Ashburton-based Belinda Impey is due to hand in her trainer’s brief at the end of this month but after Antigonus ruled in the last at Scottsville yesterday she may have a change of heart.
Impey was assistant to Gilbert Werner for many years but went on her own after his death. It’s been a struggle since with new owners like hen’s teeth and she has no definite plans. “I’ll take a break for a while and then see from there,” she said last week.
Antigonus had been off the track since September last year and with only a barrier trial under his girth it was a smart training feat to get the gelding into the winner’s box first up.
Kom Naidoo sends out a steady stream of winners from his Ashburton yard and he produced a double yesterday along with two runner-up berths.
Two-year-old Rainbow Unicorn out-ran the year older Winter Retreat in the second and Flaming Desire, a 50-1 winner at her previous start, repeated the dose as Jarred Samuel got her home again in the eighth at generous odds of 30-1.
Naidoo was a little cautious during the week concerning Flaming Desire, fearing that the winter track may be on the firm side for the filly, but Samuel held her up for as long as he dared before pouncing late. “She was on point today,” said Samuels.
Fives Wild, the R3k purchase from a horses-in-training sale, added more to his stake earnings that have topped R200k in four starts for Naidoo. This time he was not able to match the turn around in weights with Bedazzled Joker who finally got his act together for Alyson Wright, Anton Marcus taking no prisoners as he made an early move on the leaders and Fives Wild holding on just long enough from a faster finishing Dallas.
Wright was back in the winner’s enclosure in the sixth as Bernard Fayd’Herbe got Scarlet Chill to snatch a short-head decision from the Naidoo-trained Arizona Sunset.
Fayd’Herbe is riding with supreme confidence of late and lifted his tally of winners since May 1 to 27 with a double. He started his day with a typically driving ride on Kateecador for Gavin van Zyl in one of the tightest finishes of the day.
Garth Puller has had something of a quiet time of late with his horses not firing, but has tracked it down to feed, specifically a batch of teff. He appears to have got on top of the problem as March Preview finished of his race with a rattle under apprentice Luke Ferraris and Forceful Rush, drawn wide and last for much of the early exchanges, finishing on top of the placed runners.
Miss Frankel was the talk on course and taking an early lead from her outside draw she looked on track to land the odds. Keagan de Melo ease her over from her outside draw, looking for company. When the challenges came, she stuck gamely to her task but was unable to hold the late rattle from Kateecador and the grey Isca, making it a father and son exacta.
Angel Bouquet gave Met winning trainer Yogas Govender a few anxious moments in the first as she took Lyle Hewiston on the scenic route to the line.
She was none to keen once getting her nose in front but kept going well enough to hold off the first timer Point Of Sale.
Point Of Sale did not have a barrier trial which had some observant punters hot under the collar but officials have cut some slack regarding problem horses at trainer’s requests.
Point Of Sale, sporting earmuffs, was in the paddock a good 10 minutes before the rest of the field and left the paddock five minutes before them but showed no signs of being unruly. Given that all first timers in KZN are required to trial it should be incumbent on officials to provide a public explanation as to why there was no trial!
By Andrew Harrison