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GITIANO SERIOUS 'CHAMPIONS SEASON' CANDIDATE

Gitiano - KwaZulu-Natal Breeders Million Mile
Gitiano - KwaZulu-Natal Breeders Million Mile

Gitiano - KwaZulu-Natal Breeders Million Mile / Gold Circle (p)

GITIANO

Mullins Bay - Poppy Elizabeth by Jet Master

Andrew Harrison - Gitiano (Mullins Bay - Poppy Elizabeth) was just off top of the class last season, a class headed by the unbeaten and internationally tested Vercingetorix and Gr 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner Capetown Noir, and Alec Laird’s runner looks to have matured into a serious ‘Champions Season’ candidate.

His task was made that much easier in a Conditions Plate at Turffontein Saturday with the likes of Ilha Bela and War Horse being defectors, but he could not have been more impressive. Anthony Delpech, who was having a red letter day, had the chestnut son of Mullins Bay in the box seat all the way round and Gitiano quickened through up the inside rail to win with a minimum of fuss from Lockheed Jet Star (Jet Master - Lyrical Linda) and a fading Skitt Skizzle (Jet Master - Ice Floe).

Extracts from Gold Circle

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R23-MILLION STAKES FOR CHAMPIONS SEASON 2013

Vodacom Durban July - Champions Season
Vodacom Durban July - Champions Season

Africa’s Greatest Horserace - The R3.5Million Vodacom Durban July

(Photo : John Lewis)

CHAMPIONS SEASON

4 May 2013 - 27 July 2013

Champions Season in KwaZulu-Natal is a three-month feast of superior racing offering feature race stakes in excess of R23million in a programme of 45 Graded, Listed and special events, headed by Africa’s greatest racing spectacle, the R3,5million Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July. Champions Season launches on Saturday 4 May at Greyville, with the running of the Colts and Fillies Guineas, as well as the Drill Hall Stakes.

The great news is that the stakes pot for the Champions Season feature races has been given a R6million cash injection, which represents a 28% increase on previous levels. This news follows hot on the heels of Gold Circle’s announcement earlier this year of an across the board stakes increase of between 10% and 11% for all minor races in the province and the news that this year’s Vodacom Durban July will be run for a stake of R3,5 million, making it the richest horserace on the continent.

The biggest Champion Season increases are the R500,000 added to the Vodacom Durban July stake, while the Daily News 2000 also gets a R500,000 cash injection and this year will be run for a stake of R1,5 million. The stake for the Woolavington 2000, run on the same afternoon as the Daily News 2000, has been increased to R750,000. The stake for the Gold Cup, the country’s most important race for stayers and final feature of the season, also goes up by R250,000 and will carry a stake of R1,25million.

Other significant increases for the Grade 1 races include the Golden Horse Sprint and Mercury Sprint, now both worth R750,000, the SA Fillies Sprint, up R100,000 to R600,000 and the Garden Province Stakes, up R250,000 to R750,000.

Added to Champions Season this year is the KwaZulu-Natal Breeders’ Day scheduled for the Saturday before the July when the KZN Breeders Million Mile worth R1million will hold centre stage. The Million Mile will be backed up by seven other races, all with a stake of R200,000.

Running from the beginning of May to the end of July, Champions Season provides a comprehensive mix of events catering for all the needs of the thoroughbred population with major contests for two-year-olds, three-year-olds and the older horses from sprints through middle distance races to the strong-winded stayers.

Celebrating the importance of the classic races for three-year-olds, special meetings are staged for the KRA Guineas and KRA Fillies Guineas over the traditional 1600m as well as the Betting World Derby and Betting World Oaks over 2400m, races from which great champions of the future could emerge.

The four big Champions Season meetings are :

GOLDEN HORSE SPRINT RACEDAY

Scottsville Racecourse

Saturday 25 May 2013

The only race meeting on the Continent featuring four Grade 1 sprint races, this day draws the finest sprinters in the country.

