Click above to watch Hill Fifty Four winning the Peninsula Handicap (Grade 2)
(Photo : Gold Circle)
PENINSULA HANDICAP (Grade 2)
Kenilworth, Turf, 1800m
5 January 2013
Thoroughbred NewsA combination of a master trainer and an ice cool jockey saw the Vaughan Marshall-trained Hill Fifty Four produce a hat-trick of wins in the R300,000 Peninsula Handicap (Grade 2) over 1800m at Kenilworth racecourse on Saturday.
Marshall had mapped out a path for Hill Fifty Four that included four victories and a Group 3; whilst keeping the gelding under the radar. All that remained was for jockey MJ Byleveld to win the Peninsula Handicap from barrier 13, to give Hill Fifty Four a fighting chance in the J&B Met (Grade 1) on February 2nd; the highlight of the Cape racing season.
Byleveld is no stranger to front running tactics and he bounced Hill Fifty Four extremely smartly from the outside barrier and set sail for the lead. Passing wide around most of the field, he settled the gelding three wide in third, behind rail running Queen’s Command (AUS) and Hammie’s Dynasty. In a change of tactics, second favourite Taipan raced up with the speed, with his old enemy Punta Arenas on his tail.
With Queen’s Command leading the field into the home straight, Byleveld sent Hill Fifty Four even wider, before launching an attack up the centre of the track. Challenges came from favourite Jet Explorer and Punta Arenas, while Karis Teetan set Black Wing alight at the back of the field.
Byleveld however had the gap and the horse to maintain momentum and despite Punta Arenas making up ground on the leader in the closing stages, catching him was out of the question. Hill Fifty Four crossed the line 1.25 lengths clear, in a time of 1.50.44. Aldo Domeyer and the luckless Punta Arenas completed a hat-trick of second placings, with the flying Summerhill-bred Black Wing getting the better of Jet Explorer to snatch third.
Marshall now has to wait and see whether Hill Fifty Four gets a starting berth in the showpiece of the Cape Sizzling Summer Season, the Grade 1 J&B Met over 2000m on February 2nd, but so far the plan has been executed to perfection.
Peninsula Handicap (Grade 2)
HILL FIFTY FOUR
G van Niekerk
POLITICAL PLAYBOY (AUS)
QUEEN’S COMMAND (AUS)
LION IN WINTER
Extracts from Thoroughbred News