Blackball had plenty in his favour in the Intelligent Solutions Pinnacle Stakes at Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday and he scored a bloodless victory, the eighth of his career, in spite of having to endure the tribulations of a false start.
Given that the field was almost a carbon copy of the recent UmThombothi Handicap at Hollywoodbets Scottsville and this being a set weights race, Blackball looked very much the live wire and Gavin van Zyl’s soldier did it in style.
Warren Kennedy, fresh from a successful ride on Summer Pudding in the Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks on Saturday and over a nasty bout of flu, rode the race as if he knew the result. Sitting off the pace, Kennedy threaded Blackball through a gap in the middle of the pack and drove past Silver Rose to win comfortably.
“The false start didn’t worry him,” said Kennedy. “He’s a placid horse but I think it upset our other runner. Marchingtontogether is a bit highly strung.”
“He’s really found his best form,” according to Gavin van Zyl who has a few racing during the season in mind.
True To Life, a touch disappointing in the Cape Fillies Guineas back in December where she finished mid-field behind Missisippi Burning, put the record straight with an easy win in the Conditions Plate.
Tracking the pace for much of the early exchanges, Calvin Habib released the handbrake at the top of the straight and she strode to a commanding victory with Camphoratus chasing in vain and still some four lengths adrift at the line.
With South Africa’s Champion Season on the horizon, the Gr 2 KZN Fillies Guineas and the Gr1 Woolavington 2000 must be on the cards for Johan Janse van Vuuren’s filly although assistant Pat Lunn feels that 1 400m is her game.
Time will tell!
Walls Of Dubrovnik, a son of first season sire Fencing Master, record his second straight win in the card opener. Mike Miller has not been afraid to send his juveniles early and Walls Of Dubrovnik was having his third start in a little more than two months but was delighted to see his charge win well. “I thought he was a bit out of his ground, but he just ate up the ground. He seems to be really a nice horse.” Eric Ngwane, who has been a little quiet since returning from a spell in Mauritius, scoring his first win back on the colt and hopefully this second win will see him get some better opportunities. He rode a confident race and the colt responded. “He jumped a little slow but he was comfortable where he was. I knew I had the race at the top of the straight. I didn’t panic and when I squeezed him, he took off.”
Dennis Drier is back on his shooting stick at Summerveld after an extended stay in the Western Cape and Master Of Destiny gave him a welcoming return. Master Of Destiny had let the side down on a couple of occasions but the addition of cheek piece to yesterday’s bridle did wonders.
Always up with the pace, Sean Veale sent him about his business at the top of the straight and at first he appeared to be struggling to shed his challengers. However, they soon began treading water and Master Of Destiny strode away to win as he liked with the long-time maiden Master George in vain pursuit.
By Andrew Harrison