RISING SUN GOLD CHALLENGE RACEDAY

Clairwood Racecourse

Saturday 8 June 2013

The Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge is an open weight-for-age race over 1 600m and a major event for horses seeking a run in the Vodacom Durban July.

VODACOM DURBAN JULY RACEDAY

Greyville Racecourse

Saturday 6 July 2013

There is not an owner, breeder, trainer, jockey and groom that has not conjured up dreams of winning Africa’s Greatest Horse Racing Event and for most, just to be involved in the prestigious event is something very special. If you have a runner you have a chance and that chance comes once a year and for most owners, possibly once in lifetime.

Supporting events on the day include the all-new KZN Breeders Juvenile Million. With a stake of R1million, it is for juveniles graduates from the KZN Yearling Sales and is run at level weights over 1300m.

The Grade 1 Garden Province Stakes is an important black type-earning event for fillies and mares at weight-for-age over 1600m for a stake of R750,000.

The Golden Horseshoe and Golden Slipper are Grade 1 events that each carry stakes of R600,000 and are for two-year-olds at level weights over 1400m.

The Grade 2 Gold Vase carries a R400,000 stake and is an open merit-rated handicap over 3000m.

The Grade 3 Campanajo 2200 is an open merit-rated handicap over 2200m with a stake of R300,000. Celebrating the first winner of the Vodacom Durban July in 1897, the field is usually made up mostly of runners that never made the final field for the premier event.

SUPER SATURDAY AND GOLD CUP

Greyville Racecourse

27 July 2013

The meeting brings Champions Season to a close in spectacular fashion with four Grade 1 races headed by the R1,25 million Gold Cup, an open handicap that is the greatest test for the cream of South African stayers over 3200m.

Extract from Sporting Post

Click here to view

Champions Season Calendar

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J J THE JET PLANE : THE MERCURY SPRINT VIDEO AND RESULT

video of jj the jet plane winning the mercury sprint at clairwood racecourse
video of jj the jet plane winning the mercury sprint at clairwood racecourse

Click above to watch JJ The Jet Plane winning The Mercury Sprint 2010 (Gr1)

(Photo : Gold Circle - Footage : Tellytrack)

R600,000 THE MERCURY SPRINT (Grade 1)

Clairwood Racecourse

18 July 2010

Turf, 1200m

Win Time : 67.45

RACE RESULT :

#

LBH

Horse

Kg

MR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

0.00

J J THE JET PLANE

60.0

120

13

P Strydom

Lucky Houdalakis

2

5.50

GAULTIER

60.0

107

15

S Randolph

Mike Bass

3

6.00

BUSH PIRATE

60.0

103

14

K Teetan

Joey Ramsden

4

6.75

CAPTAIN’S GAL

57.5

109

16

A Marcus

Sean Tarry

5

7.00

RUSHING WIND

60.0

104

4

*A Domeyer

Mike Bass

6

7.75

BLUE TIGER

60.0

115

1

B Fayd’Herbe

Mike Bass

7

9.00

CASEY COOL

60.0

110

8

K Shea

Darryl Hodgson

8

9.25

CLEARLY SILVER

59.5

103

10

A Forbes

Dennis Drier

9

9.30

THUNDER KEY

60.0

108

2

I Sturgeon

Glen Kotzen

10

9.35

IVORY TRAIL

60.0

108

12

A Fortune

Joey Ramsden

11

15.35

INTELLECTUAL

60.0

108

5

R Danielson

Herman Brown

12

16.35

EXTINCT

60.0

105

11

M Yeni

Colin Scott

13

17.35

EARL OF SURREY (ZIM)

60.0

118

9

J Geroudis

Geoff Woodruff

14

19.35

PRIVATE JET (ARG)

60.0

110

7

F Coetzee

Geoff Woodruff

15

20.60

MYTHICAL FLIGHT

60.0

106

3

A Delpech

Sean Tarry

16

23.10

GALANTHUS

59.5

100

6

*D Mansour

Tyrone Zackey

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2010 DURBAN JULY WEIGHTS ANNOUNCED

pocket power
pocket power

Pocket Power - “His Exploits are Legendary”

(Photo - Gold Circle) 

VODACOM DURBAN JULY

31 July 2010

Pocket Power has been allocated top weight of 60kg for “Africa’s Greatest Horserace”, the Vodacom Durban July, to be staged this year on 31 July at Greyville Racecourse.

