Strongman, Glen Puller and Karl Neisius
(Image : Sporting Post/Hollywood Bets)
Sophomore Sprint (Listed)
Kenilworth, Turf, 1200m
7 September 2013
Cape racing welcomed a promising 3-year-old onto the centre stage when the undefeated Strongman coasted home to win the R125,000 Listed Sophomore Sprint at Kenilworth on Saturday. Two local veterans in Glen Puller and Karl Neisius teamed up with the exciting son Summerhill’s ill fated Danehill stallion, Stronghold.
Stronghold only has two crops on the ground and the win marked his first stakes triumph.
Strongman had won his first two starts down the Cape’s premier sprint track in convincing style, but there was nominal warning of what he was about to deliver at his first step into stakes waters.
With the scratching of Daring Dave and Oats, the Sophomore Sprint field was slashed to a rather disappointing five runners. But there was plenty of quality, with a Cape Nursery winner and two undefeated youngsters in the bunch.
The 1200m race was over as a contest at the 300m marker when Karl Neisius sent Strongman on his way. He showed too much toe and resolution and went clear smoothly to win by 3,75 lengths in a time of 77,97 secs. A very impressive performance indeed. De Kock stayed on for second, with the highly thought of Exelero and the previously unbeaten Kimberly Al further back.
The Cape Nursery winner Flash Drive ran a very poor race to finish a distant last. Excuses may be made for the son of Jay Peg’s fitness levels, but Richard Fourie and Justin Snaith teamed up with a grand four winners on the afternoon. So it didn’t stop much else from the yard. Flash Drive should be watched next time.
Strongman is now unbeaten in three outings and doubled his stakes tally to R153,750.
The Northfields Stud-bred Strongman was sold for what now looks a bargain R150,000 at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale Book 1 of 2012. He is by the deceased Danehill stallion Stronghold out of the six time winning daughter of Casey Tibbs, Sweet Virginia. Stronghold stood at champion South African Breeders, Summerhill Stud, for two seasons, before passing on after a colic operation. Sweet Virginia won her races from 1800m to 2400m, and numbered the Grade 3 Winter Classic, The Grade 3 Winter Derby and the Grade 3 Final Fling Stakes, amongst her finest moments on the track. She was trained by Riaan Van Reenen, who coincidentally was formerly assistant trainer to Strongman’s conditioner, Glen Puller.
Strongman has plenty of toe and should stay on in time which makes him a rather exciting prospect. As winning jockey Karl Neisius said soberly afterwards : “The big guns will be stepped out in the next few months.” Then we will know how good he is. For now, he has done nothing wrong.