Rambo Raggle Tag!

Fairview 1 August

First win of season. Karis Teetan opened the day.

This is unbelievable! Those were PE commentator Bumpie Schoeman’s words when surveying the start of one of the earlier races on Friday at Arlington. Well we started the season on a shaky note and had the usual Eastern Cape start antics on 1 August at Fairview, with a false start and horses being scratched left, right and centre at the jump.

It can happen anywhere in the country, but the incidence of starting stall issues always seem to dominate an average day at the Port Elizabeth tracks. Never mind the fact that three of the fourteen horses in the first race were scratched seconds before the off, the fancied Kwaaihoek jumped without his jockey, MJ Byleveld, in the penultimate race.  A race review was followed by the all- clear and he was declared under starters. Money done. In pure cold blood. Then there was the false start in the fifth race. Something doesn’t seem quite right.

In a sport struggling to retain market share, few friends can be won with an outcome like that in the Kwaaihoek incident. The bottom line is that he did not run one inch of the race with his jockey in the saddle, and he never had a chance of winning. Yet he was declared a runner. It is like a footballer without a ball, or a batsmen without his willow. No score. No chance. No bet. Except in racing, that is.

Domeyer Double. Aldo started the season with a great double.

But the new season is under way, without the distraction of Anton Marcus and Anthony Delpech at each other’s throats. So we can all get on with the business of enjoying our racing and backing horses, because of their form, and not their jockeys! Cape rider Aldo Domeyer got his season off to a great start when riding the middle two legs of the jackpot. His win on the longshot I’Gem for trainer Steven Van Rensburg was particularly impressive as he brought the Kahal mare home from an 18 draw, to get the better of the more fancied Fresh Chestnut in the MR 74 Handicap over 1600m. Domeyer downed the revitalised Richard Fourie, who threw the kitchen sink at the Snaith horse. Domeyer’s victory on board the Ampie Calitz Announce gelding Big John, was a lot easier. He set the seven year old alight about 250m out and he easily got the better of the recent maiden winner Deceptive. Calitz has done exceptionally well with the old horse who has won three of his last four outings.

Trainer Yvette Bremner celebrated her best ever season last year with over sixty winners, and her and Karis Teetan started the 2011/12 SA horseracing season off in fine style, when winning the first race with the Hassen Adams’ owned South Dakota. The daughter of Casey Tibbs had run second just seventy-hours earlier, and she stripped remarkably fresh to stay on well. She beat nothing of note, but looks the sort who will stay on as she matures.

Daily Double. Muzi Yeni's second daily double on the trot.

Muzi Yeni has seemingly benefitted from his injury enforced break, and he followed up on his Greyville double from Sunday, by repeating the feat when winning the last two races on the card at Fairview. Both winners were for Gavin Smith, and both The Major and Vimy Ridge look to have plenty in the tank. The Major won his third race on the trot when streaking clear to win the MR 75 Handicap over 1200m, and then the Mogok gelding Vimy Ridge won his fourth race from six starts, clinching the final event with ease.

Lomitas Stallion Silvano sired the brilliant Gold Cup winner Aslan, and his daughter Pradella stepped out to win the second race, a Maiden Plate for fillies and mares over 1400m, in convincing style under Wayne Agrella. Gavin Smith’s Southern Dixie was backed as if the result was known, but the daughter of Parade Leader disappointed her supporters once again, after having every chance. Jockey Wayne Agrella, who blamed his six week break for the fact that he had only finished third on the local jockey log,  was his usual talkative self in the post-race formalities and said he really had not thought that he could beat his friend Warren Kennedy on the favourite. He said that the Silvano filly had been improving all the time and that she could well win another race. Agrella summarised the stable’s elation by saying that she was ‘worth the grand they paid for her.’

Young Rambo. Apprentice Stallone Naidoo rode a shock winner.

The result of the third race had punters gasping for breath. And there is no way on  earth that anybody could argue a case for the 40-1 winner, Taggle Rag. Apprentice Stallone Naidoo rode a balanced and powerful finish to win the first  leg of the Pick Six on the formless Jacques Strydom-trained mare. This obviously  moderate daughter of Classic Flag has had eighteen straight unplaced career starts, and if that does not tell a story then nothing does. Her nineteen year old apprentice rider, who was recording his second career win, declares that his career ambition is to outperform Anton Marcus. That is a distant star to aim at, but the aptly named Stallone Naidoo looks a fine jockey in the making

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