Nicci Garner writes that Pocket Power’s rating has come down three points in the last month positioning South Africa’s ruling champion with a seemingly open run at an event he has already contested three times notching up a win, a fourth and a fifth placing.

The weights for the country’s premier event were announced yesterday and there were few surprises, although trainer Mike de Kock, who has won the race twice before - with Ipi Tombe in 2002 and Greys Inn in 2004 - will not be too thrilled with the 56kg his ruling favourite Irish Flame has been allotted.

Three-year-olds may have managed to win 10 of the last 20 renewals of this Grade 1 race, but none have succeeded in winning under weights in excess of 53kg. Even taking into account the across-the-board 2kg raise, Irish Flame will need to be exceptional to win under that impost.

Irish Flame will be piloted by Kevin Shea, who has now won the SA Derby and Gold Circle Derby as well as the Daily News 2000 on the son of Dynasty. He believes he is on the best horse : “The July is not easy. I’ve got a good ride and I think I’m on the best three-year-old at the moment.”

“I think my stable companions are the horses to beat. I respect horses like Pocket Power and River Jetez but I think our stable is going to have a very strong hand in the July - and if they’re all well on the day, I think they’re going to fight it out,” said Shea earlier this week.

Mike de Kock’s other big hopes in the Durban July are Greyville 1900 winner Bold Silvano (55.5kg), Gold Cup winner Ancestral Fore (55kg), Happy Valley (54kg) and new recruit Lizarre (53.5kg).

All four of them, as well as Rudra who will receive just 0.5kg from Pocket Power, are nearly guaranteed runs in the race and De Kock said on his website earlier this week : “The handicappers have not been lenient on the three-year-olds. They’re lumping the weight on them as if they don’t want them to win.” He also admitted that they had been on the boil for a long time. “But these horses are fit. They have to go out there and the best horse on the day will win.”

Herman Brown’s progressive and highly regarded Orbison galloped into the July picture last Saturday with his impressive win in the Champions Cup when Galileo’s Galaxy (who will be 2.5kg better off if he runs in the July and has attracted big money subsequently) finished second with Pocket Power (1.5kg better off) third and De Kock’s Bold Silvano (1.5kg better off) 3.75 lengths back in fourth. On the bare evidence, Orbison must be fancied to beat his conquests again.

Herman Brown, who will be taking Orbison to Dubai for the 2011 Dubai International Racing Carnival, said yesterday: “He’s a good horse and the way he won last Saturday was promising. He did it with some authority. Plus, he’s still improving. I believe he’ll be better at four and five than he is at three because he’s a tall, leggy horse who hasn’t developed his full strength yet.”

“But the Durban July under 55.5kg? The three-year-olds have become the heavy-weights in this race. It wasn’t long ago that the three-year-olds got 50 and 51kg - and maybe the handicappers are going overboard.”

“The three-year-olds are a decent bunch, though, and seem to be doing quite well,” he continued before suggesting a lack of depth in the older generations was the reason the three-year-olds looked so good.

Brown continued : “As it stands, the draw will be very important. If Orbison can draw in the first five or six it’ll make all the difference. Then I’ll say he’s one of three horses with a big chance in the July.”

Pocket Power’s stable companion Fort Vogue is currently the second favourite for the big race. The four-year-old will meet Irish Flame at level weights, while the Bass champion’s full-sister to Pocket Power, River Jetez, who has also been well backed in ante-post betting, is set to carry 1kg less.

Sean Tarry’sSummer Cup winner, Aslan, who was only pipped by Bold Silvano in the Greyville 1900 (often considered a good pointer to the July), has also attracted a good deal of money and, with 54.5kg. His supporters will be thrilled with their investment.

