Rampancy to open her account
PUBLISHED: June 12, 2019
Rampancy will have a race on her hands as Rose Moon showed up well in her trial and followed up with a smart effort behind subsequent…
Rampancy got a solid workout in her barrier trial so Dennis Drier’s filly will know all about it when she lines up in the All To Come Juvenile Maiden at Scottsville today.
She caught the eye on the paddock and Sean Veale did the rest as he punched her out to the line. Whether she is good enough, only the race will tell as she takes on an almost full compliment.
Rampancy will have a race on her hands as Rose Moon showed up well in her trial and followed up with a smart effort behind subsequent Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship winner Miss Florida. That fact has not by-passed Anton Marcus who replaces Australia-bound Brandon Lerena in the saddle.
Ahead of Rose Moon in her barrier trial was Katie’s Treasure. Paul Lafferty’s filly proved to be a bit of a handful when making her debut but that was against males in the Godolphin Barb where she tired late behind African Warrior. Back in the maidens against her own sex, she must rate a solid winning chance.
The card has the all the hallmarks of a punter’s minefield and in cases like this it often pays to follow the in-form trainers and jockeys. Marcus is often deadly in the early exchanges and also has a promising card. He partners Arctic Princess for Glen Kotzen in the second, a trainer in a rich vein of form at present. Arctic Princess was all over the place in her barrier trial on the Greyville poly track but that was back in April and she is sure to have come on from that effort in the interim.
Rainbow Unicorn made a smart debut when trying 1400m first crack out of the box and Kom Naidoo’s filly looks a lively threat under Mark Khan but has a dreaded 14 draw to overcome and the better drawn, year older Winter Retreat could prove a better proposition, Shane Humby’s filly making just her third start and her second after a break.
The opening leg of the Pick 6 is filled with speed with Miss Frankel and Antony Hotspur most likely to make the running and the balance chasing.
Miss Frankel is quick and beat the smart Neptune’s Rain last time out. She was giving the SA Fillies Sprint fourth 8.5kg but it was still a tremendous effort. Antony Hotspur has had a stop-start career so far and it appears that Alistair Gordon has his work cut out keeping him together. But he is smart and showed up well in his comeback run.
Isca, Kateecador and visiting Whorly Whorly must all rate chance while My Majestic Glory has his first run back as a gelding and can also surprise.
Bedazzled Joker and Fives Wild renew rivalry in the fourth. There was less than a length separating them when last they met and the former is now 1.5kg better off. Alyson Wright’s gelding has been knocking at the door of late and with Marcus back in the saddle he can turn the tables although Fives Wild has come well for Naidoo. Arriving in his yard a R3k purchase and a one-time winner, he has repaid his connections many times over.
In the fifth, Padre Pio won on debut for Dennis Bosch and was not too far back in feature company at his next outing. This is not a strong field and his class could see him through. The filly Silver Raisin is down in class had the worst of the draw last run. She is much better drawn here while Techno Captain is dropping steadily in the handicap and was not far back last run. At best he will go close.
In the sixth, Cherry Pop has had two sprints since returning from a lengthy break. This could prove a much better trip and she races in a tongue-tie for the first time. Pina Colada has another tricky draw but went close from the worst draw last time out and must have a chance here although the race is wide open.
Flaming Desire caused a major upset when winning last time out but that form has since held up with Suzie Woo franking that form. However, she does not have the best of legs and firm ground could compromise her chances in the seventh in another wide open event. Biker Babe was not far back from a tough draw last time out and is holding form while Barinois is in good form but is drawn one inside of Biker Babe on the outside.
By Andrew Harrison
7 out of 8 for Marcus
PUBLISHED: June 11, 2019
Punters are likely to centre on Boomps A Daisy, already a winner for Marcus and up six points for last time’s comfortable success…
Anton Marcus rides in seven of the eight races at Cape Town’s next meeting, the Youth Day public holiday fixture at Kenilworth on Monday. Six of his mounts are for Brett Crawford – including three for his retainer Ridgemont – and he also partners the consistent Apollo Ace for Joey Ramsden in the Interbet.co.za Handicap.
Punters are likely to centre on Boomps A Daisy, already a winner for Marcus and up six points for last time’s comfortable success under Greg Cheyne, and the promising maidens Too Cute and Super Silvano.
By Michael Clower
Vermaak postive about the future of racing
PUBLISHED: June 11, 2019
Vermaak flies between bases in Singapore and South Africa and made headlines at April’s BSA National Yearling Sale, where he bought 19 horses…
Racing all rounder Justin Vermaak’s chief occupations these days are Bloodstock Agent and syndicate manager and in his opinion horseracing in South Africa is still in good shape “considering.”
