Fortune favours Marcus
PUBLISHED: November 12, 2019
Mrs Fortune, who also runs Etched In Blue, dispatched her horses before the recent outbreak of African Horse Sickness was confirmed…
Anton Marcus has been snapped up by Ashley Fortune for dual winner Invidia in the R2.5 million CTS Ready To Run Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday week. The Twice Over colt had the class to take third to Eden Roc in the Durban Golden Horseshoe and beat all except Singforafa on his return at the Vaal last month. He is 4-1 second favourite.
Mrs Fortune, who also runs Etched In Blue, dispatched her horses before the recent outbreak of African Horse Sickness was confirmed but it seems that this may not be as a serious a problem – at least so far as the Cape season is concerned – as it first appeared.
Sean Tarry, whose Ready To Run horses have not yet left home, said yesterday: “I think we will be fine and that we will get the horses there.”
The four-time champion trainer, who won last year’s race with the Marcus-ridden Cirillo, has six entries and expects to run all except the wide-drawn Shango and Ballon D’Or.
He has yet to finalise riding arrangements but Rock The Globe is the shortest-priced of the other four at 7-1 and is top-rated, a kilo ahead of Invidia. Favourite at 7-2 is Roi Querari (Richard Fourie) and Justin Snaith has also booked Bernard Fayd’Herbe for 10-1 shot Savvy and Robert Kathi for outsider Over The Odds.
Tarry has second top-rated Putontheredlight in Saturday week’s Concorde Cup and also in the Cape Merchants.
He said that he is leaning towards the former race, a mile Grade 2 which is essentially the old Selangor under a new title.
However Concorde Cup second favourite Silver Operator is drawn 23 out of 23 and will miss the race. Vaughan Marshall said that his Cape Classic winner will go straight for the Cape Guineas on December 21.
Incidentally Marshall reported yesterday that Black Knap, only third when starting favourite for last Saturday’s 1 800m handicap, was found to have muscular-related lameness behind. He got loose after unseating his rider during the canter past and bumped the rails.
Justin Snaith will gallop his Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again at Kenilworth on Saturday morning. Champion sprinter Kasimir was galloped there last Saturday and went well.
Snaith said: “I am coming into the season later this time.
“It now goes on well into February so I am deliberately starting later with the horses.”
One World has been left on an unchanged rating of 127 after his win in the Cape Mile which means that he has something to find with Do It Again (136) and Rainbow Bridge (134) when they meet in the World Sports Betting Green Point Stakes on December 14.
As a Grade 2 winner he will receive only a kilo from the other two.
The conditions of the Cape Mile stipulated that the winner and placed horses could not be raised more than six points and this was applied both to runner-up More Magic (now 99) and third-placed Priceless Ruler (now 107).
By Michael Clower
A twist of fate
PUBLISHED: November 12, 2019
Marcus said yesterday: “Twist Of Fate’s new stable has been cleaned out and is spotless for his arrival. To get a horse of this standing is very exciting…
Twist Of Fate will this morning make the short journey from Joey Ramsden’s stables at Milnerton to those of Adam Marcus.
Marcus said yesterday: “Twist Of Fate’s new stable has been cleaned out and is spotless for his arrival. To get a horse of this standing is very exciting. I already have some lovely unraced horses for the River Palace Racing Syndicate and they called me a couple of days ago to let me know the great news.”
The four-year-old has only been unplaced twice in 17 starts and has won over R3 million. Last season he collected the Cape Classic, Politician and KRA Guineas. He was second in the Cape Guineas, CTS 1600 and Daily News as well as third in the Vodacom Durban July and the Concorde.
He has been supplemented for the Cape Merchants on Saturday week but he has been allotted top weight of 64.5kg and his new trainer does not expect him to run.
Marcus said: “The main aim would be the Sun Met while the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate would be an option. Before that it could be either the Green Point or the 1 800m Premier Trophy.”
