Sing Out Loud, almost unbackable at 1-3, won like a horse with a future after stretching seven and a half lengths clear in the final 300m of the opener at Kenilworth on Saturday.
As Anton Marcus said, “she didn’t beat much but it was the manner in which she did it.” He also pointed out that she got a bit warm but Brett Crawford said: “I don’t think that’s a problem – she is a filly that is still learning and I thought she was a lot better today being ponied to the start. Also she didn’t have a punishing race so it will have done her confidence the world of good.
“She was a late maturer and this is the reason why she started racing late. She is a progressive filly but she is not going to be ready for anything soon.”
It’s Complex, trained by Vaughan Marshall and owned by Robert Ng so presumably bound for Hong Kong if he proves good enough, completed a Marcus double in the 1 800m maiden despite drifting right under pressure. “He is not the most tractable,” said the four-time champion, “but given the time he could develop into a useful horse.”
Justin Snaith dominated much of the rest of the card and the first three of his four-timer were all three-year-olds. Seemingly this is significant. “I think I have the most incredible crop of three-year-olds but I have thought all season that they were capable of so much more. I’m glad to see that they are now coming to the fore and I really hope that you will see more of them coming through.”
Richard Fourie’s masterful timing saw both the Fosters’ homebred First Street and Silver Host in the Drakenstein colours getting up close home. I have long been convinced that one of the reasons Snaith wins so many handicaps is because his horses are ridden to win by as little as possible.
Robert Khathi celebrated his 35th birthday by winning on Tango With Tigers and Nexus but apparently he was booked only after impressing on the boss that he should have some good rides for the occasion. “I heard Robert moaning,” said Snaith, “And I now know how my dad felt with a son like me always ungrateful!”
Interviewer Stan Elley was so impressed with Khathi’s handling of Tango With Tigers that he said he should be paid double the normal riding fee. But he was even better on Nexus in the last, weaving his way in and out of gaps like a seamstress in a clothing factory. Nancy Hossack’s winner is being aimed at the Peninsula Handicap on January 11.
Dean Kannemeyer’s classic hopes for Liberty Hall met with a setback when the Premiers Champion runner-up finished second last in the Nexus race but the Milnerton trainer and Keagan de Melo followed up Friday’s Greyville treble (De Melo had four) with top weight Rille in the 1 800m handicap. “I’m not a fan of the handicapper,” confessed Kannemeyer. “But he was probably right today. I now just hope that he doesn’t get too carried away by this win.”
Greg Cheyne, five winners at Fairview on Friday, could get no closer than second but Ossie Noach earned praise from Michelle Rix for his handling of Alfred’s Girl in the Tabonline Handicap.
Kenilworth co-chairmen Robert Bloomberg and Mark Currie are holding open house at the course at 6.00pm today to discuss, and answer questions, on a variety of topics including finances and stakes. The venue is the Kenilworth Room and all are welcome.
By Michael Clower