The interprovincial juvenile collateral form picture remains fuzzy. The brilliant Franny’s defeat in Saturday’s SA Fillies Nursery threw the cat amongst the pigeons. The lesson? Don’t risk the house on odds-on two year old favourites.
The form should settle down over the next two months but at the moment making sense of it is only breaking hearts and shattering dreams. And to compound matters, a second Graded feature race in four days was decided in the Stipendiary Stewards boardroom.
The R200 000 Gr2 Umkhomazi Stakes run over 1200m saw a small but competitive field of eight runners go to post. It produced a thrilling but somewhat controversial finish.
Jade Bay and My Jelly Bean showed early but Anton Marcus took the newly blinkered Contador up to lead. With 200m to go Marcus got stuck into Contador and the son of Var drifted outwards under pressure and appeared to force My Jelly Bean to check and switch.
The grey Ottimo was making good ground all the while down the inside and the photo-finish showed that Contador had held on narrowly to beat Ottimo. Not unexpectedly, the Stipes objected and after deliberating, Contador was placed behind My Jelly Bean with Ottimo promoted as winner.
The objection outcome looks fair on the face of it, and while the anomaly of Ottimo benefitting is a debatable issue, this was no sore-point as he and My Jelly Bean are both from the Ivan Moore yard and campaign in the Fred Crabbia silks.
Recent maiden winner Lionise ran a fair race down the outside to finish fourth and 1,6 lengths off the winner. He should be a different proposition over further. The favourite Jade Bay showed pace but faded to finish with only the filly Coniston Gold and Go Again behind him.
Ottimo has won two of his three starts for stakes of R187 000. He was bred in New South Wales by Flame Tree Stud and is the 19th stakes-winner worldwide for his sire, Oratorio, a son of Danehill, who stands in Australia this spring at a fee of $11,000.He was a $65,000 purchase for Worldwide Bloodstock from the Wise draft at the 2011 Magic Millions Yearling Sale and is a half-brother to South African Gr2 winner Eight Street(by Street Cry).
The R200 000 Gr2 The Debutante was run earlier and eight fillies went to post. Visiting trainer Vaughan Marshall has done exceptionally well with his juveniles this season again and it was hardly surprising to see his facile debut winner All Is Secret start a 13-20 favourite.
The race was run at an enthusiastic clip with the unbeaten Counter Ridge, Fun Sunzi and Straight Set up in the vanguard. Over the final 200m Counter Ridge faltered as Straight Set moved forward with All Is Secret being set alight on the outside.
The two fillies came together and with a late change of the legs, Straight Set stayed on better under JP ‘Kosie’ van der Merwe to narrowly beat All Is Secret on merit. The Mike De Kock filly Al Kindi ran on unthreateningly into third position and 2,35 lengths off the winner.
With trainer Corne Spies away in Brazil, his father was on course to saddle the filly who has two seconds to her credit over distances short of her best to the much vaunted Franny.
Straight Set has been a model of consistency with her two wins and three places from five starts. She cost R80 000 and has earned R243 000, plus her Bloodstock South Africa R75 000 added bonus.
The winner was bred by Maine Chance Farms by Victory Moon out of the Elliodor mare, Sublime Surge, a half-sister to Gr1 winning sire Crimson Waves.
Straight Set should enjoy a mile and looks like a filly to follow in the months ahead.
The R125 000 Listed In Full Flight Handicap was run over 1000m and attracted a healthy sixteen horse field to open the Pick Six. The race turned into an event dominated by the only three fillies running, with two of them fighting it out and the third running a shocker to finish last.
The speedy Flowers Of Spring made the pace from the jump and was still going strongly inside the final 200m with a stampede coming at her. Athandiwe Mgudlwa rode a great race as he pulled Wishful Eye off the rail and punched her out to grab the gallant Flowers Of Spring. The four year old Jet Master gelding Sky Marshall caught the eye when dashing through for third. He showed that he wants to sprint and hopefully he won’t be pushed 1800m again.
Wishful Eye won by a half-length in a time of 57,25secs.She is very fast and talented, but just off the best. She ran the brilliant Val De Ra to 0,75 lengths over 1000m in the KZN Stakes of 2011. That was admittedly in receipt of eight kilos, but a fair run.
The weak 9-2 favourite Storm Vanidoso never got into the race and finished downfield, although just 3,8 lengths off the winner.
This was Wishful Eye’s third outing since returning from a successful campaign in Zimbabwe late last year where she won once and was placed second twice from her three starts. She had suffered a bout of colic on her return from Zimbabwe. This was thus a very good training feat by Alyson Wright.
Wishful Eye has won four of her fourteen starts with four placed efforts. She has earned R290 000.She cost R150 000 at the National Two Year Old Sale. She was bred by Middlefield Stud by Var out of the three-time winning Linney Head mare Linsumi.
