Flamingo Park 11th April: The locals got off to a rough start in the Northern Cape on Monday when the easy to back GREAT EDGE opened his account in the maiden juvenile event over 1200m. Freely available at 14/1 on the off, the stable companion to the favourite was taken straight to the front by Gunter Wrogemann and led throughout. He was always in command and although the much more fancied SHARP DRESSED MAN chased hard, he went on to win comfortably by two and a quarter.
The easiest victory on the card was recorded by KASKAZINI who came home smoking in the maiden event over 1400m. Another to lead from pillar to post, Vernon Rugg’s charge held just a length advantage for most of the journey. Once in the straight though, he quickened well, and went on to score unchallenged by four.
The non black type Northern Cape Stayers Handicap over 2200m topped the bill and in what proved to be a real thriller victory here went to the joint favourite MAR ABERTO. On leaving the stalls it was WESTERN KING who elected to make the running whilst Mar Aberto raced some four lengths away in sixth. He made his move coming off the bend and on striking the front 400m out, it looked as if he would go on to score easily. The gutsy Western King rallied gamely once headed though and staying on determinedly all the way to the wire, he was only beaten a neck.
The not so lucky last was a MR62 affair over 1600m and here victory went to the easy to back ANGAMAHAL. Allowed to drift right out to 10/1 from 11/2 at the track, Cornelius Lensley’s charge raced in midfield for most of the journey. She began to make headway rounding the turn and already at the head of affairs 300m out, she went on to score comfortably by a length and a quarter from I’LOLLIPOP.
Guarding the rear as the nine runners turned for home in the pinnacle event over 1400m, well weighted COPPER TRADER ran on best of all and did well to get within 2,25 lengths of the winner.
Clairwood 12th April: After two promising placed runs, SECOND TYCOON (33) always looked to be the right one in the maiden juvenile event over 1000m and so it proved to be. In the red at 15/20 on the off, Charlie Laird’s charge was soon prominent. He was asked to take up the running shortly after passing halfway and kept on strongly at the business end of the race to hold off a determined challenged from JAMAL.
The stable of Charles Laird were also on the mark in the graduation event over 1200m when RUBY CARTEL (71) scored a very easy victory. Allowed to ease right out to 15/10 from 9/10 at the track as money came for RAISE THE RENT (6/1 into 9/2) and a couple of outsiders, the daughter of Mogok was soon positioned close to the speed. She was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 200m marker and drew clear easily in the closing stages to beat the easy to back POPPINS by three. Ruby Cartel won well and is clearly one to keep tabs on.
Another to take a bit of a walk in the betting market was DAY DREAMER (43) who registered her fourth career victory in the MR70 affair over 1450m. Freely available at 11/2 on the off after opening up as the second favourite at 33/10, Ivan Moore’s charge was taken straight to the front by Glen Hatt and led throughout. The easy to back RAS MALAAI raced second and challenged determinedly all the way down the long home straight. Day Dreamer did always have that one held though and with the rest well beaten, she kept on gamely to score by a length and a quarter.
The easiest victory in the maiden ranks was scored by TROPICAL BLOOM (26) who opened her account in the 1600m event. Soon up handy, the daughter of Al Mufti raced prominent throughout. She was asked to take up the running early in the straight and despite the efforts of the more fancied CINNAMON SPICE, she ran out an easy winner by three.
Running on from the back after being a little slow into stride, IBISCUS was finishing best of all in the MR76 affair won by Dun Carrer.
Back To Back Gr1
Turffontein 12th April: A Juvenile Plate over 1160m got proceedings underway on the stand side track on Tuesday evening and victory here went to the newcomer MALAGA-BELLE (35). Nibbled at into 8/1 from 14’s at the track, Dominic Zaki’s charge was always handy. She ran on stoutly in the heavy rain that fell throughout the race and with the rest some five lengths adrift, she got up late to deny the free striding favourite AMUR AFFAIR.
Another newcomer to get his racing career off to a winning start was RIGHT BEAUTY who opened his account in the boys division of the juvenile 1160m. Soon into stride, the son of Right Approach was always positioned close to the speed. He was ridden to lead 150m from home and with the rest well beaten, he comfortably accounted for the previously unbeaten favourite TENNESSEE STRATEGY by a length and a quarter.
Race four on the card was a Conditions Plate over 1160m and here we saw a nice performance from the Paul Matchett trained MARY LOU (82). Ridden for the first time by champion jockey Anton Marcus, The Rich Man’s Gold filly sat in midfield during the early part of the race. Once given rein though, she quickened best of all and after striking the front 200m from home, she easily drew clear. Mary Lou won well and has now found the winners enclosure six times from 24 starts.
The Gr1 Empress Club Stakes over 1600m topped the bill and here the St John Gray trained DANCEWITHTHEDEVIL confirmed that her recent easy win the Gr1 Horse Chestnut Stakes was no fluke when again slamming some very useful rivals. Allowed to ease out to 22/10 from 16/10 on course, the daughter of Modus Vivendi, as per usual, was content to amble along in the rear for the first half of the race. Once in the straight though, she quickened in good style and after striking the front shortly after passing the 300m marker, she easily drew clear.
