where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2011-04-14 14:06:58  


At Scottsville last weekend was the Independent on Saturday feature race meeting where they sponsored the Umzimkulu Stakes for 3 year old fillies and the Byerley Turk for 3 year old colts and geldings, both Grade 3 races being competed over 1400 metres. Trainer Dennis Drier was in top form winning both of these events with horses that had been prepared at Ambleway !

BEACH BEAUTY started the ball rolling with a fine turn of foot - coming from the back of the field she rushed away from her opposition to make people turn heads and take special note of her. She has won 4 from 5 starts and several have been round the bend. Her fast time certainly gives her a huge chance in the forthcoming Guineas. She is a special Dynasty filly that races for the Syndicate of family and friends of the late Mark Armitage and was bred at Trevor Armitage's farm. A big well done to all the enthusiastic owners including Janet Armitage, Warren Kidd, Janet and John Bescoby.

PHANTOM FIGHTER followed up the filly's victory by showing a lot of guts in the colts' race. He was headed 200 metres out and put up a fight to get his head in front and win the race by an increasing neck. This was his 3rd win from 5 starts where he has finished close up in the other two races. He showed his owners and trainer that he will get the longer trip around the bend and now goes for the KZN Guineas! He is by SA Champion Stallion Jet Master out of the useful sprinting mare FINE FEATHER who was raced by his breeders yours truly, Jane and Rod Trotter, and partners John Michau, Rob Alexander and Ian Longmore who became involved during her career at stud.

These two useful three-year olds will give trainer Dennis Drier and his team plenty of mettle in the forthcoming KZN Winter Season.

On Classic Day at Turffontein LINK MAN started favourite to win the second leg of the Triple Crown -The Grade 1 Classic. There were reservations about his staying the trip over 1800 metres based on his pedigree and unfortunately it rained and the wet going put paid to his chances. He ran a good fourth, however did not show the same finish as in his previous feature win in the Gauteng Guineas.

On the same day in Zimbabwe the Bloodstock SA 2000, a Grade 3 race, was won by the well-bred filly MINA SALAAM. She had already won the first leg of the Triple Crown there and got up late to give her owner/breeder Robin Bruss victory in the second leg. She will now compete in the Derby, which is the third leg of the Triple Crown, before returning to race in South Africa. She has already improved her pedigree for breeding with two graded races under her belt and should definitely stay the longer trip of the Derby being by USA stallion Medaglio D'Oro out of top mare Circle Of Life.

South Africa was well represented in Dubai on World Cup night when two of Jet Master's progeny were successful at the meeting. It was fantastic to see JJ The Jet Plane get his nose in front on the line to win the Al Quo Sprint for the second successive year! River Jetez ran a cracking second in the Dubai Duty Free race, a mixed Grade 1 race. Both of these horses flew the flag for South Africa and were very good ambassadors for South African bred horses. They did well and their success stories internationally will hopefully spill over into the National Sales this coming weekend where breeders will be hoping for plenty of international interest over and above South African buyers.

We will be at the sale and will be very happy to help look at yearlings. Ambleway once again offers buyers the chance to grow out and pre-train any yearlings that are purchased there at Germiston. A big thank you to Andrew Harrison and his team on the Parade Magazine who have given us a big mention before the Sale.

On the local scene Keith and Pauline Young have had a change of luck having two winners in a week. Well done to you both and to conditioner Craig Eudey who prepared STREAKER and FRENCH REEF for victory. Both had been consistent in previous races and it was wonderful to see your colours flash up and be rewarded for your patience!

Mike Fullard and James Drew must have been thrilled with the wins of both NEVER FOREVER and PUNTE DEL ESTE over the last week. Both of these horses are trained by Dennis Drier who has hit a purple patch on the track! NEVER FOREVER beat his full brother ALLOCATION to notch up a well deserved victory over the minimum trip and PUNTE DEL ESTE won his maiden over 1200 metres after being places previously. It was super to see you back in the winners box here is KZN.

In KZN Michael Roberts scored with MIKES CHOICE over a sprint and showed his team of owners that he is a useful horse over the shorter trips.

In Gauteng TIGER STRIKE pulverised her opposition to give Stan Ferreira his second win for loyal owner Roland Bouwer. She was the second filly from his first crop of purchases to win. ARCTIC BEAR won again over ground for the Cassell family and her new conditioner Lucky Houdelakis. Congratulations to you all!

St John Gray has really hit a purple patch especially with his top performing filly that he owns and bred himself - DancewiththeDevil. She has won in top company now on a few occasions and coming late with a devastating turn of foot in her latest win which was in the Laurie Jaffee Empress Club Stakes Grade 1 over a mile. We are delighted to have her half sister here at the farm to school and she is by St John's new stallion Jam Alley. At the same meeting EGYPTIAN won for him and although he was a little green, once he found his feet he ran on well over 1400 metres to win by nearly two lengths. This was only his second start so he could well continue to improve as he is out of the useful mare Goose Time that has already produced useful performers for St John.

We were delighted to see the victory of our graduate WIND AT YOUR BACK. He was initially prepared for the 2010 Ready To Run Sale and finally was sold at the Graham Beck Reduction Sale in January this year. He won over 1000 metres which is encouraging because he looked like a staying type! He is by one of their resident stallion's Windrush.


Rodney and I are going to the USA at the beginning of May to visit our son James who is currently working in Kentucky. He was fortunate to get into the Darley Flying Start course and will be there until June so we felt it was an opportune time to visit him and see some of the top stud farms and racing there! We will be away until mid-May and Calinda Austin, my most able assistant, will continue the work at Ambleway and care for your horses. If you need any information or would like to visit your horse please do not hesitate to contact her on her cell 072 919 2219.

Enjoy the National Sale and the forthcoming feature racing in KZN!


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