NATAL RACING HOTS UP
The Feature race season has moved from the Cape to Gauteng with the big day at the end of April and locally in KZN the action has started to warm up. We have had runners competing in some of the bigger races and so far COMTESSE DU BOIS has run into 3rd spot in the Kwazulu Natal Stakes for Fillies over 1200 meters. She was drawn wide and ran on well at the death. Well done to Team Valor and Anant Singh, and her conditioner Justin Snaith. This race was won by Dennis Drier for the fourth year in succession!
We have just returned from Dubai where we attended the World Cup Racing. Our trip was very exciting, thank you to all of the people who went with 'Lets Go Travel' under the organization of Phil 'Danny de Vito" Georgio and Denese Govender. The humor abounded with the likes of Paul Lafferty and the crew with us from Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Greytown and Johannesburg and even as far a field as London! We so enjoyed seeing our son James and his team of friends he has made on the Darley Starter Course who joined us for some functions when they were not entertaining visitors to Dubai. The racing itself was great as we were accommodated close to the Parade Ring and could see all the runners in flesh then watch the racing on the big screens. Unfortunately many of our South African horses were not able to run due to the export problems and so we had to support only South African connections of trainers, jockeys and a few local horses. Mike De Kock trained several placed horses including Zanzamar which ran on for 3rd in the Dubai Gold Cup a Grade 3 event over 3200 meters. This horse by Fort Wood was bred by Nicky Bartlett who was in our party so it was really great to share the special moment with her. Unfortunately the race was re-run and marred with 3 break downs. Mike was also placed with Vicount Nelson who ran 2nd in the Godolphin Mile G2, Muhtadee ran 4th in the Dubai Duty Free a G1 on the Turf over 1800 meters and Mickdaam ran 2nd in the UAE Derby G2 which Mike had won before. All eyes were on the Patrick Shaw trained Rocket Man who was partnered by his regular jockey Felix Coetzee in the Golden Shaheen G1 over 1200 meters. Being one of the best sprinters seen worldwide in the last few years he started favourite and ran a gutsy second having lead all the way. Well done to his owner, who races plenty of horses here in South Africa - Fred Crabbia. This horse has seldom been out of the first two!
For any horse lover and someone who enjoys themselves-this is a holiday that cannot be missed!
We are seeing plenty of our juvenile horses grace the track and they are starting to fire too. Dennis Drier has been successful with two of our babies - ANNE TRULOVE and MURMERING SKY. These fillies both ran good seconds in their debuts then won there next start- the former ran on at the death to beat the hot favourite on the line at Greyville for Braam Van Huyssteen. The latter started hot favourite and won as she liked over the sprint distance of 1000 meters for owner-breeder Mrs Rhona Beck. Congratulations to all of you. Plenty of other babies have run for the yard and been placed in their debuts BLIZZARD OF OZ, FACING FURY and COPY CAT- these deserve following.
In Cape Town the juvenile NAVAL VICTORY was just pipped into 2nd place in his second start. He was catching the favourite for Dean Kannemeyer and this son of Rock Of Gibralter should win soon for Des Scott and David Abery
Ambleway is delighted to have schooled at least four winners of doubles at a meeting over the past month. While in Dubai we had a Dynasty double when DYNAMIC STAR and HAPPY HEART- both won at Greyville. It made it so exciting to watch the former get up on the line to dead heat for Alesh Naidoo and Anthony Govender. We were shouting him home in the pub with trainer Paul Lafferty in Dubai! (He followed up this win with a close up place at the same track and same distance.) Later the same evening the filly HAPPY HEART won over 1300 meters for the Drier yard. This filly was purchased at the Graham Beck Reduction Sale in Cape Town last year for big Cape owner- Hassim Adams. She has won her second race in a row for him and has tallied three wins to date! What a great evening it was!
