Uncle Tommy - Highveld Sand Challenge (L) / JC Photos (p)
HIGHVELD SAND CHALLENGE (Listed)
Vaal, Sand, 1600m
22 April 2014
The evergreen Kahal gelding Uncle Tommy handed a galloping lesson to South Africa’s top rated sand horse Pylon, when he produced a superior finish to win the R200,000 Listed Highveld Sand Challenge at the Vaal on Tuesday afternoon. Cape jockey Richard Fourie rode a determined race over the sand mile for trainer Weiho Marwing and owner Hassen Adams.
His recent unplaced effort in the Gr1 Horse Chestnut 1600 aside, the little chestnut warrior just does not know how to run a bad race and he clocked up a superb eleventh win by gunning the 11 to 10 favourite Pylon down inside the final stages of what had always looked a competitive race. Uncle Tommy went off at 8 to 1. The merit of the win is further underlined by the fact that the top two carried level weights with the bay Pylon (121) outstripping the Marwing runner (rated 113) in terms of the stature of his frame and his stride.
The Mouseketeer was slightly slow away again as Tiger Play led One Man’s Dream with Pylon well placed in third. Turning for home, One Man’s Dream took over from Tiger Play with Pylon galloping comfortably on the inside. With One Man’s Dream fading out Robbie Fradd took Pylon up at the 400m and the son of Fort Wood glided across the sand with Uncle Tommy trying to match strides a half length back down the inside. The two drew away with Uncle Tommy going on too powerfully as he overtook Pylon at the 300m marker to draw clear and win by 1,25 lengths in a time of 99,18 secs.
The top two were well clear and outclassed the rest with The Mouseketeer edging into third place and some 16 lengths behind the winner.
Richard Fourie said that Uncle Tommy was usually sluggish out of the gates but that he had shown enthusiasm as he cut to the inside and found a match winning rails position from his 7 draw. “It was a great effort and he found the position down the inside on his own. He is a lovely horse. Pylon wasn’t going as comfortably as one would have expected when I moved up to him and Uncle Tommy kept finding all the way,” he enthused.
Bred by Summerhill Stud, Uncle Tommy is by Kahal out of the prolific one time winning Badger Land mare, Cousin Linda. That makes him a half brother to the brilliant sprinter and sire, Rebel King. Originally a R2,4 million National Yearling Sale graduate, Uncle Tommy was sold out of the estate of the late tycoon and leading owner and breeder, Graham Beck. His current owner Hassen Adams went to R170,000 to acquire Uncle Tommy on the Graham Beck Dispersal Sale in January 2011, when he was just a maiden winner.
The son of Kahal was originally trained by Mike Bass and then Darryl Hodgson, and he has subsequently won a further ten races for Hassen Adams. A winner of 11 of his 45 starts with 19 places, Uncle Tommy took his stake earnings to R1,067,515. He ran third in the 2013 Emerald Cup (Grade 2) and could be back to have another bash this year based on his enthusiasm.
What a lovely horse to own.