Brave Move’s spirit to be rekindled

PUBLISHED: 03 June 2019

Brave Move is to race on despite finishing plumb last on her reappearance in the Pinnacle at Kenilworth on Saturday

The Ladies Mile and Final Fling winner went from hero to zero in the Cape season, showing about as much enthusiasm towards the end of it as a turkey for Christmas. Adam Marcus, though, reckoned he could rekindle the sort of spirit that had won the mare six off the reel: “I put her in a paddock and let her soften up – and I waited until she showed me she was happy before bringing her in again.”

Adam Marcus
Adam Marcus

The treatment seemed to work: she was alert, on her toes with ears pricked and taking a keen interest, as she walked out onto the course and it was only the punters who were sceptical, allowing her to drift from 10-15 to 16-10. They looked like being proved wrong when Diego de Gouveia pressed the button. She moved up like a winner but just as suddenly she emptied and dropped away.

Marcus was not surprised: “I brought her into this very fresh expecting it to be a 1 000m race but almost at the last minute they changed it to 1 400m and she had had no grass gallop. But she did look happy and her work has been good so we will carry on from here.”

The race was won by the Snaith-trained Libra ridden by Robert Khathi who picked up two whip fines  – more than 12 strokes – in successive races earlier in the afternoon.

Many racegoers were openly wondering how Anthony Andrews would get hotpot Constable across from the slower inside to the better going on the outer without giving away too much ground in the maiden juvenile. He seemed to manage it pretty seamlessly, and well after the initial 200m keep-straight section, but seemingly appearances were deceptive.

Andrews reported: “It wasn’t that easy but I didn’t want to get beaten on an odds-on favourite by staying on the inside when my instructions were to come up the outside.”

Jockeys tend to take a jaundiced view of instructions, certainly those of the verbose sort, and for the last two meetings a quote from Lester Piggott has adorned the weighing room wall. It says, beneath a picture of the great man: “A good jockey doesn’t need orders and a bad jockey couldn’t carry them out anyway. So it’s best not to give them any.”

Morne Winnaar gives them to himself, particularly now that he is doing so well. After completing a Glen Kotzen double on Pearl Tiara he said: “When you go out there you’ve got to have a plan and beforehand I said ‘when she comes out of the pens I am going to be close.’ You don’t want to be at the back with too much ground to make up.”

Backers of Var Express in the Betting World Maiden can count themselves unlucky. The 2-1 favourite cast a front shoe on the way to the start and then lost the replacement during the race. He managed only fifth behind M.J. Byleveld on the Geoff Woodruff-trained The Perfect Wave.

Liam Tarentaal had a good week, following up a winner for Vaughan Marshall at Durbanville on Tuesday with success for Justin Snaith on Fortune Flies here. The 21-year-old’s total now stands at 35.

Work riders’ races are not popular with punters – the form is unreliable – but they play a vital part in racing’s labour relations and, something the rest of us tend to forget, they are looked forward to for days beforehand by the participants. “This was a big day for me,” said Dean Kannemeyer staff member Bulelani Thwalani after making all on the Mike Stewart-trained Hollywood Belle, adding that it was his second winner and rattling off where he had finished in a string of other races.

By Michael Clower