Vermaak flies between bases in Singapore and South Africa and made headlines at April’s BSA National Yearling Sale, where he bought 19 horses.
Fifteen were for prolific Gauteng-based owner Laurence Wernars, two were for his Green Street Bloodstock syndicate and two were for Paul Matchett and his clients.
Vermaak’s sales partner, trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren, was out of action at the Nationals after a back operation, so Vermaak was left alone to do initial selections and specimens, although he had help from Wernars and Janse van Vuuren on pedigrees and evaluations.
He said. “We buy whatever drops in what we think is the right price. I am more worried about the performance of the mare than stallions. Obviously, you try and get good stallions where you can, but generally then you have to pay a lot more. We’ve done very well with horses who are by good stallions but not by those top two or three. We don’t follow fashion because it just effects the money. This year we bought Gimmethegreenlights and they cost us barely anything. We got two really nice Gimmethegreenlight colts, both for R225,000, and a filly for R325,000.”
Vermaak added, “We are not scared of first season sires, definitely not.”
Consequently, he has some unraced two-year-olds in his camp by Silvano’s son, Vercingetorix, who has quickly proved himself to be an exciting sire prospect. He picked up another Vercingetorix at the Nationals and said, “The surprise is that Vercingetorix has been throwing all of these two-year-olds. He is a horse who went 2000m and he never ran at two, so they should improve and improve and improve, which is big.”
One of Vermaak’s unraced Vercingetorix colts, Prince Of Venice, caught the eye in a Greyville poly barrier trial recently, doing it effortlessly with a nice big action. He is one to look out for.
Wernars also has a big breeding operation.
Vermaak said, “Johan and I work with all of his mares and the stallion we supported heavily was William Longsword. He was expensive for a first season sire, but he was a brilliant racehorse and I think he is the best Captain Al to have gone to stud. Johan and Laurence have a good working relationship with Anton Marcus and Anton speaks the world of that horse. Then there is a new stallion at Maine Chance called Erupt. He is a Group 1-winning Dubawi, so we supported him as well.”
Speaking of the equine export protocols, Vermaak said, “I know the guys are doing as well as they can but we have been hearing for years and years that in a few months it is going to open up and it just never does. For my personal career and the management of my clients, we’re carrying on with the expectation that it is not going to open. If it does it will be an added bonus, because we are racing in Singapore too, so we would then be able to send our own horses to Singapore and I wouldn’t have to fly to all of those places halfway across the world to buy horses.”
There is no breeding in Singapore and no sales, so Vermaak buys mainly out of Argentina, “where the value is so strong”, and also out of Australia.
He has also bought out of Argentina for Wernars in the last couple of years.
Vermaak races in Singapore through his Green Street International syndicate. The initial members were the like of Marsh and Guy Shirtliff, Bryn Ressell, Lindsay and Kathryn Ralphs, Wehann Smith, and a bunch of his Green Street owners.
“We now have a lot of local Singaporeans involved and some English guys, one guy from Qatar and some Aussies. In Singapore half the people are ex-pats so it’s a big mix.”
Vermaak tries to attract a young crowd and continued, “Of our 20 owners in Singapore, at least half of them are what you would call young. We had a horse in the Singapore Guineas, he ran poorly, but he cost Aus$25,000 and he has earned Aus$100,000. It is a place where the prize money is brilliant, a maiden win pays for ten months keep, unlike here where it’s only three-and-a-half months, so you need a horse to win once a year and some places and you also get an appearance fee. You get about a third of your training fees back as a rebate everytime you run so financially if you crack a half decent horse you can do alright there, you can pay for the slow ones with some change.”
Part of the package Vermaak sells to SA-based clients are the fun weekends to be had in Singapore, a remarkable city in many respects.
Racing is a great leveller and Vermaak said some of the new clients take to it like a duck to water, while others battle to understand the difference between class and divisions. He said, “I find you have to be strong with the guys, either they will stay or they will run and the ones who stay are the ones who want to.”
He continued, “Our best horse at the moment is Herodotus, who finished third in the Grade 1 Cape Derby. He is a smart horse but he needs gelding. We are targeting him at his four-year-old season.”
Vermaak spoke of a downward trend in racing worldwide at present, even in Hong Kong, where illegal bookmakers have become a big problem.
However, he concluded, “But the prices here are still strong. There have been a lot of dispersal sales recently and mares were not easy to buy, weanlings were not easy to buy either, so there is still money around and I think the industry is still in good shape considering.”
