A maiden winner with a merit rating in the 90’s is either good according to the handicappers, or over rated if you listen to the trainer. The handicappers won out at Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday as Winter Sun gave all sunburn in the Durban View Restaurant Novice Plate.
Michael Roberts thought well enough of Winter Sun to race her mostly in feature company last season that earned the filly a lofty 97 rating. But yesterday she showed that her rating was very much in the mark.
Roberts, a world champion rider in his day, has given Serino Moodley a break and he has paid the faith. “Mister Roberts picked the right race.
“She gave me a good feel at work so this was not a surprise. Mister Roberts told me to ride her aggressively and she won well.”
“She over race in the Flamboyant, and she pulled her way to the front,” opined Roberts. “I thought this Novice Plate would suit her. She’s a nice filly.”
Shane Humby is a trainer of few words and his runners seldom have a lot of mileage on the clock. Prime example was Mr Fitz, a four-year-old with just seven runs under his belt, but who stamped himself as a horse for South Africa’s Champion Season with a convincing win.
“He was not putting it in so we had to resort to the unkindest cut of all,” he explained.
This was the now gelded Mr Fitz’s first outing minus his family jewels and he produced for stable rider Donovan Dillon. “He needed gelding but still looked to get out of it and I had to give him a few reminders,” said Dillon.
Humby is not one to run his horses for the sake of it but has built up a band of patient owners.
“I don’t tell my trainer what to do,” said former bookmaker Trevor Fourie who has a share in Mr Fitz. “He trains the horse so knows what is best, I don’t get involved.”
Mr Fitz, not out of the money in his seven starts, could be a horse to follow in the next few months.
Earlier Humby was in front of the TV cameras after Diamondsandpearls landed the first leg of his double. Notching her fourth win, she is not the easiest temperament wise but has been a good earner for owner Geoffrey van Lear.
The filly has temperament issues but, “we are getting on top of them and once we have sorted them out, she can go further,” said Humby.
Frank Robertson is not known for producing his two-year-olds early but he may have uncovered a gem in Love Bomb who quickened away like a good horse to win the Maiden Juvenile Plate.
The luckless Ziva De Grace did everything right but was no match for the finishing burst of Love Bomb.
“She’s got everything,” commented a clearly impressed Robinson. “From day one she has looked like a good filly and I think she can go the whole way. I rate her highly.”
Sean Veale was equally impressed. “I said to Frank, ‘don’t take me off this one.’ I think that she can go on to win a small feature.”
By Andrew Harrison