Important dates to note :

8 July 2010 : First Declaration

15 July 2010 : Final Field to be announced on Tellytrack

22 July 2010 : Public Gallops at Greyville Racecourse

31 July 2010 : Vodacom Durban July at Greyville Racecourse

vodacom durban july logo
vodacom durban july logo

VODACOM DURBAN JULY WEIGHTS

Horse

Age

Kg

MR

Trainer

POCKET POWER

7 G

60.0

117

Mike Bass

RUDRA

5 H

59.5

116

Mike de Kock

FABIANI

4 G

56.5

110

Glen Kotzen

IRISH FLAME

3 C

56.0

113

Mike de Kock

FORT VOGUE

4 G

56.0

109

Mike Bass

BOLD SILVANO

3 C

55.5

112

Mike de Kock

ORBISON

3 G

55.5

112

Herman Brown

RED RAKE

5 G

55.5

108

Michael De Beer

ANCESTRAL FORE

3 G

55.0

111

Mike de Kock

RIVER JETEZ

6 M

55.0

107

Mike Bass

ASLAN

4 G

54.5

106

Sean Tarry

FOREST PATH

4 G

54.5

106

Stephen Page

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

4 F

54.5

106

Mike Bass

HAPPY VALLEY (ARG)

3 G

54.0

109

Mike de Kock

CAPTAIN SCOTT

4 G

54.0

105

Alec Laird

LIZARRE

3 C

53.5

108

Mike de Kock

GRAFTON STREET

8 G

53.5

104

Mike Stewart

RUSSIAN SAGE

5 H

53.5

104

Justin Snaith

BULSARA

3 G

53.0

106

Gavin van Zyl

ECHOHAWK

3 G

53.0

106

Dominic Zaki

GALILEO’S GALAXY (AUS)

3 C

53.0

106

Charles Laird

TALES OF BRAVERY

3 G

53.0

106

Vaughan Marshall

AL’S DEPUTY

3 G

53.0

105

Kumaran Naidoo

FLYING TRISTRAM

3 G

53.0

105

Charles Laird

EXHILIRATION

3 C

53.0

104

Dominic Zaki

SERVICE ACE

3 G

53.0

104

Mike Bass

STRAIGHT FORWARD

3 G

53.0

102

Mike de Kock

VERTICAL TAKEOFF

4 G

53.0

101

Sean Tarry

GALANTHUS

3C

53.0

100

Tyrone Zackey

KILLARIDGE (ZIM)

5 G

53.0

100

Weiho Marwing

NOBLEWOOD

5G

53.0

100

Stephen Page

STRATEGIC NEWS (AUS)

6 H

53.0

100

Herman Brown

WINTER’S NIGHT

3 G

53.0

100

Neil Bruss

DELLOTTO

3 C

53.0

99

Kumaran Naidoo

SPEED FOR GOLD

5 G

53.0

99

Dennis Drier

BOUQUET-GARNI

4 G

53.0

98

Gavin van Zyl

FORT PETERSBERG

3 G

53.0

97

Dominic Zaki

KING FERNANDO

3 G

53.0

96

Doug Campbell

SUPERFEDERATION

4 G

53.0

94

Gary Alexander

CALL TO COMBAT

4 C

53.0

91

St John Gray

SALUKI (GB)

4 G

53.0

91

Michael de Beer

WITTENBERG

3 C

53.0

90

Gavin van Zyl

CITIZEN DANTE (AUS)

5 G

53.0

87

Glen Kotzen

ROYAL ROCKER (AUS)

3 G

53.0

82

Tony Rivalland

TOP MARK (BRZ)

3 C

53.0

0

Mike de Kock

HERE TO WIN (BRZ)

