The highest rated race at the Hollywoodbets Greyville polytrack meeting yesterday was the seventh, a MR 98 Handicap over 1 400m, and the useful Padre Pio clinched a double on the day for the Dennis Bosch and Craig Zackey combination.
The three-year-old Vercingetorix gelding has always been well regarded and after a disappointing Cape Town campaign got back on track here when showing a fine turn of foot from near the back and winning easing up by 1,30 lengths from Georgina Rose and the favourite Mount Anderson.
The first race, a qualified Maiden over 1900m, saw Ashton Arries producing the Alyson Wright-trained three-year-old Wylie Hall gelding Bhakka from midfield with a strong run to beat the 25-1 longshot Command Respect by 1,30 lengths. The widely drawn Belshazzar ran on from the back for third and is one to watch out for when better drawn in a similar event.
Highveld trainer Weiho Marwing targeted the second race, a Maiden over 2 000m, a few weeks ago for his three-year-old Flower Alley filly Adorable Alley.
Muzi Yeni said Marwing had told him three weeks ago at track at Turffontein she would “definitely win”.
She duly obliged to give Yeni his first win after his long layoff.
The pace was good and Yeni was able to slot in easily before going on to convert favoritism by 3,80 lengths from Alabama Slide with Brave Lass a further 2,70 lengths back in third.
The third race over 2 000m was run at a slow pace which allowed Warren Kennedy to get up from a handy position on the widely drawn Gavin van Zyl-trained Oratorio filly Oratorina.
The favourite Green Ice jumped from pole and traveled well but could not make up the leeway off that slow pace and finished unplaced.
The low drawn jockeys didn’t learn from the previous race and allowed Craig Zackey on the outside drawn Joy Maisha to claim the lead without doing any work in the fourth race over 2 000m.
The Argentinian-bred Dennis Bosch-trained filly built up a sizeable lead steadily and held on by 1,30 lengths from the favourite What A Thrill.
The handy horses came out trumps in the fifth over 2 000m too and it was Raymond Danielson on the MJ Odendaal-trained Querari gelding Wildlife Safari who held on from the favourite Favour and High Green.
In the sixth over 1 000m the Louis Goosen-trained Main Aim mare Yaas, a 20-1 shot, was given a good ride by Billy Jacobson.
He managed to slot in behind the leader from a draw of eight and extract the necessary extra to prevail in a blanket finish.
In the last race over 1 600m Gareth Wright wisely went handy from pole position on the Andre Nel-trained Run To Denmark and the Black Minnaloushe gelding ran on well to beat Hexatonic by 1,10 lengths with Dutch Alley next best.
By David Thiselton