Anton Marcus and the Kieswetter’s Ridgemont operation celebrated the resumption of their partnership with two devastating performances from Brett Crawford-trained Australian breds at Kenilworth yesterday.
Boomps A Daisy, such an expensive flop at Durbanville last month, got them off to the perfect start when easily justifying odds of 6-10 in the TAB Telebet Maiden. Marcus had no problem taking it up a furlong and a half out and the favourite quickly drew clear to win easing up by three and a quarter lengths.
Marcus, making a joking reference to the filly’s name, said: “Thank God there wasn’t any!” before adding: “This is what I anticipated after her first run but unfortunately she got lost that day at Durbanville. She may not have beaten much but I like the way she did it.”
Crawford, who had expressed doubts beforehand, said: “I think she appreciated being back at Kenilworth – she broke on terms, travelled well and she quickened up really nicely when Anton pressed the button. He is adamant that I must keep her down the straight for now but we have quite a bit to work on and this was encouraging.”
Craig Carey, the Kieswetter family’s racing manager, picked her out for AUS $360,000 at the 2017 Melbourne Premier Sale and said: “She was small but athletic and the sort I like – face like a beauty queen and a bum like a barmaid!”
Run Fox Run was even more impressive and, amazingly, she started odds against. She had won her only two previous starts with ease – but not as easily as she did under a seven point penalty in the Interbet.co.za Handicap.
Marcus allowed her to go clear fully two furlongs from home but in the closing stages his most vigorous movements were repeated looks back at the outclassed opposition.
He said: “That was self-explanatory but looks-wise and maturity-wise she is going the right way.”
Crawford added: “There is not a lot of her and I have never really put the hammer down and tested her. Indeed I never work her with another horse. She has the potential of getting black type which is the objective. She won’t go to Durban but we will go through the races here as we find them and the Cape season will be the main aim.”
Getting Depeche home in front in the 2 000m handicap was beyond even Marcus – third to M.J. Byleveld on Mike Robinson’s Transylvania was the best he could do and on the Joey Ramsden-trained Arabian Air in the Tellytrack.com Handicap he was only fourth. But he was lucky to return in one piece.
In the dramatic, and highly dangerous, closing stages Craig Zackey on the winner Vardy switched his whip to his outside hand and his mount promptly veered away from it and Marcus had to snatch up to avoid being brought down. At the same time Robert Khathi on third-placed Trip To The Sky switched his stick from his right hand to his left and runner-up Russet Air (Corne Orffer) was repeatedly bounced from one to the other like an overworked ping pong ball. Zackey was given seven days and Khathi looks like getting a similar suspension.
By Michael Clower