Corinne Bestel has one of the smaller yards in Summerveld but she has a racing pedigree second to none, being the daughter of Eileen Bestel. Bestel was among the first female trainers in the country along with Anne Upton and had the distinction of training the once world record holder for 1800m, Sabre.
It was a rare double for Bestel and staunch owner Georgina Buchanan at Hollywoodbets Scottsville yesterday. The first timer Soiree got the ball rolling in the card opener as she got the better of the fancied Bling A Ding and Gareth Wright completed the double for the stable as the consistent Blaze Of Silk kept finding in the sixth to out-gun pacemaker Great Stohvanen inside the final furlong.
Bestel is not one to hold back when her runners are in with a shout and nor does Warren Lenferna who had those around him looking for earplugs as favourite Marsanne landed the odds in the fourth.
One of the allures of horseracing is buying a relatively cheap horse whose performance outdoes their purchase price but also has a fine story behind it.
Marsanne was a chance buy as she took a shine to Dave MacLean at the yearling sales at Gosforth Park, allowing him to pet her forehead. Enter Lenferna who was accompanying MacLean on the day. Marsanne took umbrage at his approach and latched onto his arm.
There was an omen according to Maclean and he subsequently landed the final bid on the filly.
Not having the best of legs, Marsanne was a late starter but under the patient care of Duncan Howells, she scored her third win from four starts yesterday and was possibly unlucky not to have a clean sheet, the saddle having slipped in her previous start.
MacLean races the filly in partnership with Howells, Lenferna and Frank da Ascencao.
Marsanne was the first of a Howells treble with Wildly In Love getting home by a short head in the fifth to deny Queen Of Alamo and apprentice Gabriel Pieterse his first winner.
The money came for Straight Up in the last and while there was a little squeaky bum time for his supporters approaching the last furlong, Mark Khan left the best for last as he pushed Straight Up past favourite Do Or Dare to win going away.
Apprentice Jabu Jacobs, making full use of his 4kg claim and carrying out the instruction of legendary jockey Gath Puller, rode perfect race on Jack Of Hearts in the seventh. In receipt of lumps of weight from the opposition, Jacobs set the pace the strapping son of Jackson. He then gave him mount a breather approaching the final turn and then chased for home at the top of the straight.
All along, Donovan Dillon had him in his sights as Zanzibarian loomed up alongside but the 8.5kg difference told in the final analysis with Jack Of Hearts eventually pulling clear to win rather comfortably.
Warren Kennedy took a tumble at Turffontein on Saturday and although only shaken according to his wife Barbra, he was booked off the rest of his rides on the day so the 48hr rule applied.
As a result, Callan Murray was called in as replacement and proved an able deputy as he and Gareth van Zyl posted a double with Horoscope Harry in the second and Noble Joshua in the eighth.
This coming Saturday, Hollywoodbets Scottsville plays host to a meeting for rural riders before undergoing its annual spring treatment.
By Andrew Harrison