Lerena gets his chance aboard Rainbow Bridge
PUBLISHED: June 13, 2019
Marcus made his intentions of riding Hawwaam clear even before he rode Rainbow Bridge in the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge on Saturday.
Gavin Lerena will be riding the Eric Sands-trained Rainbow Bridge in the Vodacom Durban July and Anton Marcus will be aboard the Mike de Kock-trained Hawwaam.
Sands and owner Mike Rattray had been under the impression Anton Marcus would be aboard their charge Rainbow Bridge.
However, Marcus made his intentions of riding Hawwaam clear even before he rode Rainbow Bridge in the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge on Saturday.
Sands said he would not want somebody on his horse who did not want to be there and a replacement was sought.
Lerena had stated some time ago he would jump at the opportunity to ride Rainbow Bridge in the July, although at the time of making that statement he was probably not reckoning with Hawwaam being in the big race.
Lerena was originally the regular rider of Hawwaam but as he is retained by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein Studs he had to ride Cascapedia in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge in early May and thus lost the Hawwaam ride to Marcus.
Hawwaam duly won the Champions Challenge and De Kock stuck with Marcus for the Grade 1 Daily News 2000, which Hawwaam also won.
Sands said he had been “a little disappointed” with Rainbow Bridge’s third place finish in the Gold Challenge on Saturday.
He said, “I would like to see what the result would have been with a clear run.”
Rainbow Bridge’s path was blocked by a hanging in Cirillo just as he was coming to challenge the eventual winner Do It Again. Marcus had to check and switch outward.
Sands was surprised Rainbow Bridge, under the circumstances, was still able to rally back for third.
He said Marcus’ only comment after the race was, “He definitely needs further.”
Rainbow Bridge was seen to be a little bit keen in the running early on when Marcus reined him back in order to slot in to a midfield position.
However, in Sands’ opinion the Ideal World gelding did not “over race.”
He said, “He is the sort of horse if you just touch his mouth he will lift his head, but I don’t think he was fighting.”
Rainbow Bridge will receive half-a-kilogram from Do It Again in the July.
Do It Again has beaten Rainbow Bridge three times over a mile but in their only other meeting, in the Grade 1 weight for age Sun Met over 2000m, Rainbow Bridge, with Marcus aboard, was the victor by three-quarters of a length.
Sands said Rainbow Bridge had come out of Saturday’s race well and he would just keep him ticking over until the July gallops on Thursday, 27 June.
By David Thiselton
Lerena lands Sands July mount
PUBLISHED: June 13, 2019
Gavin Lerena has scored the ride aboard Rainbow Bridge after Anton Marcus opted to ride Hawwaam and Lerena was in pole position for the ride…
Gavin Lerena has landed the plum mount on Rainbow Bridge in the Vodacom Durban July. The Sun Met winner will be the former champion’s ninth July ride and the closest he has come so far is fourth on Tellina in 2014 when Legislate got the race in the boardroom.
Eric Sands has had calls from as far afield as Hong Kong since it became known that Anton Marcus had opted for Hawwaam but Lerena was already in pole position, not least because he had asked for the ride in the Met. Intriguingly he used to be the regular rider of the big race favourite, partnering him four times on the trot to win the Dingaans, Tony Ruffel and the SA Classic plus finishing second in the Gauteng Guineas.
Sands reported yesterday that the horse “took his race well” after finishing a possibly unlucky third to Do It Again in last Saturday’s Rising Sun Gold Challenge. The Milnerton trainer did not claim that he would have won had Anton Marcus not been forced to switch inside the final furlong “but maybe it would have been a tighter finish.”
Nooresh Juglall will fly in from Mauritius to partner Daily News runner-up Twist Of Fate for the River Palace Racing Syndicate who are based in Mauritius and have been keen to have “their man” in the irons for the big one.
