So Where To Now?

Turffontein 16 June

Anthony Delpech

Anthony Delpech

They got it all wrong here and burnt their fingers.  Punters somehow let the powerful Mike De Kock and Anthony Delpech combination run free in the eighth race at Turffontein on Youth Day 16 June. Spy Glass had  shown fair form over distances up to 2000m and looked a fair bet at around 4-1. Instead they went for recent maiden winner Emblem Park and even punted the well-tried Vaughan Marshall trained battler La Beau Jolais from 10-1 to 13-2.

A  tough day at Turffontein for punters who will no doubt be looking to swell their pockets in anticipation of the big day at Greyville on 2 July. But punting on silks and vague emotions, particularly on low-quality racing is a  dangerous pursuit and so it proved again. With all due respect to the connections, Emblem Park had won a weak Qualified  Maiden race at the Vaal three weeks ago and prior to that had finished a thirteen length third over the same course and distance. Improvement to come?  Maybe. But not multiple lengths in three weeks, surely?

Yet they came for this fellow who was jumping from a tough  12 draw in this MR 68 Handicap over  1800m.  He started tote favourite and eventually finished way down the field without showing.  La Beau Jolais also attracted attention and this fellow,  who started his career with the De Kock yard and won his second start, also ran down the tubes. There is nothing in his recent formline to suggest that he would raise his game here and he may well be a better proposition in the Cape where the going is easier.

This race was run at a fair clip with Valiant Be and very recent Kimberley winner Count Dumani making the pace. The Zaki trained Valiant Be was a disenchanted fellow as they turned for home and  swished his tail a good few times  as Count Dumani moved ahead. Anthony Delpech was however biding his time with plenty in the tank and he swept away on the Fort Wood gelding to win a good race. An impressive maiden winner at Scottsville in February, he now has his confidence back and he looks like he could go on with it.

Geoff Woodruff and Felix Coetzee made amends for their Emblem Park disappointment,  and in very similar blue and gold silks, when Danger Man galloped on resolutely to win the last at 4-1.  The Paul Matchett trained Medicean Wood lost his race at the start but ran on very well at the business end in the MR 68 Handicap over 1800m. Markus Jooste’s racing manager Derek Brugman owns the Varsfontein-bred son of Strike Smartly who was winning a second start from  nineteen runs.

Place Accumulator punters got off to a shaky start when the favourite La Promesa hit a brick wall at the 200m marker after  attempting to make  all in the third race, a Fillies and Mares Maiden Plate over 1200m. The daughter of National Assembly had run two nice opening  career races and had everything in her favour in a favourable  draw and the services of Anton Marcus behind the wheel.  The winner was the well tried daughter of Tiger Hunt, Hunting Dance, who won going away at her seventeenth start.  She  was ridden by S’Mango Khumalo and is trained by Chris Erasmus. How she turned the form around is a mystery indeed. The field though was very weak and when trying to make excuses,  as we so enjoy doing in this sport, let’s say La Promesa ran too freely early on and prefers the Vaal straight to the tight Turffontein inner track turn. She must be worth another chance
The genuine versatility and ability of  Summerhill  stallion Kahal  to produce  both sprinters  and stayers ,  was reflected  in the performance of the well-backed Mannequin who was  produced with a sustained finish by Pilot sponsored Randall Simons to win the second leg of the jackpot. She was the first favourite to arrive in the exotics  and while Group placed, she is yet to win anything of substance. This Ready To Run graduate has been a solid earner though,  having earned over R600 000 in her seven wins and cost just R80 000. She  has the distinction of running Pierre Jourdan to five lengths over 1400m in her two year old year, and will make a nice broodmare in a year or two.
Trainer Joe Soma and jockey Muzi Yeni have built up a profitable partnership in recent months and after grabbing the first leg of the jackpot with the big-hearted  and game Chances Are, the partnership almost stole the  third leg with the strong front-running Foreign  Reserve who was eight lengths clear turning for home. The gelding plugged on down the inside rail looking all over a  winner until nabbed late by a flying Drum Master and Felix Coetzee.  Fly Olimpic, who did his chances no good when bolting in the preliminaries and subsequently blowing right out in the betting,  plodded into third. His rider Anton Marcus knows Foreign Reserve well and it is surprising that he let the Soma horse get so far in front. The winner  was recording his second  win and is quite lightly raced. He started at 12-1 and is trained by Weiho Marwing.  He could well win  again on this performance.

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