Choice line-up for Carriers
PUBLISHED: November 4, 2014
A classy field will line up for the Gr 2 Choice Carriers Championship over 1400m at Kenilworth on Saturday and this includes the unbeaten Vaughan Marshall-trained Jet Set Go.
Jet Set Go, a filly by Jet Master, won easily on debut over 1000m at Kenilworth in May, and then travelled to Fairview in July to win the Gr 3 Champion Juvenile Cup over 1400m just as easily. In her reappearance she settled encouragingly well at the back in a Graduation Plate over 1400m at Durbanville contested by just five horses before cruising through to win cosily under hands and heels. A boost to her chances on Saturday on the tight Kenilworth Old Course is that she has drawn well in two.
However, she will be up against some stiff competition, including two horses that are rated higher than her.
The Joey Ramsden-trained Tapit filly Grey Light is a big, strong horse with a good turn of foot and probably needed her last outing. She is drawn wide in ten but in the kind hands of Sean Cormack she should be running on strongly in the finish.
The Glen Kotzen-trained Judpot filly Double Whammy beat some good older horses in the weight for age Gr 3 Diana Stakes over 1400m at Durbanville when showing tremendous resilience from the front. She recorded a hattrick of victories in the process. However, she was drawn two that day and her draw of eleven on Saturday will be against her, especially as a handy type.
The Ramsden-trained Western Winter filly Cold AS Ice is merit rated the same as jet Set Go on 95, but it is likely a capped rating as she was given the maximum six points when toying with a good field of older horses in a Graduation Plate over 1200m last time out. She is a half-sister to the speedy Viva La Var and dictated from the front in that last race, but her pedigree should enable her to get this trip and she should be a big runner under Bernard Fayd’Herbe from a good draw of five.
Champion trainer Justin Snaith has two entries and the improving Captain Al filly Princess Chloe could surprise as she won her reappearance over 1300m in good fashion and should improve. Richard Fourie rides from a tricky draw of eight. Snaith’s Dynasty filly Harvard Crimson is likely better than her last run over 1300m at Durbanville when continually baulked for a run, but she does have her work cut out in the field.
Mike Bass has two entries and as Seven Grand has been a bit disappointing stable jockey Grant van NIekerk is aboard the improving Trippi filly Inara. She ran a good second to a promising type in a Novice Plate over 1600m last time out and now has her third run after a rest from a good draw over a likely suitable trip.
Picture: Double Whammy (Liesl King)
Rich Girl rocks!
PUBLISHED: November 2, 2014
The Charles Laird-trained filly Rich Girl became the second Australian-bred progeny of Rock Of Gibraltar to win the Emperor’s Palace Ready to Run Cup on Saturday in the space of two years after being given a brilliant front-running ride by Anton Marcus.
Saturday’s event carried stakes money of R3,85 million and is likely to remain the richest race in South African history until the running of the US$ 1 million Cape Thoroughbred Sales (CTS) race that is due to take place in January 2016 at Kenilworth. Owner Markus Jooste was on course to receive the trophy on behalf of himself and his wife Ingrid. Laird revealed that Jooste had told him he would be staying on for the race after attending Friday’s CTS Ready To Run Sale for one reason only, and that was to lead in Rich Girl.
Rock Of Gibraltar, who has provided him with such horses as Gr 1 winner and now Gr 1-winning sire Seventh Rock, is Jooste’s favourite stallion, which made the win all the more rewarding. This was the third time that both Jooste and Marcus had won the Ready To Run Cup. Marcus won the inaugural running in 2007 aboard the Mark Dixon-trained Umngazi and then won it for Jooste with the Mike de Kock-trained Red Barrel in 2011. Jooste’s first win was also with a Charles Laird-trained Australian-bred filly, Hollywoodboulevard, who did it in 2010 with Willie Figueroa aboard.
Laird became the first trainer to ever win the race twice and Rock Of Gibraltar is the only sire to have been successful twice. His gelding son Rock Of Arts won it for trainer Weiho Marwing and jockey Sean Veale in the R2,5 million running of the race in 2012. Both Jooste and Marcus are the only owner and jockey respectively to have won it multiple times. Hollywoodboulevard by Street Cry is the most expensive horse to have won the race, costing R900,000. The stake in her winning year was R1,5 million. Rich Girl was the third most expensive winner, costing R550,000, but considering the winning prize on Saturday of R1,7 million, she has proved to be a bargain buy. The second most expensive winner of the race was the R850,000 purchase Rock Of Arts.
