The Colour Blue

Classy Local


Fairview 15th July: The locals got off to a rough start in Port Elizabeth on Friday when the 45/1 shot HINOTORI got off the mark in maiden company over 1200m. One of three winners on the card for trainer Grant Paddock, Hinotori was positioned towards the back end of midfield during the first half of the race. Once given rein though, he quickened well and under a well judged ride from apprentice Andrews, he got up late to deny the favourite HARRY HALL.

The most impressive performance in the maiden ranks on Friday’s card was undoubtedly that of GIN AND TONIC who came home smoking in the 1800m event. Justin Snaith’s charge was positioned in the rear as the fifteen runners turned for home and in the soft underfoot conditions looked to have more than enough to do. The son of Fort Wood cut through the field like a knife in the long home straight though and after striking the front 150m from home, he drew clear easily to score by four. Gin And Tonic won very well here and is clearly one to keep tabs on.

The Gr3 Champion Juvenile Cup over 1400m topped the bill and in what proved to be a real thriller victory here went to the Gavin Smith trained IN A RUSH. Eventually sent off as one of three co-favourites at 5/2, In A Rush was always handy. Fellow co-favourite VARIETY CLUB (18/10 out to 5/2) was the first to make a move in the straight and when that one struck the front 150m from home, he looked to have done everything right. In A Rush ran on stoutly at the business end of the race though and much to the delight of the locals he got up in the dying strides.

The supporting feature was the listed East Cape Breeders Stakes over 1200m and here the stable of Justin Snaith were again on the mark when the favourite STATE BLUE landed the spoils. Allowed to ease a little in the betting market (16/10 out to 2/1) despite clearly being very well in at the weights, State Blue was always in touch with the leaders. She was ridden to lead going through the 200m and went on to score comfortably from her easy to back stable companion RIBBONS FOR THEE by a length and a quarter.


Beaten just 2,3 lengths in the MR70 Handicap by the promising 3yo Gulf King, stable companion PROPHET KING caught the eye running on nicely.

Running on strongly from midfield, the nibbled at INCA’S SPIRIT won the MR65 Handicap over 1800m going away by two and a half.


Mercury Rush


Clairwood 16th July: They raced at the garden course on Saturday where victory in the pinnacle event over 1200m went to the lightly raced 3yo COUNTRY ROSE (71). Allowed to ease right out to 9/2 from 3/1 at the track as money in the main came for both CAREY’S QUI (9/2 into 75/20) and IN LIKE FLYNN (7/1 into 11/2), Jeff Freedman’s filly raced in the rear for most of the journey. Once given rein though, she quickened best of all and with the rest well beaten she got up late to beat the much improved WESTERN BABY by a half. Clearly still improving, Country Rose has now won three from five.

Topping the bill was the Gr1 Mercury Sprint run over 1200m and on the mark here was the Neil Bruss trained AUGUST RUSH (87). Nibbled at on course into 11/2 from 6’s, the son of Var was soon up handy. He kept on determinedly at the business end of the race and although both COPPER PARADE and CAPTAIN’S SECRET ran on stoutly from off the pace, he went on to score comfortably by a length.

A graduation plate over 1000m was next up and in what proved to be a real thriller a dead heat was declared between SECOND TYCOON and the 8/10 favourite UNANNOUNCED. Both raced handy and when they hit the front together 400m out the rest couldn’t go with them. Ridden respectively by the title chasing jockeys Anthony Delpech and Anton Marcus, the pair fought out a tremendous battle and were inseparable all the way to the wire.

A maiden event over 1000m brought proceedings to a close and here followers of the money were on the mark when the newcomer IKATI (33) did the business. Backed throughout the afternoon into 16/10 second favourite from 5/1, Dennis Drier’s charge wasn’t the quickest into stride when the gates opened. He was nonetheless soon in touch with the leaders though and when the 14/10 favourite SWEET CHARITY (opened even money) struck the front 200m out, she was already at her heels. Ikati quickened well at that point and after striking the front 100m later she went on to win a little bit more easily than the official winning margin of three quarters of a length would suggest.


Lightly raced LEO RAPAX quickened nicely late when beating Aegis-Fang in the 1800m maiden event.


Six Favs


Turffontein 17th July: Sunday’s action took place on the old stand side track where much to the joy of the locals six of the nine races were won by the favourite.