That week we scored a quick double with EASTERN GREETING and PENNY FARE. The former won her debut in great style for Stan Ferreira and Roland Bouwer. They have already won with her full sister KALAAM who is also a Kahaal bred by Kjell Foundation. The same day St John Gray won with his filly PENNY FARE who has been knocking on the door for sometime. She led the whole way under top rider Wachong Mawing to score a well deserved victory over 1400 meters. A few weeks later another two graduates scored at the Vaal - ANGEL GABRIEL and AGAPANTHUS NANA. The former was unfancied in the betting, jumped slowly and ran on well for owner breeder and trainer….St John Gray! Later in the day we were so pleased that the Spectrum filly AGAPANTHUS NANA won for her connections Alesh Naidoo, Rama Kistiah and Dr B.Naidoo. She beat another of our graduates home - PINE SHADE. Interestingly both horses were bred at Highlands! Well done to all of the connections! Both EASTERN GREETING and AGAPANTHUS NANA ran placed in their next start!
In KZN we scored a double at Clairwood when HALLOWED and VLADIMIR won their respective races. VLADIMIR who is owned, bred and trained by Muis Roberts won his maiden over 1200meters. HALLOWED notched up his victory over 2000 meters for Ian Van Schalkwyk. He has been knocking on the door for a while and gave the Drier team another good win last month.
We have also schooled other winners for St John Gray including the promising filly FORMATION. She won her race over 2000 meters in easy fashion and now boasts 3 wins! CARIBBEAN CRUISE won over the sprint distance of 1160 at the same meeting his champion filly Dancewiththedevil won the Grade 1 Horse Chestnut Stakes for the second time! Well done to you.
Another win in KZN was by BEACON POINT who really enjoyed the longer trip and scored a good victory over 2400 meters for The Moodleys Racing Team. This horse looks like he is improving for conditioner Garth Puller.
A horse that also revels over ground is GOLDEN PARACHUTE. When taken to PE by Mike Bass he won over the 2400 meters in fine style-by over 4 lengths. He is staying there to race for a while for Marsh Shirtliff, Des Scot and Mrs McKenzie. Des Scott was also victorious with a big daughter of Jet Master - QUICK DELIVERY. She showed she was useful in her second start where she ran on then she won her next start in easy fashion over the sprint distance of 1000 meters. Well done to her conditioner Gavin Smith.
In Cape Town we were successful with the son of Windrush - CODE RED. This horse was purchased by Paul Reeves at the Graham Beck Reduction Sale and has taken his time with him but now won well by over 4 lengths! Congratulations to you Paul and Highlands his breeders. A well bred son of Fort Wood, SPY GLASS won again for the Kotzen yard over 1600 meters. Congratulations to you and his new owner Bruce Ferreira.
In Kimberley we saw another baby win for her new trainer - THIS IS IT. She had won for Alesh Naidoo and Anthony Govender in KZN and then moved to the Human yard and won again! Congratulations to Alesh.
We have already had plenty of graduates win on the sand at the Vaal and yesterday we were thrilled to see one of our babies win on the grass as well. IKATI, a daughter of the ill fated Catalooche, won again for Mayesh Chetty over the sprint distance of 1000 meters. She is successfully trained by Com Naidoo. Well done to you!
There is a long list of horses that have featured close up in their last starts….do watch and follow them! Included are EGYPTIAN, PINE SHADE, THE PLANTER, DIVIDE 'N RULE, SKY CAPERS, GRACIE JONES, FESTIVAL SPIRIT, TAMARILLO, WIND AT YOUR BACK, CLIENT KING, MOTHER SUPERIOR, PUT THE KETTLE ON, TIME TO FLY, FESTIVE INTERLUDE, HEN PARTY, THE FIXER, JOLLY JET, TULLYNALLY, CUCUMBER ALLEY, FRENCH REEF, OLIMPIC MADAM, BULL RING, ROMEO BRAVO, JET EXPLORER, ROYAL OVERTURE and FOXI LADY.
We are going to the National Sales next week at Germiston. There should be really good quality horses being auctioned there and given the increases at the recent Cape Sales it will be interesting to see if the trend continues. We will be there to inspect any horses for potential buyers and are also able to take home horses purchased to care for, and later school them for training.
That is all the news for now. Enjoy your racing!