The R120 000 Umthombothi Stakes run over 1950m was not the only race to be run at a crawl this weekend. The five horse field probably did not help matters and it is quite a surprise that the best horse in the race actually managed to win in the end.
We saw the ridiculous pace in the initial stages of the Lektron Chairman’s Cup at Kenilworth on Saturday and the farcical march in this non black type feature eventually saw the perennial slow coach Gold Onyx at the head of affairs and leading the way.
It is a known fact that Gold Onyx seldom has the toe to get into his races.
But here he found himself in a unique position in his life with four horses cantering behind him. The joint 18 to 10 favourite Astro News was loping along in the back seat.
Stuart Ransdolph made an attempt to speed things up on the turn on Candy Moon and he slotted his mount just behind Gold Onyx.
Into the home run Delpech quickened things up and at the 300m marker Gold Onyx looked to have grabbed a decisive advantage.
The four behind him were battling to quicken, but Sean Cormack had other ideas as he never gave up riding Astro News.
The recent Listed Michael Roberts Handicap winner eventually found his stride and he went past Gold Onyx in the final stages to win well.
Astro News eventually won by 0,75 lengths in a time of 123,13 secs.
Gold Onyx stayed on well for second, just ahead of Candy Moon who ran a fair race.
The joint favourite Wild One needed the run after ten weeks and ran a 2,75 length fourth.
Astro News has now won 7 races with 15 places from his 39 starts.
He took his career earnings to R1 039 325.
Astro News was bred by Oldlands Stud and sold for R200 000 on the National Yearling Sale.
He is by Silvano out of the seven time winning Dominion Royale mare, Orange Moon.
It was a second feature win for Silvano after the smart Hot Ticket won the Gr3 Lektron Chairman’s Cup 48 hours earlier down at Kenilworth.
On the damp Scottsville afternoon, Sean Cormack and Keagan De Melo rode a winning double apiece.