3 F

52.0

102

Mike de Kock

GOAT

4 F

52.0

101

Paul Lafferty

IMPERIOUS STAR

3 F

52.0

99

Glen Kotzen

SANGRIA GIRL

5 M

52.0

98

Greg Ennion

FLIRTATION

3 F

52.0

97

Mike de Kock

EQUIPARADA (ARG)

3 F

52.0

94

Mike de Kock

Gold Circle 6 July 2010

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POCKET POWER, ROGER FEDERER AND THE CHAMPIONS CUP

pocket power horse
pocket power horse

Pocket Power

(Photo : Gold Circle / Summerhill Stud) 

CHAMPIONS CUP (Gr1)

Clairwood, 1800m, 3 July 2010

Pocket Power finds himself in exactly the same position as six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, who made a surprise exit from the championships in the quarter finals on Wednesday, beaten by Czech Tomas Berdych.

Jack Milner writes that in his post match interview, Federer revealed that he had been suffering from a number of niggling injuries during the course of the tournament, something quite rare for the winner of a record 16 Grand Slams. 

The truth is that Federer, despite still retaining his zest for tennis, is getting on and the younger set have raised the bar considerably. 

Pocket Power’s trainer Mike Bass says that his charge still loves his racing, but he is almost eight years old and the competition is becoming tougher. So the champion is now at the crossroads and he will need to prove in Saturday’s Grade 1 Champions Cup over 1800m at Clairwood that he can still give the youngsters a run for their money. 

Everybody knows that if he brings his A-game to Clairwood then the Jet Master gelding will be tough to beat. However, that is no longer a certainty and as this event is a conditions race, he has to give weight to all but Smart Banker. 

Pocket Power’s exploits are legendary. He is one of the greatest horses to ever race in this country and I will be among those cheering for him at the 200m mark. However, jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe will need everything to go according to plan from No 11 draw, and will hope Pocket Power can find his celebrated finishing burst. 

Bass believes Pocket Power has come on from his Gold Challenge run, in which he finished third. “It’s harder to tell as he gets older. But he’s looking well. He’s drawn badly again as he always seems to be at Clairwood. I suppose the effect of the draw will depend on the pace.”

The dangers look to be Mike de Kock’s pairing of Bold Silvano and Rudra. Bold Silvano was not only a fast-finishing second to stablemate Irish Flame in the Daily News 2000, but beat a field of older horses to win the Betting World 1900m at Greyville. He looks ideally distance suited and has just 55.5kg to carry. 

Rudra ran on well in the Gold Challenge over 1600m and will prefer this extra 200m, although he may still need a little further. He gets 2.5kg from both Pocket Power and Smart Banker and Kevin Shea will jump from a No 4 draw. “According to the merit ratings they are both very well in at the weights and they’ve both had very good preps,” said De Kock.

He also said he was not worried about incurring a penalty for the upcoming Vodacom Durban July. “They are well handicapped so if they do win, any merit rating raise given will depend on who they beat. But I don’t believe in being blasé about future Grade 1s. You can out-scheme yourself in this game and you should take what you can get at the time.”

Smart Banker finished a short head off Pocket Power in the Gold Challenge but is better than that run suggests. According to trainer Charles Laird, his charge needed that outing. “I was easy on him after his hard race in testing going in the Champions Challenge at Turffontein. But it’s not going to be easy for him at the weights. Giving a horse like Rudra 2.5kg is going to be very tough. But he’s well.”

I find it difficult to get enthusiastic over the chances of Noordhoek Flyer and believe he is not value at his price, despite all the enthusing of trainer Dean Kannemeyer. He has only taken on three-year-olds and could even battle to beat them in this field. Whatever the excuses he was slammed 3.25 lengths by Bold Silvano in the Daily News and is now 1kg worse off. He is even held by Galileo’s Galaxy on their Guineas run at Kenilworth and Laird has indicated that the Galileo colt could be the stable ace.

“Galileo’s Galaxy came off a long break and needed his last two runs. He is ready for this race and at his best I would not put him far behind the best we have. This is the race we earmarked for him. Anton Marcus is very fit but finds it hard to get down to 54kg these days, so he’s taken the easier option and rides Smart Banker,” explained Laird. 

