European soccer champions Liverpool currently head the BPL log but Jurgen Klopp will need a change of tyres if they are to stay there after a dodgy display against Sheffield United at the weekend.
But all those Liverpool supporters – and there are a lot of them who like a tickle on the ponies – went home happy from Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday after the bravely-named Liverpool Champ had put in a game performance in the Track & Ball Gaming Handicap.
Liverpool Champ hooked up with the seasoned Techno Captain two furlongs out and they had the battle to themselves with the balance out with the washing.
But it was the Gavin van Zyl-trained Liverpool Champ who finally prevailed under log leading rider Warren Kennedy, scoring in the last few jumps.
Kennedy and Van Zyl landed a quick touch as Lady Caroline Lamb finally had some luck in running to win the Gold Circle Podcast Handicap half-an-hour earlier. Starting favourite at her last start, she found a heap of trouble in the running but there were no mistakes yesterday.
Backed in from 6-1 and starting 2-1, the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade took up the running a long way out and in spite of looking to hang in, won rather comfortably.
Ashburton trainers were to the fore, winning three of the eight races. Diamondsandpearls looked the ‘right’ one in the card opener but given her history and the fact that she had only had four outings before yesterday, it was Miss Charlotte who started favourite. Miss Charlotte failed to pitch and Donovan Dillon punched Shane Humby’s filly clear to a fluent win over Kildonan Bay.
Coldhardcash was an expensive yearling purchase who showed top potential on the home gallops early in his career. However, he developed breathing problems and has not run up to early expectations.
That said, Duncan Howells has got to the bottom of the problem and Coldhardcash followed up on his last win with another smart effort in the Greyville Convention Centre Handicap. Apprentice Jason Gates getting the gelding away quickly and making all the running.
It was reward for Howells and apprentice Thabiso Gumede who were a little unlucky in the previous event. With the field bunching on the outside strip, Gumede found himself boxed in and forced to switch Accidental Tourist in for a clear passage, but too late as Georgina Rose followed up on her maiden win to keep her clean sheet for Garth Puller.
Kom Naidoo has persevered with the mare Skyfire, now seven years old, as she seldom puts in anything but her best. Tried from on the pace last run in a much stronger field than yesterday, Raymond Danielson had her closer to last at the top of the straight. There was a mighty rush for the line with little separating the first five home, but Skyfire motored up the outside fence to win going away.
The judges denied Kennedy and Van Zyl a third winner on the day as Keagan de Melo rounded off the meeting with a double for Dean Kannemeyer, Gimme Peace skating home in the seventh and favourite Arrabiata scraping home ahead of Down To Earth in the last.
By Andrew Harrison