Born To Perform, almost written off as unmanageably early in his career, has paid dividends to those that have held faith as he landed the Kings Cup (Listed) at Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday.
The grey, a throw-back to his dam and Vodacom Durban July winner Dancer’s Daughter, now boasts a 50% winning strike rate from his 12 starts after yesterday’s win and given that Dennis Bosch can keep a lid on his hot temperament Born To Perform could have a bright future in the last few months of the current season.
The win was watched by more on television at home than on a deserted Hollywoodbets Greyville, but Bosch has picked his races carefully and Born To Perform is still at the bottom of the handicap when it comes to the higher echelons.
That could change after yesterday’s win, but given the close margins, Born To Perform could still be running under the radar heading into South Africa’s Champions Season.
Crown Towers left S’Manga Khumalo standing in the gate and was declared a non-runner, but Kennedy had Born To Perform settled nicely towards the rear of the ‘peloton’.
Born To Perform got a perfect split up the centre and champion jockey elect Warren Kennedy punched him through to win well. DD’S Dynasty also finished with a rattle but not fast enough ot catch the flying grey.
Eric Ngwane has had a tough time breaking back into the local ranks after a spell in Mauritius and it has been a long time between drinks since. That said, his laundryman would have been in business after he steered outsider Saint Philip to an upset win in the opening leg of the Pick 6.
A Garth Puller inmate, Saint Philip appeared to stumble badly at around the 1200 m mark but Ngwane stayed aboard and got his mount back on an even keel. Saint Philip then rocketed through to out-gun another outsider, Glacier Rush, and a very green San Verde getting up for the shallow end of the purse.
Apprentice Jabu Jacobs is on a roll and he added another three winners to his total towards shedding his claim with a hard-fought treble, his second in recent weeks.
The proof in the pudding always comes when the claim is lost but Jacobs has the right personality and the talent to make it over the line as a fully fledged rider.
That is all in the future but he cleverly slipped Baccino through up the inside fence for Mike Miller to land the second on the 14-1 shot, and then showed his worth in a tight finish to get Paths Of Victory up to deny Marchingontogether in the next, a race marred but a pedestrian early pace.
Jacobs and van Zyl were back in the winner’s enclosure thirty minutes later. Fellow 4kg claimer apprentice Yuzae Ramzan made him work harder for this win. Ramzan led all the way aboard Admirals Guest until the last jump where Jacobs got another outsider, Noble Joshua, up in the last stride.
Richard Fourie may have blanked with the first of Justin Snaith’s runners for Champions Season as he gave Knights Templar the perfect ride only to finish out of the back door, but it did not take long for him to make his mark. Yogas Govender’s gelding We Light The Fire had a short fuse and Fourie produced him with a telling late run to win the seventh as he liked.
Apprentice Thabiso Gumede got a late call to replace Warren Kennedy aboard Fives Wild in the last and it was a ride well worth it as Kom Naidoo’s runner bolted clear over the final 20 furlongs to comfortable get home ahead of Rocket Fire and Jardin.
By Andrew Harrison