Variety Club wins Gold Challenge
Variety Club wins Gold Challenge

Variety Club wins the Rising Sun Gold Challenge (Grade 1)

(Photo : Gold Circle)


Clairwood, Turf, 1600m

9 June 2012

Variety Club’s name is a misnomer. There’s little variety about the way he runs - he almost always wins, and in some style. His effort in the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge over 1600m at Clairwood Saturday was no exception.

After making his own pace for much of the race, the three-year-old colt eased away from his four top-rated opponents under a hands and heels ride from Anton Marcus. Marcus said afterwards that the son of Var was “one of the better milers I’ve ridden”.

Trainer Joey Ramsden said that while Variety Club has done well over further, 1600m is his best trip. “When you’re good at something, stick with something.” Ramsden added: “We’ll sit down now and see where we are going with him.”

Derek Brugman, racing manager for owners Ingrid and Markus Jooste, said the colt will probably be rested from now until the Western Cape season at the end of the year. If the export protocol is relaxed, a campaign in Dubai and the East is possible.

Marcus said Variety Club did not emerge cleanly from the starting stalls, but the champion jockey quickly settled his charge, keeping him clear of the inside rail where Castlethorpe was racing very keenly. As the five runners entered the left-hand turn, Variety Club took charge of the tempo, leading by a length from Castlethorpe, Tales Of Bravery, What A Winter and Pierre Jourdan. In the closing stretch Marcus never had any need for his whip, pushing Variety Club clear to win with something in hand.

Castlethorpe (14-1) rallied gamely to claim second, while Pierre Jourdan (13-1) ran on well into third - obviously prepping for the Vodacom Durban July over a trip short of his best.

The win took Variety Club’s career record to nine wins from 14 starts. He has never been out of the prize money and the Gold Challenge cheque pushed his earning close to the R2.5-million mark.

Extract from Tab Online