Gavin van Zyl’s five-year-old Black Minnaloushe gelding Blackball looks capable of stepping up to bigger races after sauntering to victory in yesterday’s Listed Michaelmas Handicap over 1900m under Warren Kennedy.
The gelding, who wears a cornell collar, was last seen in the KZN Winter Challenge 2000 on June 8, where he was most unlucky.
However, the yard had him fit and ready and were confident in the build up.
Kennedy is in sublime form and took a strong hold as they jumped from pole position as the gelding has a tendency to pull.
However, the cover was quickly there and the athletic bay was relaxed in midfield from then onwards in the eight horse field.
In the straight he moved up under the hands and when he quickened through a gap it was race over.
Starting at odds of 113/20 he won by 1,75 lengths from the two biggest outsiders in the field, the Gareth van Zyl-trained 16/1 shot Paths Of Victory and the Dennis Drier-trained 22/1 shot Wealthy.
Silver Rose and The Dazzler were next best ahead of the disappointing favourite Our Coys.
The meeting started with winner number 16 this season for Garth Puller when Luke Ferraris extracted a strong finish out of the Var colt Brooklyn, who converted 16/10 favouritism. He is owned by a Hong Kong-based syndicate managed by Luke’s trainer father David.
Kennedy was on the board in the next on the Gareth van Zyl-trained Noble Tune gelding Lightning Parcador, who started 28/10 favourite and beat Greek Head by a short-head.
The Kumaran Naidoo-trained Mambo In Seattle filly Jer got off the mark at the eleventh time of asking in the next, ridden by Raymond Danielson.
Gary Rich and Billy Jacobson combined to win the first of the handicaps with the Master Of MY Fate gelding Clouds Of Witness, but only after an objection against Techno Captain, who carried him outward slightly and crossed the line a whisker in front.
The Paul Lafferty-trained Gimmethegreenlight filly Shoot The Wagon then got off the mark at the ninth time of asking under Calvin Habib.
The sixth was a Mr 92 Handicap for fillies and mares and the Dennis Drier-trained Pathfork mare Stelvio stayed on resolutely from a handy position to win under Sean Veale.
In the eighth over 1400m the Lowen Dennyschen-trained Byword mare Eternal Words won courageously from the front under Jason Gates.
Gareth van Zyl scored a double and Warren Kennedy a treble when the Oratorio colt Horoscope Harry burst through late to convert favouritism cosily in the last over 1200m.
By David Thiselton