By David Thiselton
Soma has a change of heart
PUBLISHED: June 11, 2019
Soma said: “I have not been giving comments myself, but I decided recently to give punters access to as much info as possible…
Joe Soma, annoyed that his pre-race comment about Left Hook was omitted from the list of trainers’ comments published by Computaform last week, has urged his fellow-trainers to help punters by providing sensible pre-race information.
Soma said: “I have not been giving comments myself, but I decided recently to give punters access to as much info as possible. Punters are getting bored, they are losing interest and we need to do everything we can to keep them in the game.”
Soma had said about Left Hook: “Not today boys. But watch this horse, he can get us out of it in the future!” A comment that somehow didn’t find its way into Computaform.
“I gave it to the Racing Bureau and I thought I’d been censored for some reason.” Danie Toerien, Editor-in-Chief at Phumelela, who publishes Computaform, said that Soma’s comment must have gone missing somewhere along the line. “I am not sure what happened but there was nothing wrong with Joe’s comment. We encourage comments by trainers and if they happen to offer something extra, in an unusual note like this, even better.
“We will accept any comments within all reasonable publishing limits, because punters thrive on information. The more they have, the better. Punters hate going in ‘blind’. If there are five first-timers in a race with no comments available, what must they do? They may as well play the Lotto. We’d like trainers to type in their comments themselves on the Bureau system to prevent info from getting lost.”
Soma added: “We need to speak to the punter in his language, to spruce up our presentation of information on television and in print. You know, punters get tired of the same old, same old, same old. We need to find new angles in our written copy and our television presentations to keep the betting public interested. “I said, for example, ‘Left Hook can get us out of it in the future’. I think this is something the punter understands better than the standard comment, ‘will need the run’, which is something that makes them pull their hair out!
“Left Hook is a horse with nice form, many may fancy him on paper, but he’s had a colic operation and he’s recovered from injury, so he’s an unlikely winner. If he sticks his head into the frame for fourth, fantastic, but I’ve given he punter the info I believe to be as true and valuable as possible.
“I think trainers are wary of being proved wrong, or putting their owners in the middle, but there is a way of commenting that will keep everyone happy. We see too many ‘will need the run’ horses that fly up to win and nothing annoys a punter more than thinking he has been lied to. Worse still is ‘no comment’, of which I was guilty of but I look at things in a different way now.”
“When you’ve had any horse in your stable for a while, you have a fair idea of what it’s worth, what its ability is. I’m suggesting that trainers add just a bit extra, like saying, ‘needs the run but not without place prospects in a weak field’… that says so much more and gives the bettor a chance. If you’re wrong, you’re wrong, stiff. Try again next time. Punters appreciate honesty more than shots in the dark or nonsensical drivel.”
Soma concluded: “The days of the big coup are gone. The market establishes the runners in race fairly, reflects what’s going on. You can maybe get R10,000 of a horse, or a bit more, but the big money is no longer there to pull off massive betting coups. We must look after the punters we have left, give them the info to win. It will benefit all of us.”
– turf talk
Bass-Robinson’s July Plans
PUBLISHED: June 11, 2019
Roll In The Hay fared best of the trio in sixth but Vandah’s Spirit started joint second favourite and finished with only four behind her…
Candice Bass-Robinson is to try again with her three fillies who failed to run up to form in the Allan Robertson at Scottsville and step them up to 1 400m in the Grade 2 Golden Slipper at Greyville on Vodacom Durban July day.
Roll In The Hay fared best of the trio in sixth but Vandah’s Spirit started joint second favourite and finished with only four behind her – she was reported by the course vet to be not striding out on her right fore – and Miss Honey finished last of 16, coming back with abrasions on her left fore.
Their trainer said: “It was a very rough race and Roll In The Hay suffered traffic problems four times over – she would have gone close otherwise. Vandah’s Spirit was hampered against the fence and didn’t enjoy the race at all while Miss Honey reared up in the pens, put her leg over the gate and got a cut on her knee.”
Little went right for the stable that day. Freedom Charter (tenth in the SA Fillies Sprint) suffered an epistaxis and was suspended for 60 days while Dutch Philip finished last but one in the Tsogo Sun Sprint.
Mrs Bass-Robinson said: “It was a disastrous day and very frustrating. Freedom Charter might run again at the end of the season, otherwise she will go to stud, while Dutch Philip has rather lost his way. He didn’t enjoy Scottsville and he will probably go and race in Port Elizabeth.”
The Milnerton trainer has her own yard adjoining Summerveld and with Marinaresco three years ago she went down in racing history as the first woman to train a July winner and, in all probability, the first to win the country’s greatest race in her first season. This term she has had more Cape Town two-year-old wins (13) than any trainer with the exception of Justin Snaith (14).
By Michael Clower