The performance by the raiding Gary Alexander stable’s Classic Illusion to win the R150 000 Gr3 Flamboyant Stakes was the highlight of a rather mixed bag of racing at Greyville on Friday evening. S’manga Khumalo rode a copybook race on the popular Kahal mare.
The 1600m Flamboyant Stakes was the feature event on an eight race programme, that bizarrely looked in jeopardy after the second race when the jockeys lodged a protest against a patch of turf.
With a beautiful day prevailing and going declared as officially ‘good to firm’ with the pen reading 18, the protest came as a shock to punters. The Greyville track is obviously in dire need of attention, and the word from senior jockeys is that something needs to be done urgently.
To add to the punter woes, Anton Marcus went west on a few favourites, the final race proved a host of withdrawals after a disastrous false start and the Pick Six landed up paying telephone numbers to just a few lucky folk.
Only eleven ladies lined up to contest the feature after Lady Tatty was withdrawn prior to the start for reason that she was not striding out.
The longshot Chestnut Model was quickly out and she led a rush with Keagan De Melo getting Danseuse across from her wide post to run handily.
Kevin Shea did not enjoy a cheery evening at the office and his mount Orange Blossom was checked and forced wide at about the 1200m marker. This put paid to whatever winning chance she had.
Going around the bend Chestnut Model led Danseuse and Flitter, with Classic Illusion tucked in comfortably about five lengths off.
Into the home run Chestnut Model continued to lead but it was apparent that Khumalo knew what he had under him and he switched Classic Illusion out for a clear run to the line.
With only Murmering Sky in sight, Classic Illusion galloped powerfully and won going away by 2 lengths in a time of 96,64 secs.
Murmering Sky ran on well for second, just ahead of the luckless Orange Blossom, with Blouberg Beach making good ground for fourth.
Classic Illusion was bred by Summerhill Stud and is by Kahal out of the one time winning Jallad mare, Class Will Sell.
A R200 000 National Yearling Sale graduate, Classic Illusion has now won 5 races with 10 places from 27 starts and took her earnings to R466 325.
Well done to Gary and Dean Alexander for taking the initiative and placing Classic Illusion so astutely.