The cheapest winner has been the Gary Alexander-trained Parade Leader gelding Pierre Jourdan, who cost just R60,000, and won the R1,5million 2009 running of the race under Sean Cormack. The inaugural winner Umngazi, a gelding by Muhtafal, cost R180,000, but the stake for the race was only R500,000. The stake rose to R1,25 million in 2008 and the Mike Miller-trained Kahal filly Smangaliso, who cost R100,000, won under Robbie Hill. Last year’s winner Winter Star, a Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Solskjaer filly ridden by Glen Hatt, also cost R100,000 but competed for a R3 million stake. Red Barrel, a colt by Right Approach, cost R350,000 and the 2011 race he won carried a stake of R2 million.
The race will effectively be split into two next year due to about half the horses, including Summerhill Stud’s draft, being sold at a new Cape Thoroughbred Sales Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale. However, in its eight years of existence under its original format the race was won by four fillies and four colts/geldings. Summerhill bred four of the winners and consigned six of them, including Rich Girl.
Picture: Rich Girl winning the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup at Turffontein yesterday. (JC Photos)
Majmu the new darling
PUBLISHED: November 2, 2014
The Mike de Kock-trained Majmu looks set to become the new darling of the South African turf as she underlined her brilliance in no uncertain terms at Turffontein on Saturday when giving weight to a classy field and treating them with contempt in the Gr 3 HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco Starling Stakes over 1400m under the top class professional Anthony Delpech.
On a day in which the conditions favoured handy horses, the Australian-bred three-year-old filly by Redoute’s Choice had to come from midfield after getting just an average start from a wide draw. However, when asked the question the power of her acceleration and finishing run saw her sweeping past on the outside to win easing up by 1,75 lengths.
She gave 4kg to the previously unbeaten runner up, Siren’ Call, and 6kg to third placed Smart Call, whom she beat by 2,25 lengths. However, the most significant formline in the race was the 4kg and four length beating she gave to her stablemate One Fine Day. One Fine Day finished a one length second in the Gr 1 Durban Golden Horseshoe over this distance on Vodacom Durban July day when receiving only 2,5kg from the winner Afrikaburn and she had the admittedly unlucky Harry’s Son behind her.
It would be dangerous to draw conclusions from just one formline. However, another factor that suggests Majmu could well be the best three-year-old in the land is that her time was 0,89 seconds quicker than last season’s Equus Champion two-year-old colt Harry’s Son’s time in the Gr 3 Graham Beck Stakes, off the same weight, and was 1,85 seconds quicker than Gr 1 runner up Rich Girl’s time in the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup, despite the latter having carried 2,5kg less. Majmu was the Equus Champion two-year-old filly, but her award caused controversy as she did not compete in any Gr 1 events after being affected by a virus subsequent to her facile Gr 2 SA Fillies Nursery victory, which she won hands and heels by 8,75 lengths.
However, if the two-year-old award was about who would be the best three-year-old even the detractors fully expected to eat their words as she stood out in that regard. Nobody doubted her class and the handicapper made her the highest merit rated two-year-old filly in South African history on 114.
Majmu is already a drawcard after just five runs and her only defeat came last time out in the Joburg Spring Fillies and Mares Challenge over 1450m when the jockey rode her for luck despite being a 7/10 shot on a tight course with hardly any false rail and she duly got hopelessly boxed in on the inside. Another aspect that might one day even see her surpass the popularity of the great De Kock-trained Igugu is her colouring as everybody loves a grey.
Every grey has at least one grey parent and it is interesting when looking at Majmu’s pedigree to discover that she inherits her colouring from the same source as one of the greatest greys in history, The Tetrarch, who raced just over 100 years ago and was voted Britain’s two-year-old of the century. Every one of Majmu’s bottom line females is grey right up until her eleventh dam La Grisette, who acquired her colouring from her father Roi Herode, the sire of The Tetrarch. Majmu was one of three Australian-breds that won a feature on Saturday and was purchased by Sheik Hamdan’s Shadwell Stud at the Inglis Australian Easter yearling Sale for Aus $300,000. Her dam Spontaneous is a Chilean-bred Gr 1 winner over 1700m by the Mr Prospector line stallion Hussonet, meaning Majmu is yet another top class example of the powerful Northern Dancer-Mr Prospector cross.
