Battlestar Express, Weichong Marwing and Karen Anthony
MEGAN ROMEYN - Clairwood on Saturday saw another day at the office for the Summerhill runners with some cracking performances.
In the 5th race on the card, the Merit Rated 82 Handicap over 1000m, Battlestar Express, under the guidance of champion jockey Weichong Marwing, held on to win a thriller. This gutsy and talented son of Summerhill sire, Muhtafal, out of the National Assembly mare, National Empress, maintained a steady pace before making his move with 200m to go, running on to record his 3rd victory from the fast finishing Captivating Party and Jolly Jolly. What made this win all the more impressive was that Battlestar Express was shouldering a huge 61kgs, quite a task for a horse of his small stature.
The latter races on the card also produced some thrillers, with two Ready to Run graduates, both sons of Summerhill sire Kahal, being denied the laurels by desperately close margins. First up was the Darley Arabian Open (Listed) for 3 year olds over 1900m. Sheikh Mohammed’s talented Art Of War was shaded by a nose by Winter Fever in a thrilling tussle. Under jockey Kevin Shea, Art Of War kept up a good pace throughout the race and took up the challenge with 300m to go. He seemed to have the race sewn up after disposing of the dangerous El Padrino. However, Winter Fever had other ideas, and stuck his nose ahead of Art of War and Smart Banker to win by the narrowest of margins.
Next up saw 2005 Ready to Run graduate, Tap Tap, being denied almost certain victory in the Thukela Merit Rated Handicap (Listed) over 1600m. After working his way steadily through the field, and from within the last furlong, Tap Tap, under champion jockey Johnny Geroudis, made his final charge for the line, but it was Scrutinize who held on to take a closely contested victory.