Flamingo Park 18th July: No doubt seeking to regain his national jockey’s title, Anton Marcus made a rare sortie to the Northern Cape on Monday and was rewarded for his efforts with three winners.
His mounts naturally found support and CRYSTAL JACK, the first of his successes, was no exception. Backed into 11/10 from 14/10 to win the maiden event over 1800m Crystal Jack was soon up handy. He was ridden to lead as they approached the 200m marker and kept on strongly in the closing stages of the race to beat the easy to back RICHARD’S GRACE by two and a quarter.
Finding even more support with Marcus on top was the aptly named DREAM BIG who did the business in the MR66 Handicap over 1600m. Backed throughout the afternoon into 11/20 from 12/10, the son of National Emblem was taken straight to the front and led throughout. He was three lengths clear going through the 300m and although the top weight AUGUSTA WOLF did make good headway late, he went on to score very comfortably by a length.
The afternoon’s feature event was the non black type Kimberley Nursery over 1400m and here a nice gamble was landed when SIR NEWTON did the business. Initially priced up at 8/1, Vernon Rugg’s charge flew through the rates during the afternoon and was eventually sent off second favourite at 33/10. Nicely drawn in gate five, Sir Newton was soon up handy and took up the running 500m out. KEEN SMARTLY and the heavily supported favourite JUPITER SYMPHONY both ran on stoutly from wide draws in the closing stages of the race, but with the benefit of first run Sir Newton still had a half length to spare at the wire.
Race seven on the card was a Pinnacle Stakes over 1200m and in what proved to be an exciting race the 5yo HURRICANE FORCE registered his seventh career victory. Not the quickest into stride, Hurricane Force soon found himself a number of lengths adrift of the leaders. He made up the deficit quickly once in the straight though, and after striking the front 300m from home he just had enough in hand to beat the running on ARCTIC JET by the narrowest of margins.
Winner of the MR80 Handicap over 1600m, MILVAGO had been easily six lengths off the pacemaker LINDA MY LOVE when that one stole a march at the top of the straight and did well to get up in the dying strides.
Vaal 19th July: They raced on the turf on Tuesday where victory in the opening workrider’s maiden event over 1400m went to the newcomer RAW DEAL (27). Freely available at 12/1 on the off, Michael Azzie’s charge got away well when the gates opened and was soon up handy. She was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 300m marker and kept on strongly in the closing stages of the race to beat the nibbled at outsider CHILLI BABY by two and a half.
A maiden event over 1000m was next up and in what proved to be a real thriller victory here went to the favourite RETEMPO (18). Clearly the form horse, Retempo was returning from a break here and racing over a trip which looked to be short of his best, he was allowed to ease out to 12/10 from 9/10. He lost a length at the start, but despite that was soon in touch with the leaders. He moved up to dispute matters as the Pierre Strydom ridden TONY’S TIPPLE struck the front 200m out and after a head bobbing duel below the distance it was only by a short head that Retempo got the verdict.
The first of the afternoon’s five handicaps to be run was a MR64 affair over 1600m and here it was nice to see the 4yo ELEGANT STRIDE (36) gain a well overdue second career victory. Making her 30th visit to a racecourse here, the daughter of Red Raider was content to guard the rear for most of the journey. The field was always tightly bunched though and going through the 400m she was only four lengths off them. She quickened well at the business end of the race and under a well judged ride she got up late to deny PACIFIC DESTINY.
A MR86 Handicap over 1200m topped the bill and here we saw a very comfortable victory for the improving KALAAM (63). Sent off a well supported favourite at 33/10 (opened 4/1), Kalaam raced towards the back end of midfield during the early part of the race. She quickened well when given rein 400m out and after striking the front 200m later she easily drew clear. Kalaam has now won three from seven.
An eye catching winner of her only previous start, WOLLONDILLY again finished strongly from off the pace when winning the MR69 Handicap over 1200m.
