Bass duo aimed at Computaform Sprint
PUBLISHED: March 10, 2015
Mike Bass is to make a two-pronged assault on the Computaform Sprint at Turffontein on 25 April with Mercury Sprint winner Fly By Night and dual Cape Merchants scorer Tevez. Both have prep races mapped out.
Candice Robinson said: “Tevez runs in the itsarush.co.za Pinnacle Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday and Fly By Night will run in the next one (6 April) when Tevez will also run.”
Bass flew up What A Winter to win the 2013 Computaform Sprint. On his most recent start Tevez was fourth to Alboran Sea in the Betting World Cape Flying Championship when Fly By Night (seventh) was troubled by a previous joint infection.
Anton Marcus will partner last year’s Golden Horse Sprint winner Normanz in the Pinnacle on Saturday when the four-time champion has three rides for Joey Ramsden – Prince Of Thieves, St Tropez and Sir Henry – as well as Balletome for his nephew Adam, Azarenka for Justin Snaith and My Emblem for Eric Sands.
Picture: Fly By Night (Liesl King)
UAE Derby next for Mubtaahij
PUBLISHED: March 9, 2015
Mubtaahij, ridden by Dane O’Neill, ended the Godolphin ace Sir Fever’s exceptional 10-run winning streak in Saturday’s Al Bastakiya over 1900m on dirt at Meydan, beating him by 2.50-lengths.
This was a fifth win in the Listed contest for Mike de Kock. He landed the race in 2007 with Asiatic Boy, who remains the only UAE Triple Crown winner – aside from the Al Bastakiya also winning the UAE 2000 Guineas and the UAE Derby.
De Kock commented: “Mubtaahij won a super race, this was a very good performance beating the 117-rated Sir Fever. Our third horse Ajwad was 10 lengths off the winner, underlining the ability of the first two. Sir Fever is one to watch because he is likely to improve several lengths for this run. We’ll have a healthy respect for him, but Mubtaahij also has improvement to come. The UAE Derby is going to be some race!”
O’Neill said: “I have been lucky to pick up the spare ride on him three times for three wins. He ran a good race in the UAE 2000 Guineas last time and we knew this extra distance would suit him. Hopefully he has a massive chance in the UAE Derby.”
Owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Mubtaahij is a three-year-old colt by Dubawi from Pennegale, by Pennekamp.
Meanwhile, De Kock said: “I have plenty of hope for both Via Africa and Banaadeer,” after the stable’s top sprinters finished out of the frame in Saturday’s Gr3 Meydan Sprint over 1000m on turf.
Banaadeer and Via Africa were beaten just 1.50 and 1.75-lengths respectively in a high quality line-up and De Kock reflected: “If you look at the result, both actually ran very well and weren’t in the least disgraced.”
The pair arrived from South Africa late in 2014 and while Banaadeer was fully fit for the race, Mike feels he’d be a better horse next season. “Banaadeer has some maturing to do and he’s fared well in three international starts. He’s going to be a better horse at four and I believe he will show his worth over 1200m.”
Via Africa arrived in the UAE late in 2014 and this was her first start in 10 months. She paced it out well with her male rivals before weakening a bit going into the last 250m, but she picked it up again in the last 100m and ran through to the line.
De Kock said: “I really liked the way Via Africa fought on when it looked all over. She held the bit and stayed on competitively after being matched for pace, perhaps for the first time ever. She will improve massively with this run, I’d say at least by the margin she was beaten. I am confident she can finish in the first four on Dubai World Cup night.”
– Andrew Watkins for Dubai Racing Club
Double Clutch steps up a gear
PUBLISHED: March 9, 2015
Paul Lafferty is headed off to Australia this morning on the hunt for another Harry’s Son at the Magic Millions sale but he has another smart runner in his yard in the form of the Stronghold gelding Double Clutch.
The four-year-old ran out a very comfortable winner of the Racing. It’s a Rush Handicap at Greyville yesterday, his second on the bounce, and at this stage he still looks well ahead of the handicapper. The gelding took a six-point rise for his last win but that did not stop him as he powered away to win by four lengths from Silver Spring and Cage Fighter with tote favourite Raaees surrendering tamely in fourth place to deal PA punters a blow.
Double Clutch, owned by Ashley Williams who was active in last week’s Inglis Melbourne Premier sale, had problems early in his career but he looks well over them now. His manner of victory suggests that he could be a contender for the staying features during Champions Season as he was still rolling strongly at the wire under Kegan de Melo.
Raaees has promised much but failed to deliver on more than one occasion and the turned it up again yesterday. Very keen in the early exchanges he led Double Clutch into the straight but did not go one with his effort.
