Horses that have a history of being reluctant to leave the starting gate are not likely to attract much in the way of attention, let alone monetary support, but when they do manage to get it together the exotic bet bomb explodes.
Towards the end of last year, the highly-strung Miss J, who had previously shown in leading up to her maiden win that she did have ability, had become a reluctant starter and Paul and Beth Gadsby were left with the puzzle of breaking the habit.
Ten months down the line all efforts looked to have come to naught as Missy Jay missed the jump on her first run back, finishing a distant last of the nine runners.
It was a different story at Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday. Sherman Brown, who rode Missy J at her previous start, got her out on terms and although last into the straight she was always travelling in her recently equipped earmuffs as Starlight set a respectable gallop. At the business end, Starlight had done her dash as veteran Ginger Biscuit took over but Missy J came from last to fetch her and get up close home. Paying R40 on the tote, she did plenty of damage in the exotics.
More was to follow as the Pick 6 ship, already holed below the waterline for many hopefuls, took another torpedo with Stuart Randolph taking the shortest way home on Karen and Greg Anthony’s mare Zadora paying R13 on the ‘nanny’. Another outsider, Touch Of Magic, looked to have the race in the bag before Zadora loomed up on her inside for the seventh win of her career.
Silent Crusade gave Mark Dixon a welcome winner last Sunday and She’s A Dream will have added to his satisfaction after an extended period in the doldrums with a virus affecting his yard.
She’s A Dream has always been there and thereabouts but the 0.5kg overweight in the Durban Convention Handicap proved no handicap as she finished too strongly for the consistent Gary Rich-trained Connect Me.
Royal Kitty, 4-10 favourite, pushed out a life-boat for the 61 ticket holders left in the Pick 6 with a bloodless victory in the seventh. Alyson Wright’s filly always looked a cut above some modest opposition and duly obliged under replacement rider who travelled into the straight under a double handful. Giving out an inch of rein, Royal Kitty simply lengthened her stride and put the race to bed a long way out.
Donovan Dillon, successful on Kingston Rock for Brett Crawford in the third, rounded off the day on Sovereign Soldier for Wendy Whitehead. Sitting patiently in midfield, Dillon had to work hard to get his mount’s nose in front as apprentice Gates took full advantage of his 1.5kg claim.
By Andrew Harrison