Treve completes Arc double
PUBLISHED: October 5, 2014
The brilliant French filly Treve became the first horse since Alleged in 1978 to win back to back Prix de l’Arc De Triomphe’s yesterday at Longchamp. She powered clear to win almost as comfortably as last year under the same jockey Thierry Jarnet, despite not getting her favourable fast pace.
It was an amazing training feat by Criquette Head-Maarek. The filly had only run three previous races this season due to back and foot issues and had failed to win any of them.
It was a French one-two as the Andre Fabre-trained Flintshire finished second ahead of the 11/2 favourite the John Gosden-trained Taghrooda.
The Japanese had three horses in their thirty year quest to win the great race but the best they could manage was sixth with Harp Star.
The best finisher of the Aiden O’Brien trio was former Epsom Derby winner Ruler Of The World, who was ridden by Frankie Dettori into ninth place.
Picture: Treve 2014 Arc de Triomphe (South China Morning Post)
Whammy on track for Guineas
PUBLISHED: October 5, 2014
Double Whammy’s Cape Fillies Guineas credentials were given a massive boost with her gutsy, front-running performance in the Lanzerac Diana Stakes at Durbanville on Saturday even though Majmu almost certainly remains the one they all have to beat on 6 December.
Quite how much the Glen Kotzen-trained filly had in the tank is open to question but it was no mean achievement to beat last year’s Avontuur Fillies Guineas runner-up Lanner Falcon. Certainly Greg Cheyne was impressed with his mount, saying: “She worked hard but she kept staving them off and the more they came at her the more she gave me.”
Kotzen, winning this for the fourth time since 2000, added: “She is still a baby but she is a serious filly and she will now go for the Choice Carriers on 8 November.”
S’Manga Khumalo got himself into more difficulties than the chief executive of Hong Kong in the Jo’burg Spring Challenge and odds-on Majmu lost her unbeaten record, managing only fourth to 40-1 shot Supreme Sunset. The Sean Cormack-ridden winner, who had to survive an objection, will stay in Johannesburg and Mike Bass said: “Her win was no surprise to me because [assistant trainer] Robert Fayd’Herbe gave her a good chance. I sent her up there as she went to Durban late and so only ran twice there.”
Dean Kannemeyer is looking towards a seventh Selangor with Cape Guineas hope Afrikaburn who ran on strongly to finish a two-length second to Reim in the Kuda Matchem Stakes. The Milnerton trainer said: “He ran like a horse who wants a mile and he could run once more before the Selangor – I will discuss it with Fred Crabbia. I’m thinking of putting quarter-cup blinkers on him next time.” Reim once again revelled in the front-running tactics adopted by Chris Puller for his father, and the gelding’s time was only a third of a second slower than Signal Green’s 1995 course record. The owners were again fielding offers in the winner’s box, the latest being R1 million which must be tempting.
Kannemeyer is also looking to the future with Power King who ran on well to take three-quarters of a length second to Helderberg Blue in the Infiniti Insurance Pinnacle after finding his path blocked by a wall of three. His trainer said: “He was a little unlucky. I’m going to nominate him for the J & B Met but I’ve got to box smartly in the meantime with his 96 rating.”
Bass is also eyeing the Met with Helderberg Blue, saying: “He is improving all the time but he gets a little bit agitated. He’s not a Queen’s Plate horse and I will look for nine and ten furlong races with him.”
Aldo Domeyer, who sprang a 66-1 shock on the Paddy Kruyer-trained Sheltered, totally outclassed the opposition in the 150m jockeys race and even had the audacity to turn round and taunt his rivals ten strides from the line. He completed the rest of the race running backwards!
Picture: Double Whammy winning the 2014 Lanzerac Diana Stakes (Liesl King)
Afrikaburn to turn up the heat
PUBLISHED: October 3, 2014
The talented Afrikaburn begins his Guineas campaign in the Kuda Matchem Stakes at Durbanville tomorrow as the Summer Of Champions season kicks off in style.
Theoretically he has over five lengths in hand – at least he does according to the handicappers – and he is going to be a short price. Betting World had him at 12-10 in their forecast yesterday but this is a terrible race for favourites. His stable companion Capetown Noir 12 months ago was the first one not to get stuffed in nine years.
