Kasimir can go for crowning glory
PUBLISHED: February 18, 2020
“But the difference on Saturday is that Kasimir went into the Cape Flying having had only one run – whereas last year he’d had three – and as a result he…
Richard Fourie is expecting significant improvement from champion sprinter Kasimir when he bids to repeat last year’s victory in the Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes at Kenilworth’s Prawn Festival meeting on Saturday.
The Justin Snaith gelding was only third when attempting to win a second Cape Flying Championship on Sun Met day but, according to the form book at least, he didn’t get a clear run and had to be switched off the heels of fourth-placed Run Fox Run approaching the furlong marker.
“Kasimir wasn’t checked,” says Fourie, putting the record straight.
“I was two lengths off Run Fox Run at the time, I saw it coming so I moved my horse across.
“In effect I just changed lanes.
“But the difference on Saturday is that Kasimir went into the Cape Flying having had only one run – whereas last year he’d had three – and as a result he wasn’t tight. But he is now.”
Bold Respect, second in last year’s Cape Flying and beaten a short head this time, looks a big price at 10-1.
Was he in any way unlucky?
And was there anything that could have been done differently to perhaps reverse that wafer-thin verdict?
Greg Cheyne, who again has the mount, shakes his head and grins when the question is put to him, “No, there were no excuses in the Cape Flying – I was beaten on the bob.
“If it was me who’d got the nod [and not Aldo Domeyer on Russet Air] then I would have won.”
On Met day and, after winning the two-year-old Listed race with Erik The Red, Justin Snaith spoke of his reluctance to let a horse of his size race so fast so early in his career.
Yet the colt turns out again for the Capetown Noir Cape Of Good Hope Nursery and is odds-on favourite.
“No, I have no reservations about running him again here,” said the trainer. “If you remember, I hadn’t galloped him before the race on Met day and he has been doing very well. He should take some beating.”
Similarly Dean Kannemeyer doesn’t appear to have hesitated about bringing back R2 million purchase Delta Queen for the Kepu Kenilworth Fillies Nursery only a fortnight after her debut.
Kannemeyer said: “It’s not as if she tore her guts out to win – she did it quite comfortably – and she came through the race very well.
If she also comes through this one with flying colours I will put her on the list for Durban.”
Delta Queen is 16-10 favourite with Snaith’s Stuck On You (third in the Met day Listed race) next in the market on 22-10. Stable companion Favorita (6-1) is the only other in the 11-strong field in single figures. Erik The Red has only six against him and is quoted at 5-10 with Anton Marcus’s mount Joseph Barry second favourite at 5-1.
This is the eighth successive year that the Cape Town Prawn Festival is being held at Kenilworth and the organisers are offering a R99 special of 25 prawns, chips or rice and sauces plus free admission.
Compare that for value with what Navan racecourse in Ireland were offering to attract racegoers for last Sunday’s return of dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll: 35 euros (R565) to cover admission, a beef roll, a race card and a bottle of beer. Admittedly they threw in a free 5 Euros (R80) bet but Navan’s facilities and general comfort level make Kenilworth look like Royal Ascot.
Those going to the course on Saturday will also be given a complimentary entry for draws for R50 000 worth of household goods including a R20 000 star prize.
You have to complete a form on arrival at the racecourse to take part.
By Michael Clower
Marshall ready to call the shots
PUBLISHED: February 17, 2020
Marshall showed he was not an over-hyped horse last time when sauntering to an impressive victory in a handicap over 1450m…
The Vaal Classic track has an eight race meeting tomorrow headed by the Non-Black Type Egoli Mile where the exciting prospect Marshall can defy top weight.
This classy Vercingetorix gelding was found to not be striding out in the Dingaans where he disappointed as favourite. However, he showed he was not an over-hyped horse last time when sauntering to an impressive victory in a handicap over 1450m. This powerful bay with the lively action jumps from draw five and will take a lot of beating despite having to give weight away. He has to give Viper Jet 8kg which won’t be easy as the latter lost to him by only half-a-length over 1160m in the Maidens. Viper Jet sneaks into the handicap with the minimum weight after being given a lenient mark for his easy win over 1450m last time and being by Pomodoro ge should relish the step up in trip. Indy Go makes most appeal of the rest having run well against dome hood horses over this trip although he does have second top weight and a tough draw.
