Stella Act puts on a show

PUBLISHED: 27 February 2020

Stella Act (Candiese Lenferna)

Winning your first horse race, be it apprentice jockey or trainer, is a thrill never forgotten. As an owner it is even more special as it can be a long time between drinks.

The horse winning in the first-time owner’s colours gives even more of a kick and Wayne Maybery could hardly wipe the smile off his chops after Stella Act won the first at Hollywoodbets Scottsville yesterday.

Apprentice Jabu Jacobs steered the filly home for trainer Glen Kotzen, Maybery and partners and giving Jacobs the first of his three winners.

Stella Act (Candiese Lenferna)
Stella Act (Candiese Lenferna)

Summerhill-bred Stella Act was the second winner for freshman sire Act Of War and was never in doubt from the jump as Jacobs let her roll chased home by favourite Nirvana Girl and Ziva De Grace.

Jacobs made it a quick double getting Matchless Captain home in the second for Brett Crawford, favourite Candy Man arriving on the scene too late to trouble the winner.

Brunilda was an armchair ride for Anton Marcus as the Garth Puller-trained filly put six lengths over the opposition in the third.

Behind every horse that steps onto the track there is a story.

Most are mundane but there is always a story.

Keep On Dancing boasts a pedigree, that with a win or two behind her name will make her a sought-after broodmare, but she nearly did not make it to the track.

“She degloved (badly skinned) a leg that she had to be rested for six months,” revealed Wendy Whitehead. “But Jane Thomas said we should send her to Summerveld and give her a try.”

“She was a box walker, or should I say she ran in the box.

“So, I built her a lean-too and she lives outside.

“She only comes in when it’s raining – a really a big storm.”

Having only her third start, Stuart Randolph played cat-and-mouse.

He let To The Max and Empress Ella pass him in the straight, but when he asked for an effort, Keep On Dancing took to the floor like the winner of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.

Jet Lignite finally proved brave enough to win a race as Tristan Godden coaxed him home.  “This horse has so much talent but he’s his own worst enemy,” confided Alyson Wright.

“He’s not a brave horse, he’s always got to have his friend with him, Kotchka, the lead pony.”

“They went so slow he should have led but we wanted him to settle.

“When he gets to the other horse you saw that he just wants to stay there.”

Wright and stable rider Tristan Godden were back for a further welcome into the winner’s circle with Deposition denying Jacobs and Puller their fourth winner of the afternoon.

Godden, talented enough to be selected to attend the British Racing School apprentice programme in his formative years has had a spell in the doldrums but has come good with valuable support from Wright and Paul Lafferty, was wary of stable companion and favourite Sea Sponge.

Apprentice Khanya Sakayi, after a solid start to his career, has been short of confidence and winners in recent months, but a winner does wonders for confidence as he picked up a chance ride in the last for Tony Rivalland and obliged on Clara for one of racing stalwart owners, Mary Liley.

By Andrew Harrison