(9 March 2014)
There was major success but also major disappointment for South African racing at the Super Saturday meeting at Meydan in Dubai last night.
Mike de Kock once again flew the flag high by winning the Gr1 Jebel Hatta with his unbeaten Silvano colt Vercingetorix as well as the Gr3 Meydan Sprint with Shea Shea, who were both bred by Klawervlei Stud and ridden by Christophe Soumillon.
The major disappointment was twice Equus Horse Of The Year, the Joey Ramsden-trained Variety Club, who could only manage second in the Gr3 Burj Nahaal over 1 600m on the tapeta.
Vercingetorix sat handy in the 1 800m turf event and his stablemate Anaerobio kindly moved off the rail to let him through down the inside in the straight.
The good looking colt had soon put the race to bed and won comfortably from Vancouverite with Anaerobio third.
Variety Club has hero status in South Africa and this was his first defeat since being beaten by Jackson in the Gr1 Investec Cape Derby on January, 2012.
Variety Club started odds-on last night and after sitting one wide on the flank of the leader, his regular pilot Anton Marcus moved him forward and they struck the front half-way down the straight.
However, just as his many supporters had begun celebrating another machine-like victory, he suddenly began wilting and the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Godolphin-owned Shuruq, who was the only filly in the field, flew up to pass him to win comfortably.
The De Kock machine was on the board after the night’s first thoroughbred feature, the Gr3 Meydan Sprint over five furlongs, which saw the six-year-old National Emblem gelding Shea Shea only just retaining his crown under a fine ride by Soumillon.
Later, the De Kock-trained Ashaawes gelding Sanshaawes put his hand up for a place in the US$ 10 million Dubai World Cup when running second in the Gr1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 on the tapeta under Soumillon.
Two other South African-breds Zambucca and Alexandra Palace ran 10th and 13th respectively in that race.
The De Kock-trained National Assembly colt Soft Falling Rain had to overcome a wide draw in the fourth, the Gr3 Mahab Al Shimal over 1 200m on the tapeta, and appeared to be in need of the run as he only managed ninth, more than 5,5 lengths behind the winner.
De Kock’s British-bred Oasis Dream colt Gale Force Ten, owned by Mary Slack’s Wilgerbosdrift Stud, disappointed again and trailed in last in that race.
Sean Tarry’s Vodacom Durban July winner Heavy Metal, and De Kock’s Mujaarib both disappointed in the Gr2 Dubai City Of Gold over 2 410m, finding little in the straight from midfield positions to finish second last and third last respectively.
(9 March 2014)
Tellytrack, Channel 239 on DSTV, will pull the plug on their International Service effective from tomorrow, March 10.
Speaking on the eve of the commencement of a dedicated local horse racing service Tellytrack CEO John Stuart said: “Tellytrack has evolved over the last 10 years to being acknowledged as the world-class racing service that it is today.
“It is now time to embark upon the next phase of the journey of Tellytrack’s growth and that will commence with the creation of two separate racing services, one focused on local horse racing, the other dedicated to the best of international racing.”
“A combination of ongoing requests from the Tellytrack community and the insistence by our international rights holders to receive a fair fee from bookmakers for permitting the display of their racing in licensed betting outlets and our inability to get bookmakers to agree, created the need to separate the international service from the local service and to deliver the international racing as a separate service.”
“We approached MultiChoice for an additional channel on numerous occasions, but due to capacity constraints, this has not been possible. As a result, with effect from Monday, 10 March, channel 239 will focus on local racing.
The Tellytrack international service will be on display at all racecourses and TAB and TAB Gold retail outlets.
Tellytrack’s international racing service will also be made available to bookmakers licensed to display the intellectual property in their retail betting outlets,” added Stuart.
Customers who wish to access the international service from home or the office will be able to do so via www.tabonline.co.za and/or www.tabgold.co.za. Initially, and to discourage piracy of the service, the display of these races will be delayed by about two minutes.
“We are exploring ways of making live international racing available on a more commercially secure basis including bet-to-view and/or pay-to-view services. “We will make further announcements as soon as we can,” stated Stuart.
“For many years, racing purists have asked us for a service dedicated to South African racing,” said Stuart. More time can now be dedicated to the events in and around the parade ring, the canter past, immediate race-replays and the post-race interviews with owners, trainers and jockeys. Feedback from the Tellytrack community is that this will be very well received.”
Stuart also pointed out that; “in special circumstances, such as the Dubai World Cup, where the rights-holders have granted permission, iconic international races may be shown as an integral part of both the international and South African racing services.”
Questioned on the impact of MultiChoice’s recent announcement terminating the Tellytrack service with effect from 27 March, Stuart responded: “The termination notice on account of ‘unsatisfactory performance’ came as a surprise and a disappointment to us.
“We appreciate that, in comparison to mainstream broadcast sporting channels, Tellytrack does not have a wide following, but ongoing research and customer dialogue confirms that it does have an extremely concerned and committed community, who care deeply about the sport and the service.”
Tellytrack has subsequently approached MultiChoice requesting a new short-term contract that will enable customers to view Tellytrack from home on the MultiChoice platform for an interim period so as to enable a seamless migration of these customers to an alternative service provider.
Stuart concluded: “Continuing to make our live racing service available for free to home customers remains one of our core objectives. We shall leave no stone unturned to achieve this!
“We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused during this period of transition. We shall make further announcements as soon as we can.”
n For further information please contact the Tellytrack call centre on 087 740 4002 or e-mail email@example.com
(9 March 2014)
Mike de Kock looks to possibly have both the strongest two-year-old colt and filly in the country at present, Banaadeer and Majmu, who were ultra impressive in their respective Listed wins at Turffontein yesterday.
They are both Australian-breds that run in the familiar blue and white colours of Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Majmu, by Redoute’s Choice, made her debut in the Listed Ruffian Stakes over 1 000m and in spite of racing very green, glided past the gallant Flame Cat to win smoothly under Anthony Delpech, despite having lost three lengths at the start.
The unbeaten More Than Ready colt Banaadeer then demolished the field in the Listed Storm Bird Stakes over 1 000m for the same connections under a hands and heels ride by Delpech.
The Non-Black Type Gold Rush Sprint over 1 100m also saw a De Kock-trained Australian-bred winner as S’Manga Khumalo got home on the Duke Of Marmalade colt, Moofeed, who has now won three times in four starts.
The Listed Bauhinia Handicap over 1 000m saw the Stanley Ferreira-trained three-year-old Var filly, Winter Passion, who was 0,5kg under sufferance, just getting home under Marco van Rensburg ahead of the De Kock-trained Honorine and the Roy Magner-trained Kinematic Countess.
(10 March 2014)
Thoughts of sending Hill Fifty Four to Turffontein for the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes and the President’s Champions Challenge have been scrapped and the five-year-old will now concentrate on KZN’s Champions Season.
Vaughan Marshall said: “He is not going to Johannesburg and I think we will go the same route with him as we did last year - the Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes on May 3, the Rising Sun Gold Challenge five weeks later and then the Vodacom Durban July.”
Marshall is making an early start to Champions Season with his first runners at Clairwood on Wednesday. All Is Secret (Anton Marcus) is expected to start a warm favourite for the Soccer 10 Conditions Plate and Bold Var (MJ Byleveld) will carry top weight in the Soccer 4 Handicap.
The Cape Town trainer confirmed that Tribal Dance will start off in the Gr3 King’s Cup at Clairwood on March 29.