Anton Marcus may have been out for three months, getting himself stitched up and back into one piece, but although the limbs may be taking strain the racing brain is as sharp as ever.
Marcus was given free licence on Fools Gold in the Model Man Mile (Listed) at Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday and like a shrewd prospector who had seeded his claim, he played the field on the break, cruising to the line unchallenged. Making all the running he delivered what ultimately amounted to little more than an exercise gallop for Robbie and Shannon Hill’s gelding.
A proven front runner, Marcus set pedestrian fractions on Fools Gold and somewhat surprisingly was never challenged as his mount sped clear at the top of the straight to win as he liked.
The win will have been have been cold comfort for Marcus with Mike de Kock, who saddled six winners at Turffontein on Saturday, pointing out that had he been able to take up the De Kock rides he would have added the Gr2 Emperors Palace Charity Mile on Barahin and the Gr 3 Graham Beck Stakes on Frosted Gold to his CV.
Marcus is tied to a contract with the powerful mainly Western Cape-based Ridgemont stable that required him to ride Bitter Lemon in a lowly MR73 Handicap at Kenilworth on the same afternoon. De Kock, in jest rather than malice, took the opportunity to rub a little salt into the ‘lemon’ of a good friend.
Frank Robinson’s gelding Avro Lancaster has the Summerveld dogs barking but Tony Nassif, a doyen and one of the really nice men in the sport, was on hand to lead in Greattobecaptain in the card opener for Karen and Greg Anthony. Poorly drawn last run and a much better gate at two yesterday. Serino Moodley steered the colt home. “On his work we knew he would run a big race,” confirmed Anthony and knowing the owner’s, Greattobecaptain will not have been allowed to ‘run loose’.
Avro Lancaster pulled up with a myriad of reported problems so do not write him off.
Mark Dixon was in Gauteng hoping to pluck another plum at the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Sale, but Victor Tojeira, owner Brian Burnard’s son-in-law, appears to have picked a good one at the National Two-year-old sale in Dinetto. Pressed to a mile last time out, the wheels came off, but yesterday it was all smooth travelling as Dinetto put in a telling run up the inside of the pack to head off Themba and Elusive Force with favourite Fred emulating a Manchester United dud signing.
Dixon was on the mark again as Presumptuous continued is steady improvement with a comfortable win in the third.
Exion and Battle Of Alesia were the expected flag-bearers for the raiding Paul Peter yard, but it was the less expected Western Front, down the field in a work-riders maiden on debut, who paid their way, getting the better of Twice Golden in the fifth.
By Andrew Harrison