Marcus closing in on Kennedy

PUBLISHED: 10 February 2020

Kings Road (Candiese Lenferna)

Yesterday’s Hollywoodbets Greyville meeting on the polytrack saw Anton Marcus scoring a treble and closing the gap slightly on Warren Kennedy in the Hollywoodbets Sizzling Summer Challenge Jockeys table.

Marcus scored 51 points on the day to Kennedy’s 33 and is now 64 points behind with six meetings left.

In the trainer’s table Garth Puller had a second and a third from his seven runners and was able to pull further clear of his nearest rival Paul Lafferty, who only had two runners on the day.

Kings Road (Candiese Lenferna)
Kings Road (Candiese Lenferna)

Lafferty’s two runners included Bint El Malak, who gained seven more points with a sixth place finish in the fourth race to go 15 points clear of Jayden’s Shreya in the Hollywoodbets Sizzling Summer Challenge Horse table.

In the first race, a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1 000m, the Mike Miller-trained Fencing Master gelding Walls Of Dubrovnik converted favouritism after being hard-ridden by Eric Ngwane down the inside.

He had come from midfield in the small field of seven and just got up to beat Ziva Da Grace by a head.

In the second race, a Maiden Plate over 1 000m, the 1,5kg claimer Jason Gates took the raiding Clinton Binda-trained Kings Road to the front and kept him going despite the Vercingetorix gelding not negotiating the bend too well. The 15-2 shot beat the fancied Nikhils Inn by a quarter-of-a-length while the favourite Macallan found little and finished unplaced.

In the third, a Maiden Plate over 1 000m, the odds-on favourite Afriel went missing as she found little down the inside having been on the rail in the running.

Keagan de Melo hooked the winner Matadora’s Parade, a Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Toreador filly, to the outside and she won comfortably by 3,50 lengths despite starting odds of 13-2.

In the fourth race over 1000m the Yogas Govender-trained Querari filly Enrapture burst through the centre to win extending by a neck from Itsapleasure and the favourite Bell Jar.

Marcus rode the next two winners.

In the fifth, a MR 68 Handicap over 1 600m, he switched the Alyson Wright-trained favourite Roy’s Physco out before reaching the straight having seen the horse in front of him struggling. The big, rangy Australian-bred Casino Prince gelding made steady inroads and once he hit top gear he easily passed the leader Silver Cent and won by 1,75 lengths from a running on Peter Piper. Roy’s Physco is still immature and has scope for further improvement.

In the sixth, a MR 98 Handicap over 1000m, the talented Glen Kotzen-trained Querari gelding Calvary was too good. Marcus took him to the front and he won by 2,25 lengths.

In the seventh over 1200m the Shane Humby-trained Oratorio gelding Letaba jumped from a wide draw and was held back until the straight by Donovan Dillon. The big horse somehow managed to find his way through a maze of horses on the outside to win by a shorthead from Kingston Rock.

In the eighth over 1950m Yogas Govender clinched a double and Marcus a treble with the progressive Jackson colt Bayview Express.

Marcus gave him a fine ride. He continually improving position in the running and it paid dividends later. In the straight it was soon clear he would easily catch the leader but at the same time he had left the rest of the field flat-footed. Second-placed Double Gemini was beaten 3,25 lengths and the rest were unsighted.

By David Thiselton