Punters could get off to a good start with Expressfromtheus in the first race over 1450m.
This rangy What A Winter three-year-old has gone close in two starts and now over a step up in trip he will relish he has his first run as a gelding. The form of his last start looks strong as the winner Valetorio finished fifth next time out in the Grade 2 Tony Ruffel Stakes which was won by the classy Ikigai. The other formline which gives it a strong look is that he beat Willo’thewisp by 5,25 lengths. The latter, who also lines up in this race tomorrow, had gone close in two previous starts over 1200m and didn’t appear to have any excuses in that last race.
Another horse who should be improving and running on is Ideal Wolff, although he has a tricky draw to negotiate.
Untamed Tiger is an effective frontrunner and has a reasonable draw of eight. He was bumped at a crucial stage last time over this trip when a 1,50 length second will be dangerous if able to get to the front easily.
Ministerwithout lost his jockey last time but before that had stayed on well from well off the pace over 1200m so he can’t be ignored.
Willo’thewisp could also improve over this trip and he has a plum draw.
The second is also over 1450m and Bianca is an interesting runner here. She was green on debut over this trip and never had much room so as not at all disgraced finishing 5,50 lengths back. She is now drawn in pole with Gavin Lerena up. Wallaa looked a tad outpaced over this trip in October but she has scope and the rest would have allowed her to strengthen. She dos have a wide draw but should be staying on. Lightning Rock comes out better than Bianca on strict formlines on the evidence of her last start but that was her fourth start compared to the latter’s debut. She has a plum draw of two and should be thereabouts in an overall uninspiring field.
In the third race over 1200m Sweet Trial is a most interesting runner. In her last start over 1000m blinkers were refitted and she won well, beating the promising sort Captain Hindsight. She is effective over this trip and only has a two point raise to deal with, so could go in again. Touch Of Fate is one of the horses who makes Sweet Trial’s win look like good form as he was well beaten by him but has been right there in two subsequent starts over this trip and 1000m respectively. He has good early pace and will be dangerous from a good draw. We All Chomies runs off a reduced merit rating and might enjoy the step down in trip so makes most appeal of the rest. Colour Of Light, Varimax and Baahir warrant consideration.
In the next over 2400m the relatively unexposed Alicante looks to be a useful stayer in the making although the draw of nine is tricky. Piere Strydom is drawn in pole aboard Glamarous Scandal having won on her three runs ago over 2600m. She is five points higher but will appreciate the step back up in trip. Crystal Stream enjoys this trip and has won over it from a similarly wide draw before. Emerald Bay has talent although she needs things to go her way so she will be a threat from draw five. Laconia could still improve having not been disgraced on her handicap bow.
In the next over 2400m three-year-old Out Of Your League won well last time despite bursting through the stalls. He is on the up and can defy a three point raise. Village Deep was narrowly beaten by him in that aforementioned start and should be right there with Strydom up. Brand New Cadillac has put up some fine performances over staying trips and is interesting in his third run after a layoff having had two preparation runs over shorter. Highlander and African Adventure also need to be included.
In the sixth over Tobefair won her Maiden well when stepped up to 1800m and off a reasonable merit rating can go close over this further step up in trip. Rabia The Rebel has been in fine form over this trip since Chase Maujean climbed aboard and should be involved again. Littlewood is off a competitive mark and will be dangerous over a suitable trip from pole position.
The last race over 1600m is open and a few will have to be included. Podcast, Written In Stone, Electromagnetic, In The Game and Top Rank are the ones who make most appeal.
By David Thiselton
Marcus, Fourie go head-to-head
PUBLISHED: February 17, 2020
Anton Marcus and Richard Fourie did just that in the 2 500m maiden at Kenilworth on Saturday. Throughout the last two furlongs they steadily drew six…
It’s one of the most thrilling sights in racing – two top jockeys fighting it out up the straight, neck and neck all the way to the line.
