Edge Of The Frontier

Narrow win for The West Is Wide in the Gr3 Cape Of Good Hope Nursery at Kenilworth on 6 May


Wild! The West Is Wide wins the Gr3 Cape Of Good Hope Nursery

The West Is Wide may have been a rather fortunate winner of the R138 000 Gr3 Cape Of Good Hope Nursery run over 1200m at Kenilworth on Sunday, but the son of Western Winter put the hard work in where it counted. He completed a good feature weekend for trainer Vaughan Marshall and stable jockey MJ Byleveld.

Good horses make their own luck and we are loathe to make excuses for beaten horses. But the Trippi colt, Abercrombie, really did everything but win this Gr2 feature. He came flying down the outside rail and went down narrowly. His battle-hardened veteran trainer Mike Bass wouldn’t have lost any sleep though over the oh-so-narrow denial of what would have been a welcome Nursery double in a season that has been tough by his own high standards.

Vaughan Marshall and MJ Byleveld had won the Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes at Greyville less than twenty-four hours earlier and they were back amongst the silverware in Cape Town when The West Is Wide showed great fight to hold off the very smart looking Abercrombie on his outside.

The Corne Spies-trained  Lord Jonathan certainly clocks his voyager miles between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and was the most experienced runner in the small field making his eighth appearance since his debut five months ago. The pacy son of Var led his opposition at a fair clip from Tiger Tiger, The West Is Wide and with the grey King Of Pain just heading Abercrombie and Pole Star.

The West Is Wide appeared to falter at the 400m marker but the hardworking Byleveld got stuck into him and got him going again. While the Avontuur-sponsored jockey would have watched his charge run on late to win the Somerset three weeks earlier, he probably also realised here that his only chance of beating Abercrombie was to get away from him.

Byleveld brought The West Is Wide through to lead with about 200m to run while the nice grey King Of Pain was making solid strides down the inside. All the while Fayd’herbe was suddenly realising the urgency of his six lengths deficit and got Abercrombie charging down the outside rail.

It was to no avail though, as Byleveld had pinched first run and Fayd’herbe was left to rue what could have been. And really, maybe should have been!

Great ride! MJ Byleveld rode The West Is Wide

Abercrombie was undoubtedly the unlucky horse in the race and the 2-1 favourite had looked a million dollars as he floated down to the start. He was ultimately the victim of a combination of his own lack of distance suitability and a rather over-confident ride by Bernard Fayd’herbe. He made up lengths from the rear late in the race, but had to wait for the gaps to open down the outside rail and by then Byleveld was headed for the winner’s enclosure. If and maybe, but a win for Abercrombie would have meant a well-deserved  double for Trippi. But ‘if’ is for children and it was not meant to be. He looks a classy colt though with a lot of scope and is one for the notebook.

Joey Ramsden’s King Of Pain stayed on resolutely down the inside and will improve with experience.

Some may view the form with a measure of caution and circumspection as the top five horses finished within a length of each other and Hammie’s Hooker had run the same distance carrying the same weight forty minutes earlier in 0,68 secs faster.

Let’s not overanalyse it though. Safe to say it was The West Is Wide’s day and this small fellow looks very big in heart and fight. Ingrid and Markus Jooste’s colt was bred by Klawervlei Stud. He is by Western Winter out of the very fast six-time winning Fard mare, Poppy.

He has won three of his five starts and run one place for career earnings of R209 115.

The West Is Wide is probably not the best two year old in the powerful Vaughan Marshall squad, but his style of running at them late will likely stand him in good stead as he is aimed at the Langerman over 300m further. That feature is often run on heavy ground and as he won on that sort of surface in the Listed Betting World Somerset, he should relish the challenge. That is, if he stays.

Abercrombie may add spice and turn up for that race too. It is said that revenge is a dish best served cold.


Cape of Good Hope Nursery (SAf-G3) (5/6)

Kenilworth, South Africa, May 6, R138.000, 1200m, turf, good,  1.15.02 (CR

THE WEST IS WIDE (SAF), 58.0, ch c 2, Western Winter – Poppy (SAF) by Fard
(IRE). Owner Mrs I and M J Jooste; breeder Klawervlei Stud (SAF); trainer V
H Marshall; jockey M Byleveld (R91.500)

Abercrombie (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, Trippi – Stratos (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF)

King Of Pain (SAF), 58.0, gr c 2, Greys Inn – Viva La Belle (AUS) by
Defensive Play

Margins: nk, nk, ½ 

Also ran: Pole Star (SAF) 58.0, Lord Jonathan (SAF) 58.0, Tiger Tiger (SAF)

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