A maiden juvenile event over 1000m was first up and here we saw a smart performance from the Dominic Zaki trained NATIONS SPIRIT (23). Deep in the red at 4/10 on the off (opened 8/10), the son of National Assembly was always positioned close to the speed. He was asked to take up the running shortly after passing the 200m marker and although the most experienced runner in the field IN TO BEEP tried his best to make a race of it, he went on to win very comfortably by a length.

Another to win well at prohibitive odds in the maiden ranks here was FLYING CLOUD who did the business in the 1160m event. Backed into 7/20 from 6/10, Flying Cloud was taken straight to the front by Anton Marcus and led throughout. She was always in command and with the rest many lengths in arrears, she went on to beat the all out ROCK THE SYSTEM very cosily by three and a quarter.

The afternoon’s feature event was a MR100 Handicap over 1600m and here we saw a gutsy performance from the Silvano gelding WITTENBERG (79). Another to lead from pillar to post, Wittenberg held a two lengths advantage for most of the journey. He kept on determinedly at the business end of the race and although PLEASANT VALLEY was steadily gaining at the finish, he still had a length and a quarter to spare at the wire.

A MR78 Handicap over 1600m was next up and in what proved to be a real thriller victory here went to the well supported favourite TENDER TWILIGHT (28/10 into 19/10). Ormond Ferraris’ charge was always handy and when RADIANT ROCK struck the front 500m out he was perfectly placed to challenge. Tender Twilight looked as if he would go on to score comfortably as he loomed alongside Radiant Rock 250m later, but with that one then finding extra, he had to give his all below the distance and only got the verdict by the narrowest of margins.


PERFORMING LIGHT was easily four lengths behind the runner up Boodles when that one struck the front 400m out in the maiden event over 1000m and did very well indeed to get up.

KINGS HOME ran on very well after losing two lengths in the MR78 affair over 1600m and would surely have been a real threat had he not been baulked for a run twice during the course of the final 350m.


Top speedratings for this weekend include:-

Race 1: No Qualifiers
Race 2: (1) Sublime 27
Race 3: No Qualifiers
Race 4: (1) My Best Pal 27
Race 5: (16) Inverness 32
Race 6: (10) Premier Grade 50
Race 7: (1) Oceans Away 84
Race 8: (3) Social Master 78
Race 9: (8) Gotham Prince 45
Race 1: (11) Sacred Temple 9
Race 2: (1) Cherie’s Boy 18
Race 3: (1) What A Night 13
Race 4: (10) Atmospheric 18
Race 5: (9) Micro Jet 64
Race 6: (8) Sea Passage 36
Race 7: (14) Thomond 47
Race 8: (7) Fun To Run 69
Race 9: (18) Harayana 51
Race 1: (10) Appeal Allowed 3
Race 2: No Qualifiers
Race 3: (6) He Who Dares 5
Race 4: (4) Biasca 9
Race 5: (1) State Blue 78 (NAP*)
Race 6: (8) Variety Club 26
Race 7: (3) Tassie Belle 74 (EW)
Race 8: (11) Six Flags 42
Race 9: (1) Cree Lodge 71
Race 1: (15) Provencal 28
Race 2: No Qualifiers
Race 3: (3) Jamal 30
Race 4: (2) Platinum Fox 9
Race 5: (4) Chipnputt 18
Race 6: (14) Clearly Keen 53
Race 7: (15) Coastal Beauty 54
Race 8: (10) Rosie Tibb 89
Race 9: (1) Flowers Of Spring 59 (EW)

Top rated winners last week included

Dappled Beauty won 7/1
State Blue won 2/1
Performing Light won 17/10
Leo Rapax won 1/1
Lady Fan Club won 7/20


Ikati (D Drier, Natal)
In A Rush (G Smith, E-Cape)
Nations Spirit (D Zaki, Gauteng)


(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)


Fairview 15th July
Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (3)   Gulf King         
Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (6)  In A Rush        
Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0)     No Qualifiers   
Clairwood 16th July
Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (7)   Second Tycoon
Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (2)  Lion In Winter 
Fastest Long 1900-3600 (1)     Fairy Lane     
Turffontein 17th July
Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (7)   Nations Spirit
Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (2)  Wittenberg      
Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0)     No Qualifiers   

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