Play it safe with Ambra
PUBLISHED: December 12, 2018
Sean Veale is up from Cape Town to partner a few for his boss Dennis Drier including Ambra who made marked improvement at her second start…
Following heavy showers at Scottsville over the weekend, and a Pen reading of 31 with some areas recording 40, Gold Circle yesterday took an early decision to move the race meeting scheduled for Scottsville today to the Greyville turf.
Times remain the same but race eight will now be run over 1800m.
The money came in spades for Upskilled when making her debut at The Vaal late last month. It was a gamble that went astray as she found one too good for her and her backers will be hard-pressed to get their money back at Greyville today as she is destined to start at much shorter odds than the 20-1 initially on offer on debut and the 7-10 when rolled over the same course and distance last Saturday in a work riders plate.
Paul Peter is riding a hot streak at present but Upskilled faces another difficult race as the likes of Ambra, Sand Queen and Marzipan Path will be no pushovers.
Sean Veale is up from Cape Town to partner a few for his boss Dennis Drier including Ambra who made marked improvement at her second start behind I’m Free. Significantly that was in yielding going and rain this past week will likely produce similar conditions at Greyville today.
Sand Queen is sure to improve on a promising debut effort while Marzipan Path, second at her last two and the now blinkered Paarl Rock are others to consider.
African Angel finished a close-up third behind second-placed Ambra when last they met and while Drier has elected to keep Ambra to a sprint, Mark Dixon has opted for an extra two furlongs for African Angel. She does not have the best of draws over the tight Scottsville 1400m but is improving quickly.’
Her biggest threat is the Drier-trained Tarocco. Beaten favourite in both starts so far, she has a plum draw and given her pedigree this seven-furlong trip should be right up her street.
Ashburton-based Shame Humby is a trainer who is shy of publicity but there is no doubting his ability as a trainer. He got one on the board with Cause And Effect at Greyville on Sunday and it may be a toss-up between his two runners Socrates and Neala in the fifth.
Socrates has an exemplary record, winning four of his eight races and he may prove the pick ahead of the carrot-loving Neala. Although Buffalo Soldier has not franked the form of Socrates’s last run, there were excuses so Socrates can follow up on his last victory.
But the opposition is strong. Autumn In Seattle is quick as is On That Boulevard who gets plenty of weight and Lyle Hewitson is in superb form. Calvary appears to have a touch of class and Louis Goosen has three useful sprinters in the line-up.
The Goosen-trained fillies Imbali and Bonnie Dawn are both speedy and in with chances in the sixth although again it is a difficult handicap. Imbali is back on her favourite surface while Marcus has taken the ride on Bonnie Dawn, always a good sign.
Clinton Binda has been a regular visitor to KZN in recent weeks and saddles Sugoi who was not far back in an Assessment Plate at the Vaal last time out while Candy Galore comes off a two-race winning streak and a stable that is bang in form.
Don Pierro is not the easiest at home and gives Gary Rich many a sleepless night but he has ability and can build on his forward showings in his last two starts. He does not have the easiest draw but looks good enough to get the better of Viking Red and Two Stroke.
Walterthepenniless has been costly to follow but he gets the blinkers on this time around and he could get one over All Aboard and Victorious Man in the last.
By Andrew Harrison
Bremner scores second out of province feature
PUBLISHED: December 11, 2018
Carl said he believed the altitude might have affected the horse in the Dingaans and indeed there is anecdotal evidence…
It is unusual for a Port Elizabeth horse to be seen running in features in the major centres of Cape Town, KZN and Johannesburg let alone winning them, but Yvette Bremner has already achieved the latter feat twice this season.
On Saturday her assistant trainer Carl Hewitson took the speedy Rebel King filly Princess Rebel to Kenilworth to run in the Grade 2 Southern Cross Stakes over 1000m and she led from pillar to post under Carl’s SA Champion Jockey son Lyle to win by a cosy 2,25 lengths, beating the like of Magical Wonderland.
Last month the yard took their exciting three-year-old gelding National Park to run in the Grade 3 Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m at Turffontein and he slammed some good horses, including the highly regarded Chimichri Run, by 5,8 lengths under Ryan Munger.
National Park then started favourite for the prestigious Grade 2 Investec Dingaans over 1600m but finished a disappointing fourth, beaten 7,4 lengths by the top class prospect Hawwaam.
Carl said he believed the altitude might have affected the horse in the Dingaans and indeed there is anecdotal evidence that coastal horses raiding the Highveld hit a flat spot at about the 19 day mark that can last for a week. National Park’s Dingaans run would have fallen exactly in this period and Carl also pointed out the race had not panned out well as he had found himself having to do “the donkey work” in front, unlike in the Graham Beck when sitting just off the pace.