Gerrit Schlechter’s mount has been off for ten weeks and in all his previous four races he has lost ground at the start, normally the kiss of death at Durbanville.
“I’m not going to jump off the nearest building if he does get beat,” says Dean Kannemeyer. “I have given him enough work to be competitive but I’ve got to set him up for the Guineas so I can’t have him at his peak for this.”
Kannemeyer also runs It Is Written (8-1) who won three off the reel before disappointing last time. “I couldn’t find anything wrong but most of his wins have been in the wet.”
Reim is the joker in the pack and surely the value bet if the forecast 5-1 still stands. Blinkers and all-the-way tactics suit both horse and course. He could be difficult to peg back particularly if, as expected, the favourite gives them all a start – and Glen Puller has a tremendous Matchem record, winning three of the last 12.
“They are going to go like hell,” reckons Tellytrack presenter Stan Elley who can see his Winter Derby winner Dynastic Power (6-1) taken off his feet. Door Of Deception (14-1), who made virtually all when springing a surprise in the Sophomore, may also ensure the pace is a hot one. “He will run a good race,” vows Justin Snaith.
The Joey Ramsden-trained Grey Light is the highest rated in the Lanzerac Diana but the weight of expectation is with Double Whammy whose form is franked meeting after meeting. “She’s a machine and I’m very excited,” says Glen Kotzen who is already thinking of the Fillies Guineas.
He won’t be the only one bitterly disappointed if she doesn’t win this but Mike Bass is expecting a good run from Lanner Falcon, runner-up in last season’s Fillies Guineas, even though she hasn’t raced since July day. “She’s been here for a gallop and she is striding out quite nicely,” says the man who won last year’s race with Hammie’s Hooker who had similar credentials.
Power King stands out in the Infiniti Insurance Pinnacle after his wins in the Winter Guineas and Classic although Kannemeyer won’t be jumping off any buildings after this race either. “He has lots of class but I gave him a month off, he takes a lot of work and he’s had just the one grass gallop [with Afrikaburn over 1 400m at Durbanville eight days ago].
Run For It was unlucky in the Gold Cup – horses kept breaking down in front of him – but when he was he not unlucky? So maybe Tribal Dance could be the one.
Finally, and if you can get anyone to give you better than evens, save something for Aldo Domeyer in the jockeys race after the last. “There is a lot of talk that I’m going to get rolled,” says last year’s winner incredulously, and in the manner of a man who can’t envisage defeat.
Picture: Nkosi Hlope
Akii Bua to assume command
PUBLISHED: October 3, 2014
Friday night racing at Greyville is now a regular feature and the Lightning Shot Bar is one of the finest entertainment venues in town. This evening the popular trio the Gee Jays are on the menu to liven up proceedings between races on a card that should provide even more entertainment. And just to round off the weekend, there is another Greyville meeting on Sunday.
Cat In Command, with a history of physical problems, has taken to the more forgiving surface of the poly track and will be looking for his third win on the bounce in the sixth at Greyville tonight. Pat Lunn’s runner is unbeaten with Stuart Randolph aboard and landed a nice touch for the stable when keeping going to hold off Siddharth over the course and distance last time out.
However, the downside is a steady rise in the merit ratings and although he has the best of the draw and a 2kg swing in the weights, it may not be enough to overcome the Mike de Kock-trained Akii Bua in spite of the latter’s eight-month absence from the track.
The lightly raced Australian import is another that has had soundness problems but in five starts he has shown plenty of ability. Like Cat In Command he could take to the poly and the fact that De Kock has tossed him in at a ‘mile’ instead of his usual practice of a warm-up sprint first, suggests that Akii Bua will be fairly close to winning form.
Ian Sturgeon is riding with plenty of confidence since exploring greener pastures on the Highveld but he is also one of Frank Robinson’s regular pilots and they pair up with the Jallad gelding Jamal. It has been some time since the six-year-old found the winner’s enclosure but has shown excellent form on the poly track and should be thereabouts if Akii Bua and Cat In Commander don’t run up to expectations.