De Melo had earlier delivered Midnight Lace, a late declaration in blinkers, with a telling run in the opening leg of the Pick 6 to get the better of favourite Roy’s Guardian and Dark Rose. The win was a family affair as Midnight Lace, a daughter of The Sheik, was bred by Verna Roberts, owner by her daughter Melanie and trained by father Michael.
Apprentice Tristan Godden is finally getting chances with one of his main supporters being Craig Eudey. Godden repaid that loyalty with an almost end-to-end victory aboard the Eudey-owned and trained Discourse in the fifth. It looked an open contest but Discourse’s form was given a timely boost by Silver Spring’s second-place showing in the previous race. Godden had the Go Deputy gelding handy throughout and pinched a winning lead at the top of the straight. Veteran Dun Carrer came from the back of the field to edge Pearly King for second but his charge came just too late to collard Discourse.
Weiho Marwing had a very productive weekend with Rampant Ice winning the Egoli Sprint at Turffontein on Saturday, beating a very useful field that augurs well for the rest of the Highveld season. He then saddled a treble at Greyville yesterday, all three ridden by Anthony Delpech.
Burnt Orange (pictured), making only his second race course appearance, made light of a wide draw to get up late and collar long-time leader Wild Namaqua in the second. Later, Delpech earned his riding fee once again to get Ze Tzar home in the shadow of the post ahead of Night Lock who had looked to have pinched a winning lead inside the final 200m.
In the seventh, Delpech let an obviously super fit Prince Of Magic roll from the gate and they were not catching him. Salesman found some late market support but proved no match as Prince of Magic sailed home with lengths to spare.
Close call for Stewart
PUBLISHED: March 9, 2015
The raging fires that swept through parts of the Cape Peninsula last week made life too hot for comfort for Noordhoek trainer Mike Stewart.
He said: “Noordhoek itself was like a war zone and at one stage the fires were only 100m away from me. My stables were alright (they are close to the beach) but the house was in a bit of danger with all the bush around it. Fortunately the wind was blowing the flames away from us.”
Sabine Plattner has decided to advertise for a replacement for Yogas Govender. Applicants are required to submit CVs to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday week.
The fact that Mrs Plattner is advertising only now, and that Govender had no stables lined up when his contract came up for renewal at the end of last month, suggests neither party had expected to split.
Cape Guineas third Kingvoldt, joint top-rated horse of the 17 in the 1 000m Pinnacle at Kenilworth on Saturday, will miss the race. However Joey Ramsden says he may be represented by Happy Forever.
My World, third to Big Ed in Saturday’s Jonsson Workwear Handicap, is being aimed at the East Cape Derby at Fairview on 10 May.
Stan Elley said: “I gave him a two month break so that I could build towards the East Cape and he will have one more run before that. I won the Fairview race with Practical Joker many years ago and Red Badge was second in it.”
Big Ed, who completed a hat-trick when getting up close home under regular partner Gareth Wright, will be kept to low key events for the time being. Shane Humby was quick to rule out Durban.
Richard Fourie is now rated among the very best by former mentor Basil Marcus after the July-winning jockey threw everything at Garden Feature in an inspired ride that enabled him to conjure victory from what looked certain defeat.
Marcus said: “Richard was always a good listener and he has matured into a great jockey, as good as there has ever been.”
Greg Cheyne (pictured) is only seven short of his first South African century for six seasons. He followed up Friday’s Fairview treble with an ultra-confident ride on Ashram whose medical history amazes even Glen Kotzen and part-owner Peter de Beyer.
Kotzen said: “She fractured the whole of the bottom of her near-fore pastern as a two-year-old, and had to have a lot of screws and pins inserted. Even now she wouldn’t go through a metal detector!”
Futura focused on Champions Season
PUBLISHED: March 9, 2015
Futura’s connections have abandoned thoughts of an overseas campaign – at least for the time being – and instead the Queen’s Plate and J & B Met winner will concentrate on the KZN champions season.
Brett Crawford said: “We are now getting him ready to go to Durban and his programme could possibly be the Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes (May 2), the Rising Sun Gold Challenge (June 13) and the Vodacom Durban July (July 4).”
The Gold Challenge is likely to see the four-year-old clash with old rival Legislate for whom the Drill Hall has also been named as a possibility. The July weights are published four days before the Gold Challenge so Futura can be expected to have top weight.
Crawford was among the South African buyers at last week’s Inglis Premier Yearling Sale in Melbourne and purchased the top lot, a Snitzel filly for AUS $560 000 (R5.2 million).
He said: “I had bought in Australia before but not at this particular sale. I bought just the one horse and she is for the Ridgemont Stud (run by Craig Carey).”
– Picture: Liesl King