where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2018-10-08 20:02:37  
Rainbow Bridge Remains Unbeaten

It is quite within the realms of possibility that the big crowd at Durbanville on Saturday will be able to say that they saw the winners of both the Queen’s Plate and the Cape Guineas in action that day.

Rainbow Bridge and One World both extended their unbeaten records to four and the former was almost unbelievably impressive in the World Sports Betting Matchem Stakes, finishing with the sort of acceleration shown by wonder horse Winx at Flemington earlier in the day.

Bernard Fayd’Herbe, winning the Matchem for the first time, was suitably impressed and said: “He is an exciting horse with a turn of foot which is where he wins his races. He still gets a bit revved up behind the pens, and down at the start I was a bit concerned because it took him a while to switch off, but with racing he is going to get better.”

But the man who has exercised so much skill and patience with Chris Gerber’s Ideal World gelding (remember how the horse was rested for three months and then a further six when he went repeatedly and unaccountably lame) didn’t even see the race.

Rainbow Bridge (Liesl King)
Rainbow Bridge (Liesl King)

Eric Sands was in the departure lounge at Cape Town airport about to board a plane for the States when it was due off and, to his bitter disappointment, found that all the screens were showing the South Africa-New Zealand rugby international. He tried to persuade the viewers that events on Channel 239 were more exciting but they refused to switch over.

Once he heard the result from assistant Helen Richardson, and the spectacular manner in which it was achieved, he was making plans and said: “The objectives are the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and the Sun Met, and he might go for the WSB Green Point (December 8) but the programme is not ideal so I might look at the Premier Trophy (December 15).”

Tap O’Noth, who was giving Rainbow Bridge 2kg, finished well to take fourth, beaten less than two lengths, and Anton Marcus reported: “He ran out of real estate – it was too short for him – but he would have been second in another few metres.”

Marcus was mightily taken with the way One World plucked victory from the jaws of defeat in the WSB First Deposit Match Progress Plate, and rightly so because the favourite battled back like a real racehorse when Kasimir appeared to have him beaten a furlong out.

“Wow. That was a testament to the horse’s courage,” exclaimed the four-time champion. “Kasimir passed me and went three-quarters of a length up. I resigned myself to finishing second and then mine fought back doggedly.”

“It was a wonderful run and a fantastic win,” added Vaughan Marshall. “He was way out of the weights and people were criticising us for running him here but we had to start somewhere and there wasn’t anything in the programme.

“I will have a look at the Cape Classic (October 27) but he gets extra weight after this win and the 1 400m might be a bit short for him. The mile of the Concord Cup (November 24 when it replaces the Selangor) might be more suitable.”

But what Fayd’Herbe had to say does slightly temper the Guineas enthusiasm for One World. Asked if he thought Kasimir had it won when he headed One World, the jockey replied: “No. The 1 400m was a bit far for my horse and he got tired.”

Fayd’Herbe won the WSB Diana on 11-1 chance Love To Boogie but Andre Nel, winning the Grade 3 for the second time in three seasons, said: “I was a bit surprised – she galloped here two weeks ago and I thought she needed it – but I am hoping she will go the distance of the Maine Chance Paddock Stakes. I will give her a prep over a mile before that.”

Harold Crawford has made a flying start to the season and Dynamite Jack (Greg Cheyne) was win number seven from just 24 runners – “I reckon I have the highest percentage of winners to runners of any trainer in South Africa.”

BLOB Aldo ‘Usain’ Domeyer comfortably made it five wins in six seasons in the Jockeys’ Chase despite an extraordinary performance from the official starter. Greg Cheyne positioned himself halfway up the 100m course but, once he dropped the flag, he turned and ran for the line. He finished second with the winner commenting drily: “Greg normally shows no pace.” Maybe next year they will have a stipe as well.

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