Kileigh looks classy
PUBLISHED: October 8, 2014
The Gavin van Zyl-trained Go Deputy filly Kileigh stamped herself as a classic contender when producing a blistering finish from off the pace to win a MR 76 FM Handicap over 1400m at the Vaal on Tuesday under Gavin Lerena.
That was no mean feat for an early three-year-old running off a merit rating of 84, especially considering she was only receiving 1kg from the well regarded four-year-old old filly Stay Amazed and gave her a 1,25 length beating. Van Zyl gave credit to owner Brian Burnard for the purchase of this Lammerskraal Stud-bred filly. Burnard phoned Van Zyl while the latter was down at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale Book 1 and asked him to have a look at Kileigh as he had been impressed by a picture he had seen of her. Van Zyl, who admitted he had not considered looking at her as she was by an unfashionable sire, also liked what he saw and they went ahead and bought her for what is now looking good value at R250,000.
She will be aimed at races like the Starling Stakes and Fillies Mile, before going for the Johannesburg classics next year. Van Zyl said, “What is particularly exciting about her is that she will get better the further she goes and the older she gets as Go Deputy’s usually get better with age.” Kileigh has won her last three races in succession since getting off the mark in her third career outing with a facile victory over 1600m at Scottsville last June.
The Van Zyl yard have already landed one Johannesburg feature this season courtesy of No Worries, who won the Gr 2 Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m last weekend. They have the like of Pioneer Spirit, Heart Of A Lion, Banbury, Sun On Africa and Respectable Ruler waiting in the wings so should be on their way to a fruitful season.
Shea makes a fighting return
PUBLISHED: October 8, 2014
Kevin Shea (pictured) is one of the characters of the game but underneath his fun loving nature is a fierce professional resolve and this has enabled the world class veteran jockey to return to the saddle earlier than expected from a debilitating back problem.
Shea is booked for two rides at Greyville on Sunday, including aboard the promising Duncan Howells-trained Saratoga Dancer, who will likely need to win the MR 73 Handicap over 1600m that he is involved in to get a run in the lucrative R3,85 million Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup.
Shea has been riding work without pain since core training and other measure taken have enabled his strength to reach the necessary levels.
He went to great lengths to speed up the process and has visited various medical practitioners or centres, including a masseuse, the spinal injury unit at a local hospital, a physiotherapist, doctors and even a man in the centre of Durban who has practised traditional Chinese medicine for decades.
The latter doctor used a technique to remove the damaged blood from the bruised area, which speeds up the process of healing the bruises. Suction cups are first placed above the bruised area and then removed. An incision is then made and the cups are put on again, thereby sucking the dark, damaged blood out of the system. Fresher blood should then move in to replace it. With each session the removed blood becomes redder, indicating it is fresher. Shea is not sure whether this treatment sped up his recovery, but he said he had been “desperate” to be back riding, so had been willing to give it a try.
During the healing process he has picked up various preventative measures for the future from the different practitioners he has visited.
He said, “I have been riding for 37 years, so can expect some wear and tear, but little things I have now been made aware of like not bending down and a million things the spinal unit taught me should help prevent injury.”
Shea, who last rode on August 31, was grateful when tests in early September showed that no long term damage had been done to the nerves by a “bulged C3 vertebra”, but he went through indescribable pain for about a week as the disc had been touching one of the nerves.
His sports medicine consultant is former Sharks team doctor Craig Springate, who, like Shea, believes there are better ways of fixing a problem than going under the knife.
Shea will build up his number of rides with each successive meeting in order to be ready for the Johannesburg feature season which is fast approaching.
Ton up for Alesh Naidoo
PUBLISHED: October 7, 2014
Flamboyant KZN-based owner Alesh Naidoo had his first ever treble at Greyville on Sunday and to complete a memorable couple of days he had his 100th winner at Kimberly the following day.
The prominent Durban businessman seldom misses a racemeeting and his colourful dress sense and vibrant personality led to him being named the inaugural recipient of the Roy Eckstein floating trophy for the KwaZulu-Natal Racing Personality of the Year in 2012.
On Sunday Viva La Var, who was having his first run for Naidoo after been bought in training, kept his unbeaten record when winning the first race over 1000m under Anton Marcus for the Charles Laird yard. Later Naidoo, Laird and Marcus combined to win with the classy filly Admiral’s Eye, but not before Naidoo had won another race with a horse he part-owns, the Dennis Drier-trained Ho’Oponopono.
Then on Monday at Flamingo Park the Bill Human-trained Random Al won under Juliuis Mariba to give Naidoo the magic century of winners. Naidoo’s familiar racing colours of light blue and red are registered under the name The Fire Racing Trust and he sounded a warning yesterday, “The public must follow my horses, because I’m on fire at the moment!”
Naidoo’s first ever winner was with the Michael Airey-trained Taste Of Trouble, who won a maiden on March 4, 2001 and followed up by winning a Novice Plate. His love for the game grew of his own accord without family influence. However, today his family are the staunchest supporters of his horses.
