The Brett Crawford-trained G G’s Dynasty carried topweight to a cosy victory in yesterday’s Listed Michael Roberts Handicap over 1800m on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly in a meeting which was characterised by the thrilling tussle between Paul Lafferty and Garth Puller and Anton Marcus and Warren Kennedy at the top of the respective trainers’ and jockeys’ Hollywoodbets Sizzling Summer Challenge tables.
The meeting was moved to the Greyville poly from Scottsville due to heavy rain at the latter venue overnight and a forecast of more rain yesterday and through the rest of this week.
G G’s Dynasty, who started 49/20 favourite, sat on the rail from midfield under Anton Marcus. He moved up smoothly in the straight and repelled the challenge of Tristful to win by half-a-length. Third-placed Born To Perform, who was second favourite at 53/20, lost some ground at the start before running on strongly in the straight. Blackball was next best and was also a touch unlucky as he was squeezed out in the straight before running on well. The Dazzler was next best.
Lafferty started the meeting 18 points clear of Puller on the Hollywoodbets Sizzling Summer Challenge trainer’s table, whilst Marcus and Kennedy were joint-top of the Jockey’s table.
In the first race Puller gained a point on Lafferty when Sereno Moodley kept Miss Charlotte going after taking her around horses to the front. She held on by a short-head from the Lafferty-trained favourite Lady Of Lutetia.
In the next the Puller and Lafferty pair Explosive Beauty and Blush Of Dawn fought out a thrilling dead-head under Anton Marcus and Ant Mgudlwa respectively.
Louis Goosen sent out the one-two in the next, a MR 89 handicap over 1000m, with Di Mazzio and Winter Blues ridden by Billy Jacobson and Craig Zackey respectively.
The fourth saw another victory for Anton Marcus on the Kom Naidoo-trained Arizona Sunset.
However in the next Marcus was narrowly beaten on the favourite Baby Shooz by the Gareth van Zyl-trained longshot Skollie, ridden by Zackey.
The sixth saw a treble for Puller as 4kg claimer Thabiso Gumede kept Georgina Rose going from the front to beat the Kennedy-ridden Petra by 0,75 lengths with Marcus next best on Marsanne.
In the last race Wendy Whitehead’s Royal View found a lot of support and never looked in danger of defeat under Zackey, beating the Puller-trained closer Brunilda by 1,75 lengths.
Puller earned 51,5 points in the day to close the gap on Lafferty to five points.
Marcus’ good day would have seen him forging clear in the Jockeys table.
At the top of the horse table Explosive Beauty is now only 5.5 points behind her Lafferty-trained stable companion Bint El Malak.
By David Thiselton