Her laid back temperament and running style suggests a mile is easily within her range and even the Triple Tiara, that ends with the SA Oaks over 2450m, would not be out of the question. Both De Kock and Delpech were reluctant to compare her to Igugu so early. However, De Kock said the Gr 1 Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas, a race in which Igugu was famously defeated by Ebony Flyer, would be “a good test for her” on December 6 at Kenilworth.
Picture: Majmu winning the Gr3 Starling Stakes at Turffontein yesterday (JC Photos)
Harry’s Son tops the pile
PUBLISHED: November 2, 2014
The Paul Lafferty-trained Harry’s Son proved he has another couple of assets in his high class armour on Saturday when comfortably winning the Gr 3 Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m under Piere Strydom.
Firstly the win followed a journey through the early morning hours from Summerveld and secondly he clearly relished the galloping nature of the Turffontein Standside track, which was his reappearance run after winning the Gr 1 Premiers Champion Stakes at the end of last season over 1600m on the tight Greyville course. In giving weight to the rest of a high class field and a two length beating, Harry’s Son laid claim to being the best three-year-old male in the land.
The Cape horse Act Of War pulled off a similar feat the previous weekend in the Gr 3 Cape Classic over the same distance on the Kenilworth Old Course, but the margin of victory, albeit on a tighter course, was not as convincing. However, a possible clash between the pair in the Gr 1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas is now more eagerly awaited than ever.
Harry’s Son had been due to make his reappearance in the Cape Classic, but those plans were scuppered due to a case of African Horse Sickness at Summerveld, meaning all travel from the latter vicinity into the Western Cape’s AHS controlled area was banned for a period of 40 days. This might have been a blessing in disguise, as the journey to the Cape is an arduous one and the Kenilworth Old Course is a tricky one to handle for a horse making its first appearance on a left handed track.
It is not surprising that the Australian-bred colt by Haradasun is a good traveller as he has a superb racing temperament. Last Wednesday night at the annual Lafferty stable “braai” he was seen accepting kisses from one of his doting owners and then returning them. A horse could hardly have a more relaxed demeanour than the one he possesses. It is wonder of the thoroughbred that a horse sitting so contentedly in his box that he could be petted by a child could be the same one three days later that answered the call of a jockey to bravely burst through a tight gap at high speed.
Even Strydom, who is now only six winners away from an incredible record-breaking career mark of 5000, was becoming a bit anxious as the pocket Harry’s Son was caught in on the inside rail while reefing in behind refused to open. However, at the first inkling of a gap, Strydom switched him off the heels, which caused Harry’s Son one high kneed stride, and in an instant they were clear. This horse really lets himself down, a sign of his soundness, and he was still going strongly at the line. Jayyed finished a neck behind him at level weights in the Premier’s, but on Saturday Harry’s Son gave him 4,5kg and a two length beating, suggesting the latter is more at home on a course with a long straight. He should be ideally suited to the course and distance of the Cape Guineas on December 20 and it will be interesting to see whether he also takes in the Gr 2 Dingaans over 1600m on Turffontein Standside on November 29.
Harry’s Son is out of the Anabaa mare Dash On Ruby and his half-sister Rock Of Arts by Rock Of Gibraltar won the R2,5 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup at Saturday’s corresponding meeting two years ago over the same course and distance as the Graham Beck. Harry’s Son, a bay who is of the powerfully built sort rather than the tall rangy type, was bred by Cranton Bloodstock in Australia and was signed for by one of his current owners Phil Georgiou for a now bargain looking price of Aus$60,000 off the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sales. He has already earned just short of three quarters of a million rand.
Picture: Harry’s Son winning the Gr Graham Beck Stakes at Turffontein yesterday (JC Photos)
Laird does the ‘Bezanova’
PUBLISHED: November 2, 2014
The Laird dynasty were to the fore at Turffontein’s big meeting yesterday as the Alec Laird-trained Bezanova won the Gr 2 Peermont Emperor’s Palace Charity Mile under Weichong Marwing shortly after the richest race in South African history, the R3,85 million Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup over 1400m, had been won by the Charles Laird-trained Rich Girl under Anton Marcus.
