Sleeping Single pushed for Stakes

PUBLISHED: 08 April 2019

greg ennion

Sleeping Single, sold twice before she had even seen a racecourse, could yet live up to early expectations. Despite being six months wrong with the opposition, she ran out a convincing winner of the Betting World Maiden at Durbanville on Saturday and Snaith Racing is talking of putting her away for the big prizes of next season.

Jono Snaith said: “She is a classic-type and she could be in the Paddock Stakes next year.”

Bred in Britain by the Nagles, she is by dual Derby winner Australia out of a half-sister to an American Grade 1 scorer and was bought for Markus Jooste for €220 000 (now nearly R3.5 million) at the 2017 Goffs Orby Sale. When she came up again at last July’s Central Route Trading Sale she was purchased for R1.8 million for Nic Johnsson and Jack Mitchell.

Anton Marcus’s response to an SOS to replace the sidelined Greg Cheyne on five rides may not have resulted in any immediate winners but Rigemont’s Pretty Young Thing looks good for next time.  The 13-1 chance made up ground hand over fist in the straight in the Play Soccer 6 Maiden Juvenile and only failed to overhaul all-the-way winner Hidden Strings by a rapidly-disappearing head.

“Thank heavens I’ve got cat gut for my heart,” joked Greg Ennion who had bought the winner for a mere R50 000 at last year’s TBA Mistico Sale and told a complicated story about not knowing who the breeder (W.J. Engelbrecht) was only to later sell a share in the filly to Engelbrecht’s son. The latter recouped his costs in a bet while the pair’s fortunes were further boosted by a R50 000 Bloodstock SA juvenile winner cheque.

The first two winners similarly benefitted (owner R39 500, trainer R5 000, breeder R5 000 and groom R500) and for JP Cuvelier, owner of the Robert Khathi-ridden Captain Tatters in the first, it doubtless helped with the expenses as he was hosting his daughter’s wedding in Hong Kong. Apparently proceedings were interrupted so that they could all watch the race on TV and the result was greeted with a huge cheer.

Brett Crawford’s applause was rather more muffled despite two winners but newcomer Armando, the first leg of a Corne Orffer treble, was the stable’s second juvenile scorer of the season from just four individual runners. He also qualified for the R50 000 bonus and was backed from 6-1 to 19-10 favourite.

The recently gelded Retro Effect showed the benefit of the operation to spearhead a Woodruff one-two in the Maiden while Lucky Dancer benefitted from a step-up in trip to give part owner Gisela Burg “the biggest surprise we have had in a very long time.”

Handicap good thing Singfonico – 9.5kg better-in than his rating – duly made all at 13-10 in the Handicap but what was interesting was Anthony Andrews’ views on the difference between riding a front-runner in a sprint at Durbanville and one at Kenilworth.

He said: “At Durbanville they like to ride in single file, or one off the rails, and if you are in front they will leave you alone (until well into the straight) so you can hold your horse up and then let him go. But at Kenilworth they spread out and you can be having to fight them off from the 800m mark.”

By Michael Clower