Greyville 19th July: The best bet on the card for many in Natal on Tuesday evening was SEEKING ANGELO (23) in the opening maiden juvenile event over 1600m and he didn’t let down his supporters. He got away well when the gates opened and nicely positioned in third was always poised to strike. He was asked to take up the running going through the 300m and went on to score very easily by four and a half, without ever having to engage the upper gears.
Favourite backers were also on the mark in the next, the girls division of the maiden juvenile 1600m when the heavily supported TACALOOCHEE (17) did the business. Backed into 11/20 from 16/10 at the track, Mike Miller’s charge raced close to the pace. She was ridden to lead shortly after passing the 200m marker and kept on strongly in the closing stages of the race to beat the running on DAZZ AL by a length. Keep an eye on the lightly raced runner up Dazz Al. She finished well on her return from a break here and is sure to strip fitter next time.
Race six on the card was a novice event over 1400m and here we saw a very gutsy performance from the 2yo ILHA BELA (40). Taken straight to the front by Anthony Delpech, the daughter of Fort Wood led throughout. She was a length and a quarter clear coming off the bend and running on strongly down the short home straight, she never surrendered an inch of her advantage. Unbeaten in two starts, Ilha Bela looked to have a little in hand here.
A MR96 Handicap over 1400m topped the bill and here victory went to the nibbled at favourite WILD TYPE (33/10 into 28/10). The confirmed front runner THUNDER CREEK set the pace whilst Gavin Van Zyl’s charge raced some four lengths away in sixth. He quickened nicely at the top of the straight and in what proved to be a real thriller, he only got the verdict over the running on MALIYAKHE by the narrowest of margins.
Racing detached at the back after being a little slow into stride, TRENDLINE finished best of all in the MR79 Handicap over 1400m and despite being reported as not striding out, was only beaten a length.
Top speedratings for this weekend include:-Flamingo Park Race 1: (7) Quickalookee 27 Race 2: No Qualifiers Race 3: No Qualifiers Race 4: No Qualifiers Race 5: (1) Parlotone 36 Race 6: (1) Opening Night 47 Race 7: (9) Platin 25 Race 8: (2) Jolly Poppins 57 (NAP*) Race 9: (6) Right Royal Man 27 Vaal (tues) Race 1: (13) Tilman 1 Race 2: (1) Divide ‘n Rule 22 Race 3: (9) Mpofana 14 Race 4: (4) Prismatic Fire 61 Race 5: (9) Nenekazi 45 Race 6: (9) Xilomante 93 Race 7: (13) Veto 62 Race 8: (13) Mountbatten 45 Race 9: (14) Mholi 40 Kenilworth Race 1: No Qualifiers Race 2: (7) Fire Burning 14 Race 3: No Qualifiers Race 4: No Qualfiers Race 5: (9) Kwaheri 33 Race 6: (17) Welcome Boy 44 Race 7: (1) Cayman Island 78 Race 8: (7) Junk Yard Kid 49 Race 9: (2) Harry Hall 20 Vaal (thur) Race 1: (8) La Promesa 15 (NAP**) Race 2: (8) Kentucky Sheik 16 Race 3: (4) Soul Sister 22 Race 4: (5) Super Boy 22 (EW) Race 5: (7) Pacific Destiny 38 Race 6: (14) Kaska 58 Race 7: (3) Emir 78 Race 8: (6) Comission Due 47 Race 9: (3) Night Pegasus 21 .
Top rated winners last week includedDappled Beauty won 7/1 Top Class won 11/2 State Blue won 2/1 Performing Light won 17/10 Real Tabasco won 17/10 Retempo won 12/10 Leo Rapax won 1/1 Lady Fan Club won 7/20
Seeking Angelo (M De Kock, Natal)
FASTEST TIMES(Shown in brackets is the number of races run in each category)
Flamingo Park 18th July Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (3) Take Over Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (6) Sir Newton Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers
.Vaal 19th July Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (4) Retempo Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (4) Market Drift Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers
.Greyville 19th July Fastest Sprint 1000-1300 (0) No Qualifiers Fastest Middle 1400-1800 (8) Wild Type Fastest Long 1900-3600 (0) No Qualifiers