By Michael Clower
De Kock to let out more water
PUBLISHED: November 11, 2019
Two that look to have a bright future are the fillies Mabella and California Cool who line up on the Turffontein inside track tomorrow…
Multiple champion trainer Mike de Kock, reasonably quiet by his standards for much of the early part of the current season, opened the taps last Saturday with six winners that included Barahin’s destruction of the Emperors Palace Charity Mile field. With the Highveld spring season in full swing, De Kock will have his colleagues ducking for cover as he unleashes the talent in his yard.
Two that look to have a bright future are the fillies Mabella and California Cool who line up on the Turffontein inside track tomorrow. Both facile winners on debut and going the mile for the first time, De Kock has kept them apart with California Cool contesting a Graduation Plate and Mabella a lower division handicap.
Given a rating of 86 after shedding her maiden on debut, California Cool has the more difficult task in her set weights race. She is some 20 pounds out at the weights with top rated Snow Palace, so on paper her chances of victory look remote.
That said, California Cool boasts a pedigree to die for and the manner of her maiden win suggests that the step up to 1600m will be right up her alley.
Her dam, Hollywoodboulevard, was trained by now retired Charles Laird and was not the easiest in her racing days. But she was talented and finished second to Igugu in the Gr2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas and won five races from 1200m to a mile so California Cool should not have any trouble seeing out the trip. She also showed a smart turn of foot when coming from way back in shedding her maiden so expect Callan Murray to employ similar tactics tomorrow.
Given the weights, one will need to respect the likes of Snow Palace, Green Top and Keep Smiling but California Cool could turn into something special.
Stable companion Mabella’s rating may be a little misleading as her maiden win came in a lowly workriders plate, not the type of race that De Kock would normally choose for a promising filly to make her debut.
But there was no shortage of confidence from the stable and Mabella started in the red. She duly did a demolition job on the opposition, winning unchallenged by nearly five lengths.
She faces more experienced opposition as she jumps to the mile for the first time, but if the handicappers have it right, the theory being that all have an equal chance, then she too will have her work cut out. But as mentioned, Mabella may be way under the radar and prove too strong for fellow three-year-old Celeste – Paul Peter’s filly shedding her maiden by five but also at her fifth start – and Evening Rise, with a hungry Piere Strydom riding well for Fabian Habib.
Paul Matchett and Muzi Yeni team up on the day and a brace of winners are on the cards for the combination.
I’m not sure how the risqué name of Whiskytangofoxtrot got past the keepers of the stud book but the gelding looks a fair bet in the All To Come Maiden Plate, first leg of the PA.
The gelding has come on steadily since making his debut for Dorrie Sham, and in his first outing for his new stable he came with a telling late run, making up nearly 10 lengths over the final two furlongs to be denied a neck. The mile will be right up his street and Whiskytangofoxtrot should be one of the better bets on the card with opposition trainers cursing under their breath.
Matchett and Yeni team up in the last with the well named Donderweer, the son of Soft Falling Rain primed for bigger things.
He took on a smart field first up out of the maidens and made all the running to hold off the attentions of the feature winning filly Cockney Pride.
But tactics could play a big roll and from a wide draw Yeni may have to settle his mount in behind the better drawn Promise and another recent end-to-end winner Fired Up. Paul Peter’s mare takes no prisoners, winning four of her last five starts from the front and run out of it only once with the winner in receipt of 5.5kg. Fired Up is drawn one on her outside in gate 10 with Donderweer alongside in 11.
The battle for the lead could then play into the hands of seasoned veteran Kings Archer who comes from off the gallop and promising apprentice Cole Dicken gives him 4kg relief from his set weight of 60kg. An interesting race all round.
By Andrew Harrison
AHS scare in Gauteng
PUBLISHED: November 11, 2019
Mike de Kock said: “Hopefully we will sort out all this Horse Sickness nonsense because, if Gauteng horses can’t race in Cape Town, then it is not…
A confirmed case of African Horse Sickness in Gauteng has cast an ominous shadow over the Cape Summer Season with doubts expressed about whether horses from that province will be able to travel to Cape Town.
The Sporting Post reported the outbreak on Saturday morning, saying: “This will unfortunately affect movement into the controlled area for a lot of Kyalami and Randjesfontein and it will impact on movement to the Cape area.”