National Park is currently having a rest, but Carl said he had been “going bananas” in his paddock and looked keen to get back into work. He will be brought back shortly and aimed at the Grade 2 Gauteng Guineas.
Carl said the yard would like to keep four-year-old Princess Rebel to the minimum trip of 1000m as her career record over this trip to date read six wins and two seconds in eight starts. This was despite her staying on strongly on Saturday over the tough Kenilworth 1000m.
The yard are thus likely going to avoid the Sceptre Stakes in Cape Town, as that is over 1200m, and are leaning towards the Grade 1 Computaform Sprint over 1000m at Turffontein as her next out of province target. They also have no plans at present for the Grade 1 SA Fillies Sprint, which is over 1200m at Scottsville.
By David Thiselton
Team Bosch hard work pays off
PUBLISHED: December 11, 2018
Born To Perform, bred by Highlands Farm Stud and owned by R Hurchund, looks a lot like his famous mother Dancer’s Daughter…
Summerveld trainer Dennis Bosch and his staff put in hours of work just to get the four-year-old Silvano gelding Born To Perform to the races and it paid dividends on Friday night when he powered home to 4,70 length win on debut over 1600m on the Greyville polytrack under Warren Kennedy.
Born To Perform, bred by Highlands Farm Stud and owned by R Hurchund, looks a lot like his famous mother Dancer’s Daughter, a strongly-built British-bred grey whose five Grade 1 wins included a celebrated dead-heat with the legendary Pocket Power in the Vodacom Durban July of 2008.
Dancer’s Daughter was ridden in that July by Kevin Shea, who related yesterday she had a mind of her own.
She would drag riders around the training centres and on the racecourses, other times she would stop dead-still and look around and then only go when she was ready to, and would usually go faster than the rider wanted her to, and by the end of her career she was becoming reluctant to jump out of the starting stalls.
Born To Perform has inherited the strength of his mother in both mind and body
Bosch explained how the grey would walk out of the ring in the mornings and then just stand stock still and no amount of effort would budge him. He just refused to work.
He is bred in the purple and was originally bought for R500,000 at the CTS Cape Premier Yearling Sale. However, this turned out to be a shrewd pinhook for he appeared just three months later in the CTS Empress Palace Select Yearling Sale and was bought by Mayfair Speculators for R800,000.
At this year’s Super Sale at Greyville, held annually just over a week before the July, the beleaguered Mayfair Speculators dispersed a lot of their horses. Born To Perform was one of them. His reputation for being difficult had preceded him so there was little interest and Dennis Bosch purchased him for just R55,000.
Bosch, a top jockey in his day, said, “I rode him for three months myself and I won’t do that again in a hurry. We gave him a lot of time to play in the paddock too and nursed him. A lot of work was put in by everybody in the yard. He is a sound horse but the main thing was his mind started coming right. There was still the worry of how we would get him to the racecourse, but both times we have taken him there he has been exceptionally well behaved. His whole attitude has changed and we got quite excited when he won due to the amount of work we had all put in. I don’t want to read too much into the win but while we have his mindset right we will plan another race. He has matured into a nice horse and I think he will go further. I think if he runs well next time we will know we have the horse we think we have.”
Born To Perform wore pacifiers in his barrier trial on November 30 over 1000m on the Greyville poly and he stayed on in eye-catching style under Kennedy without being asked any questions.
On Friday night he was caught wide in the early stages of the 1600m Maiden Plate from a high draw but settled well and was then given a lead into the straight when another horse came around him. He had hit the front by the 350m mark and galloped on strongly. Kennedy said. “He galloped through the line so I think there is improvement to come.”
It is early days for the grey, but he is going the right way thanks to the big team effort put in by the Bosch yard and the collective patience of themselves and owner R Hurchund.
Silvano’s progeny tend to get better with age so this horse has an interesting career ahead of him.
To date Dancer’s Daughter has produced five runners and Born To Perform is her third winner.
By David Thiselton
Rainbow Bridge installed as favourite
PUBLISHED: December 11, 2018
The Sporting Post revealed yesterday that Bernard Fayd’Herbe weighed in half a kilo overweight on Rainbow Bridge. This is within the rules…
Rainbow Bridge was installed 3-1 favourite when Betting World opened its book on the Sun Met yesterday with Do It Again (4-1) and Undercover Agent (8-1) – both also involved in that dramatic photo finish for last Saturday’s Green Point – the next two in the market.
Legal Eagle, who won the Green Point, is a 10-1 chance along with last year’s Met winner Oh Susanna and Mike de Kock’s pair Hawwaam and Buffalo Bill Cody.