Naidoo has won one Gr 1 race to date with Love Struck, a Kahal gelding who won the SA Classic for trainer Paul Lafferty last year. However, about 70% of his horses today are trained by Charles Laird and he feels indebted to both Laird and many-times champion jockey Anton Marcus, who has had a long association with Laird, for his current success.
Naidoo has the distinction of being the owner of the only ever filly in South African history to have won the same Oaks race twice. The Betting World Oaks was opened to older horses last season and his Australian-bred Laird-trained filly Dylan’s Promise duly retained her crown in June this year at Clairwood under Marcus. Naidoo has a lot to look forward to in the future.
Among his two-year-olds are a full-sister to the reigning Equus Horse Of The Year, Legislate, a three-parts sister to the Gr 1 winner Futura, and a full-brother to the highly promising Eventual Angel, who has won four out of five starts to date including a Gr 3. All three of these two-year-olds will be trained by Laird.
Possibly his most exciting horse already in training is the ever improving Laird-trained Bold Inspiration, a four-year-old gelding by Horse Chestnut who has won five out of seven starts, including the last three in ever so easy fashion. Bold Inspiration is only merit rated 96 at present but is just outside the top twenty of the first Sansui Summer Cup log and the bookmakers have priced him up as third favourite. The Summer Cup, Johannesburg’s biggest race, will be run at Turffontein on November 29 and the distance of 2000m should be ideal for Bold Inspiration.
Viva La Var will be a candidate for the Gr 1 Computaform Sprint over 1000m next Autumn. His next outing will be in the Listed Golden Loom Handicap over 1000m at Turffontein on November 1.
Naidoo will have a lively candidate that same day in the hitherto richest race in South African turf history, the R3,85 million Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup over 1400m, in the form of the Laird-trained Nisa’s Machine, who ran two feature race third places last season before winning her maiden over 1400m on the Greyville polytrack early this season.
Naidoo’s attraction to the game is based on the thrill of having a winner and he has meticulously recorded every one of these victories during his ownership career. He also has a special room dedicated to racing at both his home and his business office.
Heartland could be anything
PUBLISHED: October 7, 2014
Heartland, who created such a big impression when winning by nearly ten lengths on debut, looks like running next in the Cape Classic at Kenilworth a fortnight on Saturday.
Justin Snaith said: “At this stage it’s more than likely the Cape Classic. He could run in a normal handicap because he is still well treated (merit rating 89) but, if he didn’t run in the Classic, he would run in the 1 200m Graduation Plate on 8 November. There is a 1 600m one on 12 November but I am saving that for Dynamic.”
Heartland, a full brother to Jackson, gets into the Classic off bottom weight whereas winners of more than one race attract a series of penalties. However the form of his 9 August win has not worked out well. Five of the six who finished behind him have run since. All have been beaten and the closest any of them came was third.
Snaith said: “It was never going to [work out well] but Heartland is a nice horse and he is doing very well.”
Saratoga eyes big prize
PUBLISHED: October 7, 2014
Trainers will be gearing up their horses for the hitherto richest race in South African history, the R3,85 million Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Stakes over 1400m at Turffontein on November 1 and champion KZN trainer Duncan Howells has a lively contender in the promising Saratoga Dancer, although it looks likely that the bay colt will have to win on the Greyville polytrack next week, where he is entered in a number of events.
Saratoga Dancer is by Mambo In Seattle, the same sire that gave Howells a Gr 1 winner last year in the form of the filly Same Jurisdiction, who won the Gr 1 Thekwini Stakes over 1600m. Howells said about Mambo In Seattle last year, “He produces scopey horses with lovely actions. They are big and rangy and I think they will be even better as three-year-olds.”
Saratoga Dancer won at the second time of asking over 1600m at Scottsville in comfortable and eyecatching style and the form was franked when third-placed Seeking The Dream, beaten by 4,5 lengths, came out and won easily next time out over 1800m on the poly. However, Saratoga Dancer is currently outside the top 30 on the Ready To Run log, so will need a big run next week. Meanwhile, Same Jurisdiction is still on the sidelines as she received a three month suspension for epistaxis after her Thekwini win. However, Howells is of the belief that the blood emanated from a cut on the inside of her nostril due to her banging her head on the starting stalls. He said she had never shown signs of bleeding at home before. Howell’s stable star last year was of course Via Africa, who is now with Mike de Kock and on her was overseas.
The yard also lost another of their better older horses from last season, Once Cool Dude, who has been sold to Mauritius. Howell’s three-year-old Right Approach colt Easy Lover recently achieved the highly commendable feat of beating older horses in a handicap over 1200m at Scottsville, despite running off a merit rating of 92. It is never easy for three-year-olds in early season handicaps. Howells has earmarked the Gr 3 Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m at Turffontein, also to be run on November 1, for Easy Lover. This race is usually used as a springboard for the Gr 2 Dingaans over 1600m, but Howells does not believe he will stay that trip and will be going all out for the win on November 1.
Picture: Saratoga Dancer- Nkosi Hlophe