KZN BREEDERS MILLION MILE
Clairwood, Turf, 1600m
29 June 2014
In one of South African racing’s more refreshing innovations of recent years, the KZN Breeders put their heads together 15 months ago, and came up with the idea of a race day dedicated to products of the province. With the co-operation and assistance of Gold Circle, and by redirecting part of their premium scheme as a gesture of appreciation to owners and trainers for their support in the sales ring, they initiated the KZN Breeders Million Mile in 2013, alongside eight R200,000 races over various distances for just about every category of racehorse in the book. In a country in which a Rand buys just about what a dollar does elsewhere, that’s a commendable show.
The inaugural Million Mile was won by a horse bred and raised at Summerhill (Gitiano, a son of Mullins Bay), from his former paddock-mate, Corredor, who’d run champions Vercingetorix and Capetown Noir to a meritorious third in the KZN Guineas just a month before. Yesterday, a Summerhill-bred repeated the act.
Ranked in the top three or four sophomores of 2013, No Worries had stretched the globe-trotting celebrity, Vercingetorix, to a “nose” in the Daily News 2000 (Gr.1), and had made the frame in Africa’s greatest horse race, the Vodacom Durban July (Gr.1). Apart from a creditable fourth in the L’Ormarins Queens Plate (Gr.1) in January, No Worries appeared to lose his way somewhat, and has struggled this season to retrieve the fettle that took him to those resounding performances. However, approaching yesterday’s big prize, there was talk from the Gavin Van Zyl stable that they’d “worked him out”, and were looking for a much-improved showing as a result. He made no mistake.
No Worries - KZN Breeders Million Mile
This was no walk-in-the-park, though; besides several other Group One performers in the lineup, he was having to contend with the claims of Bezanova, who’d run the current Vodacom Durban July favourite, Legislate, pretty close in both the KZN Guineas and the Daily News 2000. If the July betting was any kind of a guide, Bezanova looked the proverbial “shoe-in” for this one, though he obviously hadn’t counted on the attentions of last season’s Darley Arabian victor, Distinguished, who like No Worries was raised-and-grazed right here. In the event, No Worries came home like the horse we’d always known him to be, three lengths ahead of Distinguished, who’d “bookended” Bezanova with fellow Summerhill-grads, Silva Hawk and Noble Star, both of whom have been threatening a big performance on the Rand for a while now. These two “up-and-comings”, were co-bred with His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho, and a voice you’re all very familiar with, Linda Norval, head of the Summerhill office virtually since the gates first opened.
Showmetheway - KZN Breeders 1200
The meeting began with what looked like a benefit day for Scott Bros, who took out three of the first four events on the card, but you know the old saying “You can’t keep a good man down”. Besides Summerhill having four of the first five home in the “Million”, Showmetheway did exactly that in the big sprint for Mark Dixon and Terry Lin, from his erstwhile Summerhill “pal”, Flyfirstclass (for Keith and Pauline Young andCraig Eudey). Admiral’s Eye, (co-bred with Judge Alan Magid for Alesh Naidoo and Charles Laird), and Enchanted Silk(for Chris Van Niekerk and Sean Tarry) called for the French bubbly just ahead of “closing time”.
Admiral’s Eye - KZN Breeders 1600
Linda Norval 27 (0) 33 263 1081
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