Runner up in the Gr1 Empress Club Stakes, the northern hemisphere bred WELWITSCHIA also finished well from off the pace and being behind at weight for age can still improve plenty.
Vaal 14th April: They raced on the sand on Thursday where victory in the opening maiden juvenile event over 1000m went to the heavily supported newcomer KEY RIDGE (26). Backed throughout the morning into 2/1 favourite from 10’s, Leon Erasmus’ charge was soon up handy. He was asked to take up the running at the 200m marker and kept on strongly in the closing stages of the race to beat the running on ROMEOS REWARD by a length and a quarter.
A maiden event over 1200m was next up and here it was nice to see the consistent VELVET JAR (26) get off the mark. Always second in the betting market, Wallace Tolmay’s charge was soon positioned close to the pace. She took up the running shortly after passing halfway and went on to score comfortably from the running on THINK AGAIN by two and a half.
Race four on the card was a Conditions Plate over 1450m and in what proved to be a real thriller victory here went to the Gavin Van Zyl trained SWAN NECK (62). Allowed to ease out to 4/1 from 3/1 at the track as money came in buckets for XILOMANTE (9/2 into 22/10), Swan Neck was soon in her favourite position at the head of affairs. The money horse meanwhile raced close up in third and when she put her head in front 150m from home, it looked as if the bookies would once again have to dig deep into their satchels. Swan Neck rallied gamely once headed though and in a classic finish, she got the verdict on the nod.
A Pinnacle Stakes over 1000m topped the bill and here we saw an eye catching performance from the sand specialist STORM CROSSING (83). Racing over the minimum trip for the first time here, many thought that Mike De Kock’s charge would find 1000m too sharp and as a result the top weighted Storm Crossing was easy to back at 13/2 on the off. He was not surprising some four lengths adrift when MANNEQUIN and KENTUCKY EXPRESS commenced battle 400m out and at that stage looked to have plenty to do just to make the frame. Storm Crossing suddenly found another gear going through the 200m though and in breathtaking fashion he flew up late to score by a length and a quarter.
Sporting blinkers for the first time, PRIME MOVER drew clear easily after striking the front 250m from home and went on to win the MR77 affair over 1200m by six.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-
Arlington Race 1: (5) Hannah Green 8 Race 2: (12) Stage Diva 9 Race 3: (5) Classtasy 20 Race 4: (8) Wildhay 60 (EW) Race 5: (9) Field Star 49 Race 6: (2) Thunder Key 88 Race 7: (3) Port Curtis 44 Race 8: (7) Desert Kite 75 Race 9: (8) Sesostris 52 Turffontein Race 1: (1) Glorious Leader 16 Race 2: (2) Katy’s Lane 15 Race 3: (4) General Jubilation 15 Race 4: (1) Graphic Design 3 Race 5: (1) Hlamba 19 Race 6: (3) Happy Archer 81 Race 7: (7) American Gangsta 66 Race 8: (6) Fly Olimpic 84 Race 9: (1) Beta 50 Race 10: (8) Beat Patrol 50 (EW) Kenilworth Race 1: No Qualifiers Race 2: No Qualifiers Race 3: (2) Real Tabasco 5 Race 4: (4) Tassie Belle 94 Race 5: (1) Prince Of Troy 47 Race 6: (1) Covenant 92 (NAP**) Race 7: (1) Nysean Bolt 64 Race 8: (4) Comet Chaser 77 Race 9: (13) Camden Queen 17 Clairwood Race 1: (8) Captain’s Bid 17 Race 2: (7) Rave Melody 21 Race 3: (2) Slew The Bold 28 Race 4: (15) Flavio 46 Race 5: (2) Allocation 57 Race 6: (5) Jungle Ruler 42 Race 7: (3) Comtesse Dubois 39 (NAP*) Race 8: (4) Headstrong 82 Race 9: (4) Ruby Cartel 72 Race 10: (7) She-Var 51 (nb) .
Top rated winners last week includedStorm Crossing won 13/2 Dawn Light won 11/2 Chosen Kid won 33/10 Meet Again won 33/10 Double First won 3/1 Velvet Jar won 28/10 Dancewiththedevil won 22/10 Second Tycoon won 15/20 .
Notebook:-Dancewiththedevil (St John Gray) Right Beauty (M De Kock, Gauteng) Storm Crossing (M De Kock, Gauteng) Welwitschia (M De Kock, Gauteng) .
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Flamingo Park 11th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Elated Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Eye Of The World Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Mar Aberto . Clairwood 12th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (5) Second Tycoon Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Run Amok Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Dun Carrer . Turffontein 12th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Winking Jack Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (3) Dancewiththedevil Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Foreign Reserve . Vaal 14th April Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (6) Storm Crossing Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (2) Boylan Blaze Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1) Harry Prince