The Sporting Post revealed yesterday that Bernard Fayd’Herbe weighed in half a kilo overweight on Rainbow Bridge. This is within the rules and quite legitimate but in such a close finish it could – theoretically at least – have made the difference between fourth and first.
By Michael Clower
Featured Image: Rainbow Bridge (Liesl King)
Owlinthetree is the best bet
PUBLISHED: December 10, 2018
Owlinthetree is made the best bet on the card as he has been seen to stay on in his three runs to date up to 1400m and he should relish the step up in trip.
The Turffontein Standside track is one of the fairest in the country so punters should be able to have a good time of it in tomorrow’s nine race day time meeting.
In the first race Vida Es Bella hasn’t raced since July 26 over 1200m at the Vaal. This Duke Of Marmalade filly started favourite that day and appeared to be labouring at the 200m mark but then took off, although hanging inward cost her. The form of that race has worked out quite well and she doesn’t face a strong field here unless there are some good ones among the first-timers. The layoff will have given her time to mature and she should get through on ability. Her paternal half-sister Super Fine made a good debut when going close over 1200m. However, that was a weak race and she will need to improve considerably to win this. Miss Sabina makes the most appeal of the first-timers being a R525,000 Silvano filly out of the Sportsworld mare Sabina Park, who won the SA Fillies Nursery and SA Oaks.
In the second race over 2400m Orpheus has an easy task on paper over a trip he should stay as he found extra to repel a challenge over 2000m last time and eventually ran out a cosy winner. Gift For The Gap ran a fair race in the Dingaans and will enjoy the step up in trip so could pick up the pieces if Orpheus fluffs his lines. However, he is officially 5kg under sufferance with Orpheus so has a hard task.
In the third over 2000m Elusive Butterfly is a scopey sort who has plenty of improvement still to come and she will relish the step up to this trip, having stayed on well against a useful sort last time in an Assessment Plate over 1800m. Furthermore, she has the advantage of a pole position draw.She is half-a-kilogram under sufferance on official merit ratings but has to carry only 52kg. Sunshine Silk is a consistent sort and is a resolute galloper so will be course and distance suited and should go close, although she does have a tricky draw in the small field and can be headstrong occasionally in her customary blinkers.
In the next over 2000m Cardiff Castle has the eyecatching booking of Lyle Hewitson. This horse has some good form in Cape Town in middle distance to staying races and tomorrow will be the first time he has cracked a draw on the Highveld. In his penultimate start he moved up well over 2200m but then found no extra so with the blinkers on for the third time he might appreciate this step down in trip and will enjoy the galloping course. Nuntius Oratorion has always struck a one who will get better as he matures and he should be right there if able to overcome a tricky draw over an ideal trip as his recent form has been franked. Gone With The Wind is a progressive sort who went close to Orpheus over this trip last time despite being way out at the weights under the Assessment Plate conditions and now back in a handicap he must have a big shout. However, he did make a breathing noise in that race which could be a concern. To The Regiment is an interesting runner as he has not been disgraced in his last two over 1700m and 1000m against fair sorts and on pedigree he should enjoy this trip. Highlander returns from a layoff but is capable of a strong finish from off the pace and can’t be ignored.
In the fifth over 1400m Aurora Australis has dropped to a competitive merit rating and sneaks into the handicap with the minimum weight.He was well drawn when winning on debut over this course and distance and is drawn in pole here with Hewitson up. He will need to get into the race quicker than in his last two starts but does pack a strong finish so is the one to beat. Bold Coast is ideally distance suited and in hard knocking form and there is not much between him and Varimax. Those three should be enough to get punters through.
In the sixth over 1600m Green Haze is hard to oppose on paper after his Dingaans third but he had pole position that day and In Cahoots, who had to overcome a wide draw, could get a lot closer and even possibly reverse the form. Chijmes is an improving sort who is worth including to.
In the seventh over 1600m Master Magic moved up well over 1800m last time before finding no extra and he might be looking for this step down in trip. Kurt’s Approval is only two points higher than his last win and is effective over this trip. Swing Vote ran quite well on his comeback from an eleven month layoff and if coming on from that run could be a threat with Strydom up over an ideal trip.
In the next over 1800m Owlinthetree is made the best bet on the card as he has been seen to stay on in his three runs to date up to 1400m and he should relish the step up in trip being by Dynasty out of a Giant’s Causeway maiden.
In the last race over 1800m Fly Thought by Philanthropist out of the Grade 1 Paddock Stakes winner Badger’s Gift is a big, rangy sort who stumbled at the start last time over this trip and was not suited to the tight Inside track. She will much prefer this galloping track and can get off the mark. Her wide draw is a concern and the well drawn Rubix can be included. This filly has talent has but is immature so has likely benefitted from a layoff, although the yard did reckon she would need it.
By David Thiselton