4 JUNE 2017
It was billed as the battle between the north and the south and, while it is debateable whether the honours should not have been shared over the two Grade 1 races at Greyville on Saturday, it was the south that prevailed with popular Cape trainer Brett Crawford winning both the R2-million Daily News 2000 and the R1-million Woolavington 2000.
The two three-year-old level-weights events headed the card on the annual Daily News 2000 meeting and racegoers and punters around the country were treated to two of the most thrilling finishes.
In the Woolavington 2000, it was Crawford’s Dynasty filly Lady Of The House, the 14-1 outsider racing from the widest 15 draw, that held off Justin Snaith’s favourite Gimme Six, that jumped from draw one, by a nose in a controversial final battle to the line. It resulted in a race revue then an objection by jockey Anthony Delpech on the grounds of interference in the latter stages.
Piere Strydom had taken Lady Of The House to the front from his wide draw right from the start and dictated the pace but in the closing stages he allowed his mount to shift across towards the path of the closing Gimme Six. It became very close between the two with Delpech claiming interference but the objection was overruled by the stipendiary board that decided Gimme Six would not have beaten Lady Of The House.
The Daily News 2000 saw the Derby winners from the Cape and Gauteng, Edict Of Nantes and Al Sahem, locked in a nail-biting fight to the line with both coming from midfield in the running to join battle in the home straight.
Champion trainer Sea Tarry, who had won two Grade 1 races at Scottsville a week before, had Anthony Delpech piloting Al Sahem with Anton Marcus in the saddle of Edict Of Nantes for Crawford. The pair disputed favouritism in the betting and the general belief was that it was a two-horse race. That belief was proven correct as they became engaged in a momentous fight to the line with Horizon and Glider Pilot left to fill the minor places some three lengths further back.
It was a perfect display of exciting racing at the highest level with the country’s two top riders on the country’s two top three-year-olds going stride for stride in a vigorous battle where Edict Of Nantes prevailed by half a length.
Both Grade 1 events raced in the colours of leading owners Markus and Ingrid Jooste under the banner of Mayfair Speculators and the green, gold and black silks were back in the winner’s enclosure for a treble after Marcus had ridden another great finish to win the ninth race for trainer Dennis Drier on the Seventh Rock gelding Guiness in the ninth race.
The R300 000, Grade 3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup over 2 400m was won by the Justin Snaith-trained Captain Al gelding Captain Splendid under Piere Strydom beating My World and pacemaker Serissa across the line. The Tarry-trained Serissa had led the field from Three Balloons and My World but Captain Splendid proved too strong for the opposition in the home straight to win by 1.5 lengths.
The quote of the day came from Marcus, a man of the Jewish faith who, after winning the Daily News 2000 for Brett Crawford, said he had finished in the second box for the trainer so many times it seemed “someone had put a piece of pork in the winner’s box.”
By Richard McMillan