Pretty Young Thing is going to be a major contender in Saturday week’s Western Cape Fillies Championship judging by the emphatic way she beat older horses in the TAB Telebet Conditions Plate at Durbanville on Saturday.
Only two fillies in the 1 400m Grade 2 are rated superior to her – the Mike de Kock-trained Gin Fizz and Alan Greeff’s World Radar – and the Ridgemont filly is clearly on the upgrade, winning three of her last four.
True, she is drawn 24 out of 28 but neither Greg Cheyne nor Brett Crawford seem unduly concerned, both pointing to her considerable gate speed. The jockey, now third on the national log with 45 winners, added: “She pinged the gates here and, when I asked her to go, she really lengthened – and to the line she just coasted.”
Drama Queen, an encouraging third in her first race for three and a half months, is also bound for the Western Cape Fillies but she will be 2kg worse.
Crawford, true to recent form, went home with a treble with Kilindini convincingly justifying favouritism in the Betting World Maiden and Bag Of Tricks (backed from 7-1 to 2-1) just holding on in an incident-packed finale.
But this was a treble with a difference because Bag Of Tricks enabled the Philippi trainer to join the successful band who have trained 1 000 winners.
Corne Orffer, who also rode Kilindini, had to survive an objection from Donovan Dillon on runner-up Brother Louis before he could join in the celebrations and he was suspended for a week (Oct 16-22) for causing interference to the unplaced Snowy Mountain.
Morne Winnaar, riding the leader Bindi, was given the same unwanted seven-day holiday for causing interference to runner-up Lana Belle early on in Pretty Young Thing’s race.
Racehorse trainers, and often owners too, need to be blessed with abnormal amounts of patience and Agent Of Fortune provided a perfect example of how this gift can pay off in the Tellytrack.com Pinnacle.
While Bwana, in the words of commentator Philip Sarembock “went off like a dirty shirt,” M.J. Byleveld sat handy a couple of lengths behind and pounced when the leader’s exertions took their toll in the final furlong.
Vaughan Marshall said: “It has been a long hard struggle with this horse. He won a feature first time out (the Kuda Sprint on Met day last year). We then took him to Durban and he chipped a knee at Summerveld. Then he went in the wind.”
The expression of Marsh Shirtliff, who shares ownership with Bryn Ressel, seemed to suggest he was reliving every painful moment when he was asked about the horse’s history!
Richard Fourie, four winners at Fairview on Friday, landed a Justin Snaith double on Queen’s Club and Dancing Sally to take his total for the season to 33.
Anthony Andrews and Andre Nel were also in double form, landing the opener with Aqua Bolt and the third with Quickstep Lady, one of four horses on the day who set new class records.
By Michael Clower