They don’t come along often – especially in this day and age of fragile, butterball ‘pets’ bred for the sales ring. Putchini, with a no-brand pedigree soldiered through to win his 10th race from 108 starts at Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday.
The eight-year-old is no Graded Stakes performer but a soldier who has been kept on the boil by unsung trainer Ivan van Wyk. He has had Putchini line up nearly once a month for the past four years, a feat on its own for some would say a miserly R700k considering his record.
According to apprentice Jabu Jacobs who is currently riding the crest, “He went down like a young horse, head tucked in.”
“He’s an old man now and has his niggles so we go slow with him,” reveal Van Wyk who added, “It’s been a long drought.”
“The weather” was the heartfelt comment from one of a party of UK visitors that led in Al Jeezera who finally landed his maiden for Gavin van Zyl, the locals cursing the spell of scorching temperatures over the past few weeks.
At the door for some time, was ‘gifted’ to him according to both trainer and jockey.
“I don’t give Warren instructions. He’s the champion jockey!” said Van Zyl.
“They went hard, slowed it down and I took them at the top of the straight. They gifted him the race,” confirmed Kennedy.
Dennis Bosch is having good success for owner Mario Ferreira who has set up an operation outside of Summerveld. “It’s only been going for three months,” said Bosch, “but we need to pay the bills,” that after Noble Freedom got off the mark in the first, holding on gamely to deny a chasing horde. “He got ‘done’ out of the pens last run but this was a superb ride by Craig (Zackey).”
Perspicuous was hot favourite in the opening leg of the Pick 6 but was given every chance by Anton Marcus. In contention halfway up the straight, Hamsa Grove motored past to win as she liked.
“We have had quite a few problems with her,” admitted Tony Rivalland who was in the stipes boardroom demanding that she be checked at the start after not being happy with her canter past. “We have had quite a few problems with her. She was cast in the box twice.”
Sean Veale was more pragmatic. “I don’t know what his problem was. She has a workmanlike action,” he said grinning.
“She cost 15 grand – that’s the way to buy them,” concluded Rivalland.
A tongue-tie did the trick for Horoscope Harry after he had reported to have ‘choked up’ at his previous outing when fading out late.
“It had never been an issue,” said Gareth van Zyl. “But thanks to Donovan (Dillon) it worked.”
Always up with the pace, Horoscope Harry won well enough to suggest that he has a future as does White Cedar that arrived on the scene late.
The memorial service for former Mercury Racing Editor Richard McMillan who died on Monday, will take place at the Hilton Christian Fellowship Church HFC (behind Hilton Life Hospital on road to Hilton College) on Wednesday 18th March at 10.30 am.
By Andrew Harrison