The R125 000 Listed Sledgehammer was run over 1800m and attracted a field of sixteen runners.Punters appeared uncertain who to support as favourite and Gold Onyx and Solo Traveller disputed a lukewarm topping on the betting boards. Money also came for Dean Kannemeyer’s Blake.
Apprentice Donovan Dillon bounced the Yogas Govender-trained Danish Silver from his 15 draw and went into a big lead. At the 800m marker Danish Silver was going the clappers in front of Top Seller and Dance At Daylight. Into the home run Top Seller moved forward down the inside looking a likely winner as Sean Cormack produced Gold Onyx wide out.
In the charge to the post Gold Onyx finished best to win by a half length. It was Cormack’s second winner on the day.
Top Seller ran a good race in second after a 178 day rest.The Mike Bass-trained Jeppe’s Reef ran a cracker to power through late in the race under Felix Coetzee for third. He needs further than the 1800m and Bass should be pleased with the effort.
The weak 9-2 favourite Solo Traveller, who switched from the Snaiths to Mike De Kock recently, flopped again to plod into fourth spot and has not won since the incident-filled KRA Guineas of a year ago. We really cannot make any more excuses for him. Danish Silver faded right out off the pace after going ridiculously fast under his young apprentice.Put a line through this run.
Trained by Sean Tarry,Gold Onyx looks to have found his form at the right time. He has won five from twenty-two starts with four placed efforts. His R720 000 career stake earnings have been bolstered by the fact that he is a Gr1 winner.
Gold Onyx was bred in New Zealand by P A Newman and Windsor Park Stud. He is by Black Minnaloushe out of the seven-time winning Kaapstad mare, Egoli Lass. He is a fit horse and looks well on track for a tilt at the Greyville 1900 and then hopefully a bash at the Vodacom Durban July.
The R125 000 Listed Scarlet Lady produced an upset result when Apprentice Keagan De Melo produced Mark Dixon’s Head Of The House with a burst down the outside to win going away by 2,25 lengths.
Anthony Delpech tried to dictate the pace on Viva Maria and the smart daughter of Jet Master was still in with a shoutwith 300m to run. She has now answer to the winner’s sustained late run. Brett Crawford’s Magical Eve ran on well with her newly fitted blinkers in third.
Head Of The House has a win over the top mare Europa Point to her credit. That was over 1200m when winning at 50-1 on her debut. She has won three times and been placed on five occasions from her eleven outings, for stakes of R211 000. She is a real survivor, having recovered from bleeding and knee surgery. She has also learnt to jump at the start.
The 3-1 favourite Queen’s Command ran a below-par race to finish unplaced 4,85 lengths adrift.
It was a fourth feature win for the promising Apprentice De Melo.
Head Of The House was bred by Scott Brothers by their impressive stallion Mogok out of the three time winning Foveros mare Executrix.
Gr FEATURE RESULTS
Umkhomazi S. (SAf-G2) (5/1)
Scottsville, South Africa, May 1, R200.000, 1200m, turf, good, 1.10.64 (CR
OTTIMO (AUS), 58.0, gr c 2, Oratorio (IRE) – Figure Of Eight (FR) by
Octagonal (NZ). Owner A L A Crabbia; breeder Flame Tree Stud (AUS); trainer
I S Moore; jockey F Coetzee (R132.609)
My Jelly Bean (SAF), 58.0, b g 2, Announce (SAF) – Jelly Baby (SAF) by
Contador (SAF), 58.0, ch c 2, Var – Fine Wood (SAF) by Fort Wood
***Contador won, but was placed 3rd on objection
Margins: nk, sh hd, 1
Also ran: Lionize (AUS) 58.0, Albert (SAF) 58.0, Jade Bay (SAF) 58.0,
Coniston Gold (SAF) 57.5, Go Again (SAF) 58.0
The Debutante S. (SAf-G2) (5/1)
Scottsville, South Africa, May 1, R200.000, 1200m, turf, good, 1.10.20 (CR
STRAIGHT SET (SAF), 56.0, ch f 2, Victory Moon (SAF) – Sublime Surge (SAF)
by Elliodor (FR). Owner F N Englezakis; breeder Maine Chance Farms (SAF);
trainer C Spies; jockey J Van Der Merwe (R132.609)
All Is Secret (SAF), 56.0, gr f 2, Captain Al (SAF) – Secret Of Victoria
(SAF) by Goldkeeper
Al Kindi (SAF), 56.0, b f 2, Fort Wood – Arabian Secret (SAF) by Al Mufti
Margins: nose, 2¼, 2¼
Also ran: Counter Ridge (SAF) 58.0, Fun Sunzi (AUS) 58.0, Murmering Sky
(SAF) 56.0, Maritzburg (AUS) 56.0, That So Atso (SAF) 56.0