Juglall, 27, was twice South African champion apprentice and this will be his third July ride. He finished down the field on Wagner in 2013 and again on Safe Harbour two years ago. He has spent much of the last five years in Singapore but earlier this year he decided to return home as his wife could not get a visa to stay in the country.
Joey Ramsden said yesterday that 16-1 shot Twist Of Fate has continued to thrive since the Daily News – “He is a hardy so-and-so and he is doing fabulously well.”
Ramsden, successful with The Conglomerate in the 2016 July, was speaking from Singapore where is he doing some serious bureaucracy work as he and partner Steph decide whether to go ahead with their talked-of move to that country.
He said: “We are over here seeing how easy, or how hard, it is to set up and get things like residence permits. It is not like Hong Kong where they do it all for you. Here you do everything yourself. Nothing will be set in concrete until we can get all our ducks in a row.”
By Michael Clower
Antigonus could force a change of heart
PUBLISHED: June 13, 2019
Antigonus had been off the track since September last year and with only a barrier trial under his girth it was a smart training feat to get the gelding…
Ashburton-based Belinda Impey is due to hand in her trainer’s brief at the end of this month but after Antigonus ruled in the last at Scottsville yesterday she may have a change of heart.
Impey was assistant to Gilbert Werner for many years but went on her own after his death. It’s been a struggle since with new owners like hen’s teeth and she has no definite plans. “I’ll take a break for a while and then see from there,” she said last week.
Antigonus had been off the track since September last year and with only a barrier trial under his girth it was a smart training feat to get the gelding into the winner’s box first up.
Kom Naidoo sends out a steady stream of winners from his Ashburton yard and he produced a double yesterday along with two runner-up berths.
Two-year-old Rainbow Unicorn out-ran the year older Winter Retreat in the second and Flaming Desire, a 50-1 winner at her previous start, repeated the dose as Jarred Samuel got her home again in the eighth at generous odds of 30-1.
Naidoo was a little cautious during the week concerning Flaming Desire, fearing that the winter track may be on the firm side for the filly, but Samuel held her up for as long as he dared before pouncing late. “She was on point today,” said Samuels.
Fives Wild, the R3k purchase from a horses-in-training sale, added more to his stake earnings that have topped R200k in four starts for Naidoo. This time he was not able to match the turn around in weights with Bedazzled Joker who finally got his act together for Alyson Wright, Anton Marcus taking no prisoners as he made an early move on the leaders and Fives Wild holding on just long enough from a faster finishing Dallas.
Wright was back in the winner’s enclosure in the sixth as Bernard Fayd’Herbe got Scarlet Chill to snatch a short-head decision from the Naidoo-trained Arizona Sunset.
Fayd’Herbe is riding with supreme confidence of late and lifted his tally of winners since May 1 to 27 with a double. He started his day with a typically driving ride on Kateecador for Gavin van Zyl in one of the tightest finishes of the day.
Garth Puller has had something of a quiet time of late with his horses not firing, but has tracked it down to feed, specifically a batch of teff. He appears to have got on top of the problem as March Preview finished of his race with a rattle under apprentice Luke Ferraris and Forceful Rush, drawn wide and last for much of the early exchanges, finishing on top of the placed runners.
Miss Frankel was the talk on course and taking an early lead from her outside draw she looked on track to land the odds. Keagan de Melo ease her over from her outside draw, looking for company. When the challenges came, she stuck gamely to her task but was unable to hold the late rattle from Kateecador and the grey Isca, making it a father and son exacta.
Angel Bouquet gave Met winning trainer Yogas Govender a few anxious moments in the first as she took Lyle Hewiston on the scenic route to the line.
She was none to keen once getting her nose in front but kept going well enough to hold off the first timer Point Of Sale.
Point Of Sale did not have a barrier trial which had some observant punters hot under the collar but officials have cut some slack regarding problem horses at trainer’s requests.
Point Of Sale, sporting earmuffs, was in the paddock a good 10 minutes before the rest of the field and left the paddock five minutes before them but showed no signs of being unruly. Given that all first timers in KZN are required to trial it should be incumbent on officials to provide a public explanation as to why there was no trial!
