Watchers of Sunday’s Steinhoff Family Fun Day were treated to some rivetingly competitive racing. By definition, competitive means close, so anything that deviates from that approaches the exceptional. The Steinhoff fifth race witnessed exactly that, an exception, as Ready to Run graduate TAP TAP, bred here in partnership with Australian-based Dr Barry Clements, and American-based Robert Lynch, cruised home for Alec Laird and Johnny Geroudis, under a hands-and-heels ride for a remarkable fourth victory at the meeting for Greig Blank. What is it that Greig has touched suddenly, that’s turned him into a regular television feature in recent months? In business he’s always been known to possess the “Midas touch”, but with this and the explosive Pointing North, he’s come seriously well in the racing game.
As impressive as TAP TAP was, there’s nothing quite as exciting as a new and very serious juvenile prospect, and appropriately as it was Steinhoff day, it was Charles Laird and Markus Jooste that lifted the lid off HURRICANE FORCE.
This fellow took on an extremely competitive Two Year Old field on his racing debut, including, in the same combination, Australian-bred daughter of the new sire sensation, EXCEED AND EXCEL, herself a very fluent winner of her debut effort.
Slowly away on a lightening fast track, HURRICANE FORCE was last in the early stages, so it took the cool judgment of a class act like Anton Marcus to steer him home by an increasing 2 ½ lengths, with no sign of the stick.
Charles Laird is excited about this one, more so than usual, and that’s some kind of compliment to a horse that stands out in a star-studded firmament of 2008 juveniles.
He goes next to the Golden Medallion (Group One).