Mike de Kock, after winning the Victory Moon with the Sun Met-intended Soqrat at the Vaal that afternoon, said: “Hopefully we will sort out all this Horse Sickness nonsense because, if Gauteng horses can’t race in Cape Town, then it is not a season worth talking about.”
The eight-time champion, who is also a founder director of SA Equine Health & Protocols – the company set up to re-open South Africa for direct exports, added: “In South African racing we have got our problems and we are in trouble. We need every bit of betting turnover and we need every bit of participation.
“The powers-that-be need to get their heads around things – and this has to happen. If we have no confidence to travel horses within our own country how can we give our trading partners confidence?”
By Michael Clower
One World powers to victory
PUBLISHED: November 11, 2019
Just as he had done with M.J. Byleveld in the Matchem, One World looked in serious trouble a furlong and a half from home…
One World will take on big guns Do It Again and Rainbow Bridge in next month’s WSB Green Point after justifying favouritism in the Cape Mile at Kenilworth on Saturday. But this season’s new tactics gave his jockey a few anxious moments while some of those who backed the horse thought they were going to have a heart attack.
This was very different from those smooth out-in-front performances in the likes of the CTS 1600 but maybe that defeat in the Winter Classic has been weighing on Vaughan Marshall’s mind because he explained: “I don’t think you can win big races by lugging it out in front so we have tried to teach him to settle.”
The 21-20 shot did so quite comfortably but picking up was another matter and Anton Marcus had to start riding going into the final turn. Just as he had done with M.J. Byleveld in the Matchem, One World looked in serious trouble a furlong and a half from home.
Anton Marcus, who had studied the Matchem, said: “I thought M.J. rode the most amazing race that day and here, just prior to turning for home, the horse had a tendency to lug in. I tried to get him on the rail but Corne Orffer (on Charles) kept me out – and rightly so. Early in the straight I was worried but I knew I had the ratings.”
Amazing to think that in the heat of battle, perilously perched on the back of a half-ton horse travelling at 60kph and striving to make it go even faster, he could find time to think of the handicappers’ assessments. Little wonder he is so hard to beat!
“But this horse doesn’t want to lose,” Marcus continued. “He helps you and he gets you out of it.” Sure enough he did just that, he was in front 100m out and travelling so well that his rider was able to drop his hands before the line.
It takes some doing to transform a natural front-runner into a horse that’s waited with and Marshall said: “I am proud of him. After the Green Point it’s the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate. Then it’s lullah time before we go to Durban.”
Whatever about the punters, the race and the tactics took their toll on the owners with Ken Truter saying: “I was a bundle of nerves and I am so relieved it’s over” while Etienne Braun added: “I think I aged ten years at the 400m.”
Stable companion Tap O’Noth, who ran on in the final furlong after being last much of the way, will run in the Premier Trophy on December 21 while Brett Crawford is eyeing the Peninsula Handicap (Jan 11) for fourth-placed Charles. That 1 800 race could also be on the agenda for 50-1 runner-up More Magic who is an improver worth noting as Candice Bass-Robinson said she had expected him to run this well.
Bunker Hunt would have finished closer than fifth but for twice being hampered in the straight. “He was very unlucky. Earmark him for next time,” advised Justin Snaith.
Snaith, four winners here last Tuesday, took the other two features with Strathdon (Marcus) and Casual Diamond ridden by Robert Khathi who was suspended for a week for causing chain-reaction interference just under two furlongs out.
Strathdon, winning for the first time for almost two years, is to be aimed at the Western Cape Stayers on Met day and Marcus said: “I had made him the horse to beat in most of the staying races in Durban but clearly he holds his best form in the Cape.”
Louis Kirsten’s Casual Diamond was running for only the second time since February and Snaith explained: “We retired her and sent her to the stud farm but she wasn’t covered. I got a phone call from my uncle Jan Mantel asking what we wanted him to do with her. So I said ‘send her back.’ Now she could be worth breeding from.”
Aldo Domeyer, whose new born son Elijah is now out of hospital and in good shape, celebrated his return by winning on Mayfern and said: “The intention is to stay for the whole Cape summer season but it depends on the Hong Kong Jockey Club and what the rota looks like. I will keep in touch with them.”
By Michael Clower