Patriotic Rebel and Brett Crawford
Patriotic Rebel and Brett Crawford

Trainer Brett Crawford leads in Patriotic Rebel with owner Gavin Almanza

(Photo : Gold Circle)


Turffontein, Turf, 1400m

3rd November 2012

Log-watchers for the R2.5million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup have plenty to amuse them at this time of the year, as one horse after another puts it’s hand up for one of the sixteen places at the start. Yesterday, Brett Crawford staked a claim when Stronghold’s son, Patriotic Rebel, came home at Durbanville. Ironically, if this fellow gets into the race, he will be racing for the same money as the Crawford star, Jackson, will be in the J&B Met on the first Saturday in February.

Just a fortnight ago, I was in the company of Sean Tarry, John McVeigh and Mike de Kock as the sun went down over the Indian Ocean after a glorious day at Zimbali Lodge. Remarkably, the latter two were “on the wagon”, a unique sight for those who know them, and for a man who sent out Extra Zero to pick up a R400,000 cheque for her place in last year’s Cup, it was almost as remarkable that Sean Tarry thought he didn’t have a candidate for the race this year. All that changed in a matter of seventy odd seconds at the Vaal on Tuesday, when the Mullins Bay filly Tinchy Stryder did exactly that, striding away to an impressive 4,5 length debut win. While we’ve no idea how the handicappers will rate this one, she must have a strong shot at making the line-up for the big money on the first Saturday in November. They say success in this game is a momentum thing, and Chris van Niekerk’s equine investments have been on fire ever since Pomodoro edged Smanjemanje in the Vodacom Durban July.

On another note altogether, High Chaparral’s star continues its orbit at the top end of the constellation. He already has the best two-year-old in England, he had a Group One winner in the Northern Dancer Stakes a week ago, and this weekend, Shoot Out fired a bullet in the George Main Stakes (Gr.1) at Caulfield, Australia. Don’t forget, High Chaparral also has his best-performed Northern Hemisphere product, Golden Sword, right here at Summerhill, with an impressive first book of mares.