where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2018-06-21 08:55:37  
Charles, The Prince of Juveniles?

Charles might have repaid only R50 000 of his staggering R6 million purchase price at Kenilworth yesterday but the way he won – and the acceleration he produced – suggested that he may yet fulfil the dreams that propelled him to the top of the lists at the 2017 Cape Thoroughbred Yearling Sales.

The big bay certainly attracted plenty of money with the bookmakers and the newcomer was backed from 4-1 to 16-10 favourite. Corne Orffer had him smartly away but, when he fell back to third as the tap was turned on in earnest, those who had put the money down were preparing to tear up their betting slips. 

Orffer also thought he was beaten. “I said to myself ‘This is a first-timer and he’s had enough now.’ But I could feel that I still had a horse underneath me. I gave him a crack, he changed legs and took off.”

The crack was more like a tap, and the favourite received a couple more just as gentle, as he made up two lengths with apparent ease to beat All The Sevens by rather more than the length and a quarter margin would suggest. “This is a very smart horse – a real stunner,” was the jockey’s verdict.

The Drakenstein-bred Trippi colt is owned in partnership between Sue Magnier and Mayfair Speculators so, with the latter’s creditors taking a keen interest, it was important to establish that he is still a valuable commodity.

As a result there was some pressure on Brett Crawford who said: “This is a lovely horse with a lovely nature but six furlongs in the mud was a tough test and I didn’t expect him to win like that. It was certainly a very good way to start. There is no rush with him now– and the Langeman comes too soon – so I could think of putting him away for a while.”

Talking of equine values, Dan Katz promptly got out his calculator and worked out that the runner-up had cost only eight per cent of the VAT paid on Charles’s sale price!

Crawford (who won the first three) and his stable jockey were more concerned with the Supabets Maiden Juvenile Fillies 35 minutes later and 3-4 favourite Shamrock Wind not only made all the running but drew further and further away to score by 11 ¼ lengths.

The Captain Al filly’s trainer said: “I thought she would win but not by that far. She was very impressive. She is a light-framed filly and she needs to strengthen up but that will happen in the spring.”

Michael Clower, Gold Circle 

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