Both horses were thoroughly deserved winners. Bezanova, a four-year-old gelding by Bezrin bred by Peter Blyth’s Clifton Stud, has matured into a magnificent specimen and after improving consistently in the big three-year-old features last season finally landed a Graded victory.
The pace rather than the draw turned out to be the key as Tommy Gun set steady fractions which allowed the widely drawn second top weight No Worries to race comfortably on his flank in second, while 18/1 shot Bezanova overcame draw nine quite easily to find a nice position in fifth place. The triple crown hero Louis The King was right near the back. The 5/1 favourite Sovereign Mint was in midfield just behind the most fancied of the Alec Laird-trained trio Bouclette Top. Bezanova made a strong run down the inside, but No Worries, who gave the winner 2,5kg, challenged him all the way to the line to go down by only 0,25 lengths. Louis The King flew late to be beaten just 0,75 lengths in an excellent preparation run for the Sansui Summer Cup. Lockheed Jetstar was fourth followed by Bouclette Top.
Bezanova earned R100,000 for the charity the National Horse Trust, who were represented by celebrity Sarah Kate Scott and the media partner Mix FM. All sixteen charities involved on the day took home at least R20,000. Marcus was unseated on the fancied Rake’s Chestnut, but was able to continue riding through the meeting. Owner Chris Gerber was on hand to accept the trophy. Bezanova was bought for R150,000 and has now earned R880,475.
Rich Girl became the second Charles Laird-trained, Australian-bred and Markus and Ingrid Jooste-owned filly to win the Ready To Run Cup, with Hollywoodboulevard having done it for them in 2010, albeit with Willie Figueroa aboard. The latter’s runner-up was the mighty Igugu and yesterday another Mike de Kock-trained horse, the Judpot gelding Dreamuponadream, had to play second fiddle, this time by only a neck. The Tote favourite from the in form Sean Tarry yard, the Australian-bred Teofilio filly Tamanee, finished third and next best was the Silvano filly Silver Class from the winning trainer of last year Johan Janse Van Vuuren. In a blanket finish they were followed by the Gavin van Zyl-trained Go Deputy colt Pioneer Spirit and the Duncan Howells-trained outsider, the Mambo In Seattle colt Saratoga Dancer.
Rich Girl, who started bookmaker’s favourite at 9/2, was the highest merit rated horse in the race and was given a brilliant ride by Marcus. She had it all to do after she drew wide in 14, as she went into the race with a stamina doubt hanging above her head. Marcus even suggested to Laird that he scratch her as he felt running her from that draw would be an “exercise in futility.” Laird said afterwards that they had gone in with three separate plans and he left it to Marcus to see how the race panned out. Marcus committed and after rushing around them to the front, the speedy chestnut filly settled well. She kept on finding in the straight to repel the outsider Saratoga Dancer and then found extra to keep a flying Dreamuponadream at bay. The runner up came from about five lengths back and took a while to get through some traffic, while all of the others in the first six stayed on from relatively handy positions.
Later the brilliant Mike de Kock-trained Australian-bred Redoute’s Choice filly Majmu showed that she could follow in the footsteps of the great Igugu. She gave weight to a quality field in the Gr 3 HSH Princess Charlene Of Monaco Starling Stakes ove 1400m and, coming from a midfield position, swept past them with contempt to win easing up by 1,75 lengths under Anthony Delpech. The grey started at prohibitive odds of 13/20 and beat home the previously unbeaten Sean Tarry-trained Elusive Fort filly Siren’s Call, whom she gave 4kg, by 1,75 lengths. The Alec Laird-trained Ideal World filly Smart Call was next best. Majmu has now won four out of five starts and her only defeat was a very unlucky one.
In the next race the Equus Champion two-year-old colt of last season, the Paul Lafferty-trained Harry’s Son, laid claim to being the current best three-year-old in the land when winning the Gr 3 Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m in commanding style under Piere Strydom. Like Act Of War had done in the Cape Classic last weekend, Harry’s Son gave weight to the field, and after being caught in a pocket flew home to deny the De Kock-trained favourite Jayyed by a comfortable two lengths, despite giving him 4,5kg. The second favourite Trip To heaven was next best. Harry’s Son started at 6/1. This bay colt, who has a superb racing temperament, was yet another Australian-bred to succeed on the day.
Picture: Bezanova winning the Gr2 Charity Mile at Turffontein yesterday (JC Photos)