Anton Marcus and Richard Fourie did just that in the 2 500m maiden at Kenilworth on Saturday. Throughout the last two furlongs they steadily drew six lengths clear of the rest as they stylishly asked their mounts for everything, and without any excessive or unnecessary use of the whip. In Auro and Long Reign responded with everything they had and it was only by a head that the latter got the verdict on the line.
Fourie said: “Anton is not an easy guy to beat but I felt I always had the measure of his mount. I know it looked on the TV as if he headed me but he didn’t.
“That said, it’s lovely to ride against champions like him because he wouldn’t be out of place anywhere in the world. I know I’ll be pleased if I can ride like him when I am his age.”
Marcus, who will be 50 in May (Fourie is 34), for once flew back to Durban empty-handed despite three of his four rides starting favourite and the other second favourite. But he was unlucky not to win the 1 400m maiden on Morse who finished fast to take equal third with only a few centimetres covering the first four. The stipes report revealed that he had had to ease his mount after a couple of furlongs to avoid him clipping the heels of fifth-placed Alfred’s Legacy. This cost him much more that the margin by which he was beaten.
First time blinkers apparently did the trick for the winner – the Glen Kotzen-trained 10-1 shot Final Appeal who was well handled by Morne Winnaar riding his 24th winner of the season.
First time headgear is – or should be – an important tool in the punter’s armoury but, regrettably, it is not flagged as such in the racecards, newspapers or racing websites. It is not fool proof but it often enables a horse to show improved form. In addition to Final Appeal, On Captain’s Side won the first at 47-20 for Greg Ennion and M.J. Byleveld – the first occasion on which he raced with ear muffs – and the Adam Marcus-trained 7-1 shot Winter Shadow (Anthony Andrews) took the 2 500m handicap wearing cheek pieces for the first time. In every case either the trainer or the jockey said that the headgear had made the difference.
Adam Marcus, incidentally, is expecting further improvement from the Lammerskraal homebred Hildegarde who led two furlongs out under Corne Orffer to justify 13-10 favouritism in the 1 100m handicap. “She appeared to be quite limited early on but we brought her down in trip and she hasn’t looked back since,” he explained. “We are looking for black type next.”
The talented Liam Tarental celebrated his return to the fray by getting up close home on the Paul Reeves-trained Skidoo in the Racing Association Handicap. “I broke my leg riding work last June. The doctor said I would be out for three months but for some reason it took a lot longer,” said the 21-year-old who was riding the 36th winner of his career.
It was also a day to remember for Sandile Mbhele as he rode his first winner as a fully-fledged jockey when going to the front two furlongs from home on Fours A Crowd to complete a Kotzen double in the last.
By Michael Clower
Blackball stakes his claim
PUBLISHED: February 17, 2020
Blackball was off the pace for much of the early exchanges but down the straight it turned into a proper cavalry charge with almost the entire field…
Of all the racecourses in South Africa Hollywoodbets Scottsville has more nuances than nearly all put together. Some horses just don’t act, others are a few lengths better on the Midlands track. Two were in action yesterday – Blackball, five of his seven wins, and Ishnana, five out of six, are prime examples.
Gavin van Zyl will probably have been cursing his luck with the forced move from Hollywoodbets Scottsville to Hollywoodbets Greyville poly for the Michael Roberts Handicap, but the gelding, that races with a cornel collard to help his breathing, did well enough to finish a close-up fourth in that race.
There were no mistakes in the UmThombothi Stakes (Non-Black Type) yesterday as Raymond Danielson rounded off a profitable weekend, three winners at Turffontein on Saturday, and a double at Hollywoodbets Scottsville.
Blackball was off the pace for much of the early exchanges but down the straight it turned into a proper cavalry charge with almost the entire field spread across the track, Blackball getting the upper hand late to out-gun The Dazzler and stable companion and last year’s winner, Marchingontogether.
“He’s and old bugger and he knows what it’s all about,” said Danielson. “Once he got his head in front, he gave me another kick and it was race-over.”