Deryl Daniels has been through the wringer as far as his personal life is concerned but he has been putting in the hard yards in recent months and is due a change of luck and a winner. He partners Trix Of The Trade for Glen Kotzen in the seventh who has finished close-up in both recent starts on the poly with Daniels up. Both times she has run out of steam late to be beaten a neck and less. She shows plenty of speed and this being her fourth run after a break she should strip at her peak.
However, this is a difficult filly’s handicap and there are a host of other pretenders. Top weight Cotswold found one too good for her in German Lady last Friday and has been racing in much stronger company of late. Cherry Tripper is quick while Rocket Lady, Seventh Virtue and Royal Honeymoon are all in with winning chances.
In the opening leg of the PA Malrebellio was only run out of it late when beaten less than a length on her seasonal debut behind Libertine and with the benefit of that run could turn the tables on her rival.
Mark Dixon’s runner Gangnum Style will be a popular choice in the fourth and is due a change of fortune as he drops in trip. Both races beyond 2000m appeared to be beyond his compass and today’s 1800 m trip should be optimum.
De Kock has been concentrating his efforts in the UK of late but Nathan Kotzen and John Buckler are more than capable of holding the fort in his absence and they should go close to leading Alghadeer into the winner’s box after the fifth. The son of leading sire Dynasty made a very smart debut on the poly and with a plum draw over a trip that his pedigree suggests should suit him well, he rates the horse to beat.
By his high standards KZN Champion trainer Duncan Howells has had a bit of a lean period of late and it’s only a matter of time before he turns that around and De La Rio looks the biggest threat to Alghadeer. He too made a decent enough debut on the poly at his first visit to the track and as in the case of Alghadeer, one can expect good improvement.
Picture: Nkosi Hlope
Variety Club retired to Klawervlei
PUBLISHED: October 3, 2014
Multiple G1 winner and twice SA Horse of the Year, Variety Club, is set to return to the land of his birth. A decision to retire the globe trotting Champion was recently taken by owners Markus and Ingrid Jooste, who decided to stand him at Klawervlei Stud in the interest of the South African racing and breeding industries.
Variety Club, currently ranked as the second highest rated horse in the world, by the Longines World’s Best Racehorse rankings won 17 of his 23 career starts. He won 4 G1’s in his native land including the breed shaping Cape Guineas G1, The L’Ormarins Queens Plate (WFA) G1, and was a dual winner of The Rising Sun (WFA) G1. Other notable Group victories included the JWS Langerman G3, The Matchem Stakes (WFA) G2, Selangor Cup G2, The Tekkietown Winter Guineas G3, The KRA Guineas G2 and The Greenpoint Stakes (WFA) G2.
After been crowned as SA Horse of the Year for the second consecutive time in 2013 it was time to take on the world’s best. A six month quarantine via Mauritius and Europe was followed by a first up win in the Firebreak Stake G3, at Meydan in the UAE. Despite a rushed prep and still having to brush off a few cobwebs, Variety Club disposed of his opposition with ease, setting a new (unofficial) course record. He ran a creditable 2nd in the Burj Nahaar G3 in his next start, after which he was freshened up for the Godolphin Mile G2 on World Cup night. With a superb display of brilliant gate speed he had the appreciative crowd aghast with amazement as he flashed past the post, defeating another star studded field.
With two International Group victories under his belt, Variety Club travelled to Hong Kong, to take on the worlds best in the Champions Mile G1. Brilliant milers from around the globe assembled to try and wrestle the crown from the locals, a feat which all previous contenders had failed at. Despite another shocking draw, the SA Champ, under the masterful guidance of Anton Marcus, produced a career best performance, disposing of the best Hong Kong had to offer to win comfortably by four. The performance earned him a rating of 126 and left one of the worlds leading jockeys Joao Moreira expressing in amazement “he didn’t just beat us, he broke us into little pieces!”.
The brilliant sprinter/miler son of VAR, who was bred by Anton Shepard at Beaumont Stud, is expected to arrive at the SA Champion Breeders, Klawervlei stud, early in December. He will commence stud duties in the 2015 season. A stud fee will be announced in due course.
Enquiries: Derek Brugman
Picture: Liesl King