By Andrew Harrison
Banker with Peter’s Heart Stwings
PUBLISHED: June 12, 2019
Heart Stwings can be bankered in the Bipot despite being the only two-year-old in the field. On debut she was caught wide but still managed to stay on well.
The Vaal Classic track eight race meeting tomorrow begins with a Workriders Maiden Plate over 1600m for fillies and mares and Heart Stwings can be bankered in the Bipot despite being the only two-year-old in the field. On debut she was caught wide but still managed to stay on well for second in a Workrider’s maiden for fillies and mares over 1400m. She has scope for improvement and Sam Mosia is back aboard from a good draw of two against an uninspiring field. The main danger will be Jay Bomb, who stayed on last time from a handy position over this trip on the Turffontein Inside track for second behind a firecracker in Perfect Storm. The latter was returning from a rest and showed a lot of improvement. This time Jay Bomb jumps from pole position and should finish in the top two.
In the first leg of the PA over 1000m Anton Marcus has the first of four rides on the day for Mike de Kock. He is aboard the first-timer Quick Wit, an R80,000 Philanthropist filly who is out of the twice Listed Syringa Handicap (1600m) winner Saucy Savannah (Kahal). She has been priced up 3/1 favourite by Track And Ball. The Ashley Fortune-trained Before The Dawn made a good debut when slowly away and running on over this trip. This Oratorio filly is out of the Grade 2 Post Merchants winner Varikate and should improve enough to reverse form with the speedy but exposed Allmyloving. Quick Wit and Before The Dawn should be enough to get punters through the PA.
In the first leg of the Pick 6 over 1450m Marcus is aboard Fort Carol. Last time out he was pushed from the off from draw eight out of 12 over 1600m but ended up being trapped one wide in second place. The early exertion took its toll as he found no extra late and faded into fifth, beaten four lengths. He now has a plum draw of three and with Marcus up can be more effective from the front this time and although by Elusive Fort the step down in trip might suit too as he is out of National Emblem mare Hot Ember, whose two wins were over 1200m. Jet Storm beat Fort Carol by two lengths in the aforementioned race when getting the run of the race from pole position. However, he made a breathing noise and might not have it as good this time from draw five. Atomic Blonde looks a nice type and is also a must include after making a good debut over 1400m and now jumping from draw two. Youcanthurrylove made a fair debut over 1200m and looks to have scope for improvement, so can be involved over a step up in trip he should enjoy, although he does have a tough draw of ten. Country Squire ran a fair third last time out when stepped up to 1400m, although he was finding no extra late, so might be a little stretched by the trip.
In the first leg of the Jackpot over 2400m Horace can continue his romp through the divisions having taken to staying races like a duck to water. He is drawn two and looks capable of handling a six point raise for his easy last win. American Indian could be dangerous in his first start for Stuart Pettigrew, who does well with stayers and this horse has performed well enough over this trip before. Wonderous Climber is a decent stayer too and can also be considered.
In the fifth race over 2000m Pettigrew could win it with Gottalottaluv, who has always struck a one with a touch of class. She disappointed over 2400m last time but that was against the boys and she might have gone a bit fast in second place. She can make amends here back against her own gender over a course and distance she has run three times for three seconds. Lady Val has always been held in good regard and Marcus rides here from pole position over a trip which should be ideal, considering she is by High Chaparral out of a Giant’s Causeway mare. Pretty Ballerina has won win and a second over course and distance and has a shout, although she has a tough draw. Pretty Border finished fourth in the Grade 2 Gerald Rosenberg over this trip but was given a hefty ten point raise. Tehuano can also be considered first time out the maidens as she sneaks into the handicap with the minumim weight and is drawn well.
In the sixth race over 2000m Itsmydarlin is the one to beat if repeating her storming finish from off the pace over this trip last time. Ex’s ‘N Ohs and Big Myth look to be the dangers. All I Got and Live In Love are capable sorts too and must be included in the Pick 6 and Jackpot.