Hit The Gas, not in the race until 7.30 this morning after the scratching of Oreo Black, caught punters off guard in the second. Lowan Denysschen with other plans for the weekend, had a fellow trainer saddle for him and was also caught unaware as apprentice Jason Gates produced the formless filly with a telling late flourish to collar favourite Blue Winter and win rather comfortably.
Gates rides plenty of work at Scottsville and was quick to call for the ride on the 55-1 shot. Gates is also not short on confidence. “I know this filly and I think her two best races were for me.”
“When I saw that she was in the race this morning I phoned Mr Denysschen. I knew she could turn it on but I was a bit shocked that she did it so easily.”
Hit The Gas my have lightened a few wallets but Sir Pom converted favouritism for Michael Roberts in the first. “He still didn’t know what he was doing, he was all over the place,” said Roberts. “He’s a nice little horse and I don’t think he will stop here.”
Williams Land did some early damage to the Pick 6 as Keagan de Melo got his mount to quicken past the long-time leader Maty O and chased home hard by News Stream.
“He’s quite a funny horse. He has ability,” according to Dean Kannemeyer’s KZN assistant Nicolet Roscoe. “Sometimes he gets left, sometimes he jumps on terms. It makes is difficult and at home he has become a little difficult. We work him with a pony and he’s a little bit sensitive about his mouth. Today he jumped on terms and Keagan left him at the back and stayed off his mouth.”
Robert Smith is one of KZN’s stalwarts. A breeder, owner and trainer early in his career, he has handed over the training to Garth Puller who managed a sixth win for the Smith-bred Ishnana who Smith races in partnership with Howick antiques furniture restorer Thabo Mhlongo. Settled in off the pace per instruction by apprentice Jabu Jacobs, Ishnana, who had recorded four of his previous five wins over course and distance, finished with a rattle for his sixth success.
By Andrew Harrison
Morse can star at Kenilworth
PUBLISHED: February 14, 2020
The Eric Sands gelding, Morse, has finished third in four of his last five starts, all over 1 800m or a mile, and has been showing better form…
Morse, only a bit player in his nine episodes so far, can star in the Tabonline.co.za Maiden at Kenilworth tomorrow.
The Eric Sands gelding has finished third in four of his last five starts, all over 1 800m or a mile, and has been showing better form than he did over this 1 400m trip previously – and this is the big doubt.
If he does prove as effective, though, he is a good price at 3-1 because he is rated only a point behind The Second Wave and a minimum of seven in front of any of the other runners. But the biggest thing in his favour is that he is ridden by Anton Marcus for the first time. A smart start should see him flying out of his nine pen and making the best of his way home.
The Second Wave has drifted slightly from 5-2 to 3-1 and recent form suggests that this could well be his trip. Over 1 800m last time, when he finished only a neck in front of Morse, he was hanging for much of the race.
Red Rock Canyon (33-10) also comes into the reckoning as he was only beaten a head over this trip on his most recent start, despite over-racing early, and had Morse’s 5-1 stable companion Mr Fergie a short head behind.
Many punters will be considering an accumulator on Marcus’s four rides after he won on all three here last Saturday and the supremo should start proceedings on the right note with Hello Tomorrow in the first. Sands has his horses in good form and this Ridgemont runner has losses to recoup after being beaten at 7-10 in a modest-looking maiden last time. She led until inside the last 100m and she should be able to hold off On Captain’s Side even though M.J. Byleveld’s mount is rated 1.5kg better.
The Vaughan Marshall-trained In Auro is not a Ridgemont horse but Marcus rode him when he started favourite in his last two starts. He was around even money yesterday but there has been support for Long Reign who finished three-quarters of a length in front of him over this 2 500m in December and may confirm the placings.
However Marcus can take the last on the Glen Kotzen-trained My Wicked Ways. She heads the market at 7-2 but punters should note that this is an extremely open-looking race. Also, don’t ignore 10-1 shot Croisette. She made a big impression when winning on debut and is almost certainly better than her two subsequent runs would suggest.
By Michael Clower