Click above to watch Slumdogmillionaire winning the SA Classic…
(Image and Footage : Tellytrack)
SA CLASSIC (Grade 1)
Turffontein, Turf, 1800m
31 March 2012
JACK MILNER : An enterprising ride from Marthinus Mienie saw Slumdogmillionaire (SAF) (Strike Smartly) rise out of the gutter and into the record books with a dramatic victory in the R2-million SA Classic over 1800m at Turffontein on Saturday.
In doing so, he handed the maturing Gavin van Zyl yard (Team G Racing) its fourth Grade 1 victory in less than a year. Van Zyl could not heap enough praise on Mienie for his ride - and on his son, Chesney van Zyl, who has been training the horse in Gauteng.
“It was a brilliant win and a brilliant ride. Marthinus judged it very well,” said Van Zyl after the son of Strike Smartly held off fast-finishing Pomodoro (SAF) (Jet Mater) by a head with Silver Flyer (SAF) (Silvano) another 0.65 lengths back in third. “Traditionally everybody wants to sit second, third or fourth but Marthinus was quite happy to take them on and go to the front.”
Drawn at No 11, Mienie wasted no time in getting the second favourite to the front while Piere Strydom had favourite Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) (More Than Ready) just a length behind him. Strydom had always expected Slumdogmillionaire to use his big stride and go to the front but Mienie said that was not necessarily going to be their tactic. “Nobody could decide who wanted to go so I said I would make up their minds for them,” said the jockey.
He travelled easily up front from Gimmethegreenlight with Potala Palace (SAF) (Singspiel) close up in third and E-Jet (SAF) (Jet Master), who would eventually claim fourth place, handily placed just off them. Meanwhile Pomodoro raced two off the fence in midfield, with Silver Flyer further back.
Once in the straight, Gimmethegreenlight immediately moved up to tackle the leader and even headed him for a stride or two. However, the combination of the tough Turffontein 1800m and the fact that the Cape raider was reported not to be striding out, took its toll on Gimmethegreenlight and, as he faded out of the picture, Slumdogmillionaire surged clear and looked all over a winner until Pomodoro and Silver Flyer came screaming home down the outside of the track. It had to go to a photo-finish and it was the Van Zyl runner who got the verdict.
Extract from Tab Online