be well repaid. And then the emotional tale behind the acquisition of the victorious first-timer River’s End, makes for enlightening reading.
We have not been overly kind to the little grey daughter of Medaaly in these pages, but her trainer Carl Burger finally found the right race for her today. A small field of battlers contesting the Qualified Maiden for fillies and mares over 1800m was just the right stage for her to strut her stuff. And a lot of credit must go to Jockey Richard Fourie’s never-say-die attitude in holding off the determined challenge by Glen Hatt on Florentina. The R50 000 purchase pushed her career stake earnings to just shy of R70 000 and got it right at her fourteenth start. Owner Braam Van Huysteen’s recent purple patch continued, where lesser men may well have buckled, and it is a well worn cliché, but he really deserves the success. As for Dappleloo, her future prospects in the Cape look marginal. But who cares?
The day’s topliner, an MR 94 Handicap, produced a grandstand finish, with the twenty-one year old Karis Teetan, who has had the best season of his short career, riding his 108th winner. He guided the Paddy Kruyer –trained Forest Of Dean to a tight but conclusive victory over the much improved C Major, with League Of Honour putting his best foot forward for third. The winner was bred by Hyjo Stud and is always a threat on the easier going. He has now won six races and over R300 000 in stakes.
Gone West stallion Surging River has had a rewarding forty-eight hours with the very speedy Kwaaiwater winning on the Vaal sand yesterday, and the Justin Snaith first-timer River’s End winning the final race at Kenilworth. The Litchfield Stud-bred chestnut turned up in galloping mood on debut to win a gutsy race in open company, albeit against some moderate sorts. Well known racing enthusiast Jingles Ingold has been preaching the merits of this gelding for some time, but he nevertheless allowed him to jump at 11-1.
Let nobody fool you. There is plenty of science and experience that goes into selecting good horses, but sometimes good old –fashioned motherly instincts do the trick! River’s End was chosen by Jingle’s partner, and younger sister of Diane De Kock, Mechele Cawcutt at the 2010 Equimark Vintage Sale. Besides loving him the minute she saw him, there are a few sentimental coincidences that attracted her to the handsome chestnut. He shares 6 October as a birthday with her eldest daughter Tyra and half his name with her youngest daughter Kenia, whose third name is River. Jingles got Mike Gullen and Dave Musikanth involved, both of whom have owned horses previously, as well as roping in Dave’s brother and four other new owners. Jingles watched the race this afternoon on a complete stranger’s television set at the KZN South Coast resort of Bazley Beach, and got so excited that the owner of the television set, who has never watched a horse race in his life, now wants a slice of the action. We hope that the industry marketing gurus take a leaf out of Jingle’s infectious energy and initiative!
On a straight line on his breeding, and as a full brother to two very diversely talented characters in Al Nitak and The Sheik, the Mike Bass-trained Das Beste is certainly bred on paper to win many races. Racing is not quite that straightforward, however, and after taking eight runs to win his maiden, he looked quite ordinary and a bit of a disappointment. But he followed up on that easy victory with an eyecatching win in the fifth race, an MR 77 Handicap over 1800m, under a bullish Aldo Domeyer who had arrived on course expecting to win this one. Bred by Ambiance Stud, he looks to be getting stronger all the time and he has certainly taken a while to grow into himself. Described as a ‘slab’ as a youngster by enthusiastic part owner Marsh Shirtliff, who bankered him in the Pick Six, he will be rested for a summer season campaign and we could well hear plenty about him in the future. Never give up too quickly on horses!
Avontuur jockey MJ Byleveld continues to ride with snowballing confidence after an injury induced slump, and he rode the Marshall trained flyer Captain’s Emblem to a smooth end-to-end win in the MR 90 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1200m. Her recent second in the Listed Olympic Duel Stakes to the talented Fragrant Al, made her a popular choice here. She will win plenty still and the success would have warmed the hearts of the Klawervlei team who are sitting on the edge of their seats as Jet Master holds a R200 000 odd lead over the younger Captain Al, in the last three weeks of the 2010/11 Champion Sire race. If the jockey race is close, this tussle is even closer and is another title that could be decided on Super Saturday, 30 July.