His rowdy backers did not take the slightest bit of notice of all the black looks as they bellowed home 36/1 chance Justfortheepenny in the second at Hollywoodbets Scottsville yesterday. With only one behind him turning for home, the volume gradually grew from a hopeful cry of “come on Muzi” to a crescendo as Muzi Yeni drove the colt home to a commanding victory for Nathan Kotzen and owner Rob Haswell who had brought along an enthusiastic entourage to share in the moment.
Bred by his good friend Anton Procter, it was a sentimental win for Haswell as the colt was named in honour of his late wife Penny who was a pillar of ‘Maritzburg society and well known for her philanthropic work. A strapping son of Just As Well, Justfortheepenny won with authority, showing a sharp turn of foot which bodes well for his future.
Haswell is not one to shy away from a good punt and there will have been a few sighs of relief around the betting shops as Cumulus played second fiddle to Ultra Magnus in the seventh.
But Haswell will have known his fate early, as Brett Crawford’s runner put plenty of daylight between himself, Cumulus and the opposition. Ultra Magnus has had his fair share of niggles but Zimbabwean Brian Makwabarara, well known in racing circles here and north of the border, and partner Graeme Hawkins have been patient and things are looking rosy.
Gareth van Zyl will have taken great satisfaction in Noble Joshua’s victory in the Track & Ball Gaming Apprentice Handicap as Kabelo Matsunyane got the often difficult gelding home ahead of another not so easy ride, Legend.
“He is self-destructive,” confirmed Van Zyl. “He was scratched at the start twice before but we have been working on him and he seems to have got over that now.”
It was not an easy day for supporters of favourites and Bella Ballarina got the ball rolling in the first, Yeni producing Yogas Govender’s filly with a timely run to out-point the two more fancied rivals, Talia Al Ghul and Katie’s Treasure. The latter appears to be another problem child, Mark Khan mounting up only once the filly had been loaded.
Anton Marcus steadied the ship somewhat in the third as he scored on the odds-on chance Arizona Silk to give Kotzen a quick double. Up against winners at his last two, Arizona Silk franked the form of stable companion Kayden’s Pride and the Mike de Kock runner Alibi Guy, both runners on eLan Gold Cup day this Saturday.
Corinne Bestel has a small string but her runners appear to have an affinity for Scottsville with Blaze Of Silk doing the honours under apprentice Tejash Juglall in the fourth.
Serino Moodley made his trip to Scottsville for one ride count as he steered Carmella home for Mike Miller in the fifth. The filly was saddled by Craig Eudey. Eudey handed in his trainer’s brief earlier this year but has now signed up with Miller in partnership, the two having known each other for over 40 years.
Marsanne lost her unbeaten record in the Blinkers Bar Handicap but this was her first outing on a firm turf track, her two wins both coming on the poly, but she did well enough finishing a close-up third behind the progressive Linnear trained by Lezeanne Forbes and less fancied stable companion Wildly In Love.
It was a tough day at the office for visiting trainer Paul Peter who had a number of well fancied runners disappoint, but he did not go home empty handed with Corrido rounding off his afternoon.
By Andrew Harrison