Red-Letter Day For Gareth van Zyl

Hollywood Syndicate celebrate three winners

Summerveld trainer Gareth van Zyl has asserted himself as one of South Africa’s leading young stars and celebrated a special Sunday at Hollywoodbets Greyville with four winners, including an exacta in the day’s feature, the R135 000 New Turf Carriers eThekwini Sprint.

With a quartet of runners in the 1200m polytrack headliner, the Van Zyl yard always had what looked like a strong hand and delivered in the shape of Shipholia, one of only two fairer sex gallopers in the eleven horse field, to give the team their 66th winner (R5 million plus in stakes) of what is set to be their best season to date

The jets were firing from the gates as Music Is Life and Magic Tattoo led the charge into the turn, with the Listed Stakes winner Countdown looking dangerous coming into the final 300m.

But in a three-cornered drive to the wire, Shipholia, who was giving the high-riding Hollywood Syndicate their third winner of the afternoon, asserted after having the run of the race from her pole position draw.

Cole Dicken steers Shipholia to the line ahead of Music Is Life (Sipho Hlengwe) with Muzi Yeni back in third on Countdown (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

In a thrilling finish, Winning Form-sponsored rider Cole Dicken drove the 3yo Shipholia (25-2) to the line to hold off a determined challenge from stablemate Music Is Life (20-1) by 0,15 lengths in a time of 67,81 secs

Watch the race replay here:

Countdown (33-10) ran a cracker to finish just under a half length further back in third.

The favourite USA’s Hope always looked run off his feet, but stayed on to run a length back in fourth.

Hollywood Syndicate Racing Manager Anthony Delpech gives the thumbs up as Craig and Sheldon Peters look on (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The winner, named by KZN commentator Sheldon Peters after his two daughters Shiloh and Sophia, was bred by Klawervlei Stud and is a daughter of Captain Al’s Cape Guineas winning son William Longsword out of the USA-bred Holy Bull mare, Sea Glitter. The latter ran only once.

Something of an all-weather specialist, Shipholia has won 3 races on the Hollywoodbets Greyville polytrack surface, with 3 places from 9 starts, for stakes of R244 375. She cost R300 000 at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale of 2021.

Watch the feature post-race interview here:

Van Zyl’s other winners Hollywoodbound, Iron Bark and Matyam. Sporting Post-sponsored jockey Athandiwe Mgudlwa rode three of the quintet of winners.

KZN racing continues at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Monday 17 July 2023.

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