Mark Khan pretty much summed it up after Final Assembly scored in the second at Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday. “Buying horses on a horses in training sale is a bit of a lucky packet – but it won, that’s all that counts.”
Final Assembly arrived in Lezeanne Forbes’s yard a four-year-old maiden and although he did not meet the strongest of maiden fields in his first outing for the stable, he justified his purchase by finishing hard up the inside with Khan throwing everything but the kitchen sink at his mount.
Rob Haswell is having the run of his life with his colours prominent in the winner’s enclosure in recent weeks and Master Keys obliged with back-to-back victories in the seventh for Nathan Kotzen. Most of Haswell’s runners have been bred by good friend Anton Procter who is also an advisor to Nothemba Mlonzi who has a fledgling stud outside of Howick in the KZN Midlands and who bred Master Keys.
Starting favourite, she looked in trouble a furlong out, but she responded gamely to Muzi Yeni’s urgings to get the better of Spam Alert and Mitra Music.
Path To Glory has not been the easiest horse to follow but Mike Miller’s charge, once as high as 80 in the handicap, took full advantage of a further three-point relief to upset in the sixth.
Earlier, Alyson Wright, who had success with Matterhorn, cautioned that favourite Scarlet Chill may be short of peak fitness after coming off a virus, and so it proved as Serino Moodley motored home on the 10-1 shot, Scarlet Chill some three lengths adrift in second.
Matterhorn, who made a smart debut against winners, started a short price for the second but gave all supporters a heart attack, scrapping home by the narrowest of margins from pacemaker Frankie Two Shoes.
Raymond Danielson, who booted home a double for the Wright stable, was magnanimous in victory giving credit for a good ride by Ant Mgudlwa on the runner up.
In spite of the tight winning margin, Matterhorn does look to have scope. “He needs to mature and when he goes a distance, he’ll be a nice horse,” said Wright. Danielson concurred. “He took time to get going today. A course like Scottsville will suit him.”
Techno Captain was once one of the leading lights in Paul Gadsby’s Ashburton yard three season’s back but he was a tricky customer in his early days and not the easiest to train.
However, Gadsby has persisted and although not reaching the heights originally expected, Techno Captain has paid his way and was rewarded with his fifth win yesterday. He looked to be the ‘right’ horse in the race in spite of top weight but Sherman Brown had to work hard. Brown is one of the most powerful riders in a finish and tough to get past. Al Jackman would not go away like an irritating fly on your fruit salad, but Brown was always ready with the fly-spray.
Wright rounded off a fine afternoon with Danielson doing the honours aboard Someone Exciting in the last.
By Andrew Harrison