Rad, Mr Fradd!

Scottsville 5 July

First 'N Fast Fradd! Robbie Fradd celebrates a winning return.

Jockey Robbie Fradd made a winning return to race riding at Scottsville on 5 July after a three month absence from the saddle. The 46 year old admitted that his legs turned to jelly at about the 400m marker in his first ride back in the second race, but he obviously got the hang of things again by his fourth and final ride of the day.

He punched the Duncan Howells trained First ‘N Fast out to win the final leg of the jackpot in the famous Des Scott silks in a sentimental win, as it was the daughter of Street Cry’s swansong as she departs the racecourse for a career in the paddocks.

It is some twenty nine years ago that ‘Ruthless Robbie’,  as he is affectionately  known to his friends,  rode his first ever winner on a horse called Barberton over the Clairwood sprint track Just returned from an extended riding stint in the East and having had to frustratingly sit out the 2011 Vodacom Durban July in the grandstand,  courtesy of a suspension, he showed that he has lost none of his zest and competitive spirit when clenching his white –gloved fist as the  six-time winning mare made it a winning farewell and opened the gates to the infinitely  more sedentary pursuit of a life in the lush green paddocks. She should make a top-class broodmare and her owners Robin Scott and Andy Williams, who has hit a purple patch of late, should feel justifiably proud. A romantic date with  Mogok could well produce the winner of the 2015 Vodacm Durban July!

Code Rock was an impressive winner in his first start for Alyson Wright when Anton Marcus catapulted him through late to win the 1400m Novice Plate and penultimate leg of the jackpot. Formerly with Glen Kotzen, who rated him very highly, the three year old gelding has great toe for a Doowaley and he showed a liking for the shorter trip after being beaten at cramped odds in a slow-run small field event at Durbanville in February. He is owned by Mauritian interests and may well end up on the island in time to come. But he should pay his way in Durban in the interim as a lightly raced two-time winner.

Another horse to change stables and win was MJ Thriller, who surprisingly followed up on his maiden win by accounting for a fair field in the jackpot-opener, an MR 72 Handicap.  Louis Goosen appears to have squeezed some much lacking commitment from the son of Captain Al and the gelding’s former trainer Paul Lafferty was magnanimous on the wrong side of the microphone during a post-race  interview he couldn’t have really have enjoyed. MJ Thriller should be followed with some trepidation as winning rider Anthony Delpech commented that he wanted to hang late and could not be given a hard ride. We will monitor the form to see whether it stands up.  

Good win. Condoleezza is led in by Jeremy Jonsson and Sally Jordaan.

Mike Rattray’s Lammerskraal Stud don’t suffer fools lightly when it comes to struggling horses, but the three year old Parade Leader filly Condoleezza repaid the faith shown in her when winning the Maiden Plate for fillies and mares over 1950m at her tenth start. She has threatened to win and never been far off them but has battled to put it together. Bernard Fayd’Herbe had the winning touch this afternoon though as he rode her aggressively after jumping well from a wide draw, At the top of the straight he made his move and she romped clear to win well. Sally Jordaan and KZN stalwart racing family man and co-owner  Jeremy Jonsson were on hand to lead their filly in. She is by the good Western Winter racemare, She’s All That, and Condoleezza may well enjoy the taste of winning now that she has sipped from the champagne glass.

The bitterly cold Pietermaritzburg afternoon turned dark and wet as the runners went to post for the final race of the day. The winner certainly brightened things up though and put a smile on trainer Glen Kotzen’s lips after a weekend of fluctuating fortunes. Master Plan is a two year old gelded son of Jet Master bred by Kotzen’s Paarl neighbours Varsfontein Stud, and this R350 000 purchased looked leagues above his field as he powered clear to win with contemptuous ease in the Fred Crabbia silks.

Master Plan was a fourth winner on the day for Anthony Delpech who hangs on to a tentative four winner lead over his nearest rival Anton Marcus in the chase for champion jockey honours.  At this stage Delpech is riding with such confidence and is also committed to riding in Port Elizabeth – an edge that makes him a marginal favourite to lift the title which could reach an exciting climax at the final meeting of the season on Sunday 31 July.

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