In the seventh race over 1000m Dalai’s Promise is in fine form and can make it a hattrick. Double ‘O’ Eight has always been well regarded and has been in good form on the Highveld so can be included and Winter Watch has a chance on the weight turnaround with Dalai’s Promise. Kissable can’t be ignored in the current fast conditions and Ulla is a consistent course and distance suited horse who can be included.
In the last race over 1450m Reconnaissance is interesting stepped down in trip with blinkers on in an uninspiring field. Royal City and Pieces Of Gold have the ability to go close. Sleepinseattle has a tricky draw but could be involved in this field and In The Game and Prince Jordan can also be considered.
By David Thiselton
Barahin can take on July favourite
PUBLISHED: June 12, 2019
He said: “Barahin is very well handicapped – fortunately he hasn’t had the handicappers’ grubby paws all over him yet (just joking!)…
Mike de Kock believes that 7-1 shot Barahin has a better chance in the Vodacom Durban July than the favourite Hawwaam who is a third of the price.
De Kock, eight times champion trainer and four times a July winner, explained his reasoning in a fascinating interview with James Goodman on Monday evening’s Winning Ways programme.
He said: “Barahin is very well handicapped – fortunately he hasn’t had the handicappers’ grubby paws all over him yet (just joking!) – but when he ran behind National Park and Hawwaam in the Gauteng Guineas he was never really at his best.
“Going into the Derby I thought he would be an absolute certainty but then we had a little bit of a niggle – he went a little bit off behind. We dealt with that and he has been very good since. Sunday’s Jubilee Handicap win was for me super impressive given the fact that he was giving five or five and a half kilos to older horses and going to fetch them when they were not stopping.
“I thought that was very meritorious. The fact that he had room for the handicappers to give him two, three, four pounds or whatever they felt like giving him (in fact they raised him 2kg to 112) and he is still under sufferance – and in my opinion still under-rated – so we take our chance and I believe he has a good few pounds in hand. He is a horse that should probably finish up on 117 or 118.”
When put on the spot by Goodman and asked to say which one he would pick in the July, De Kock replied: “Tough one but I must be inclined to go for the horse that is better off at the weights. The problem is that the other one (Hawwaam) is so good. But he is also mentally immature and Barahin is possibly a little bit more stable mentally than Hawwaam. Rainbow Bridge and Do It Again are two very good horses – and I was particularly impressed with Do It Again last Saturday –but we are getting much better than our weight-for-age allowance and that makes him (Barahin) a big runner.”
De Kock has offered Muzi Yeni the mount. “Barahin wants a strong ride and I think he will suit Muzi. But Muzi might be juggling a couple of balls – it’s like a big circus out there!”
It now appears that Anton Marcus will be on Hawwaam as he was when the colt won the Premier’s Champions Challenge and the Daily News. “I am fairly confident that Anton is going to ride him,” said De Kock. “He hasn’t told me he is not so I am taking that as a yes. Anton takes juggling to another level but he is coming and riding work every morning like a man that is riding the horse.”
Everybody wants Marcus, the most successful July jockey in history, and Goodman likened the demand for his services to Lester Piggott in the Epsom Derby. But for some time now Marcus’s choice has appeared to be a straight fight between Hawwaam and Rainbow Bridge on whom he won the Sun Met and has ridden on the horse’s two subsequent Greyville outings.
De Kock said that he decided to keep Hawwaam at Summerveld rather than sending him back to complete his preparation at home in Gauteng so as to avoid the risk of injury associated with the long journey. But other factors also had a bearing.
“One of the big ones is that we can gallop him at Greyville in the July gallops. I felt he needed to see the track again. He was very green when he won the Daily News – he was all over the show from the time he left the gates, not really concentrating and running in snatches. The July gallops are the ideal scenario.”
By Michael Clower