Dennis Drier got off the mark for the Cape season in some style when newcomer Croisette made a winning debut – and like a real good horse – in the Tabonline.co.za Maiden at Kenilworth yesterday.
The Var filly, a half-sister to SA Fillies Classic and SA Oaks winner Juxtapose, was surprisingly easy to back considering the promise she had shown in a Scottsville barrier trial, and she went off at 8-11. Sean Veale had her first away and, although the more experienced Cyber Blossom soon headed her, it was only on sufferance. The favourite came away from two furlongs out to win in a common canter with her rider patting her admiringly down the neck.
Veale said: “I know she didn’t beat much but it was the way she did it. I rate her highly and I think she is very special and very classy.”
Drier echoed this, saying: “I am thrilled with this run. I think she could be something special although I will take it slowly with her.”
He has brought 15 others down from Durban “but no Beach Beautys or Master Of My Fates this time.”
However he had some disturbing words – disturbing that is if you are an owner or trainer with horses in Cape Town – about the comparative level of the stakes in the two centres. “Most of the 16 are Cape Town-owned and I am very grateful to their owners for allowing me to bring their horses down here because they are not going to be racing for the stakes we have in Durban.”
Apparently several of his owners based elsewhere were not keen for their horses to race for the prize money now on offer at Kenilworth.
BLOB The Eric Sands-trained Bitter Lemon, who was Anton Marcus’s only ride of the day when a disappointing seventh of eight in the 1 400m fillies handicap at Kenilworth last Saturday, has been suspended for 60 days. The 11-2 shot was found to have suffered a bilateral epistaxsis (burst blood vessel with blood coming from both nostrils).
By Michael Clower