 FINAL FIELD

#

Horse

Kg

MR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

POCKET POWER

60.0

119

12

B Fayd’Herbe

Mike Bass

3

SMART BANKER

60.0

116

6

A Marcus

Charles Laird

4

RUDRA

57.5

116

4

K Shea

Mike de Kock

5

NOORDHOEK FLYER (SNL)

56.5

112

2

K Neisius

Dean Kannemeyer

6

FABIANI

56.5

111

9

P Strydom

Glen Kotzen

7

RED RAKE

56.5

108

7

R Fourie

Michael De Beer

8

CAPTAIN SCOTT

56.5

105

3

S Randolph

Alec Laird

9

BOLD SILVANO

55.5

112

10

A Delpech

Mike de Kock

10

DAN DE LAGO (AUS)

55.5

111

5

P Whitmore

Charles Laird

11

GALILEO’S GALAXY (AUS)

54.0

106

11

F Coetzee

Charles Laird

12

ORBISON

54.0

106

1

R Danielson

Herman Brown

Late Scratching

2

BIG CITY LIFE

60.0

118

8

SCRATCHING

Glen Kotzen

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NOT CALLED THE GOLD CUP FOR NOTHING

gold cup south africa
gold cup south africa

1945 Owners Gold Cup Trophy

(Photo : Summerhill Stud Archives)

THE CANON GOLD CUP (Gr 1)

Greyville, 3200m, 26 June 2010

KZN racing authorities can say what they like about the big three of their “Championship Season”, but there’s no doubt that after the “July”, the Canon Gold Cup is a clear second. In fact, if you’re speaking of betting turnover, its one of the nation’s big three. Judged purely by prize money, it’s eclipsed by the July, the Met and the Summer Cup, but as an attractor of people and a generator of turnover, it gives best only to the first two.

As a crowd-pleaser, you might well argue that the glamour events are also those sponsored by Vodacom and J&B, but for sheer elegance and a sense of occasion, you’d probably give first prize to the Gold Cup, though it now faces stern competition from the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup.

One thing you can’t take away from the Gold Cup is tradition. Its being run for the 90th occasion this Saturday, and there was a time when every self respecting trainer took the compelling leap from the Durban July to the Gold Cup. That was then of course, and this is now, and the difference between those days and these, lies mainly in the trophy.

Some years ago, Sotheby’s auctioned the 1945 Owner’s Gold Cup trophy won by Hartford’s Salmon, and since its rightful home was here at Summerhill (which incorporates Hartford these days), we felt we had to buy it. So prized were these pure gold trophies and so magnificent the craftsmanship, we had to venture a king’s ransom in order to bring it home.

That’s what people were racing for in those days, and it was the knowledge that there were just a handful of these left in the vaults of the Durban Turf Club, which led us to propose to our old friend Alec Foster back in the 90’s, that we try to breed a Gold Cup winner. Being the sportsman that he is, Alec proceeded to do just that, the fruits of his endeavours being Cereus’ cruise in the 2002 renewal.

In all, we bred four horses with that in mind, one of them a nine time winner at distances up to a mile (we obviously read his pedigree wrong), one a Champion Three Year Old filly of her year and a dual Oaks winner, Icy Air (the recipe was right there,) and the other one damn near did it again. He was Amphitheatre, whose stirring victory in the Gold Vase (Gr.2) on the eve of the race cost him a 2kg penalty, which in the end cost him the Gold Cup as well, as he went down a neck in the dying strides to Highland Night.

The honour roll of previous Gold Cups is replete with great names of South African racing, not the least of whom is Charlie Barends, who won just one July with Extinguisher, but who made the Gold Cup his own with seven exceptional victories, the first of which was aboard Chez Monty, the first horse (and the only one) to win two consecutive renewals.

Summerhill and Hartford have a distinguished record in the race. No property has produced more than three winners outside of ours, which has strung together a total of five all told, commencing with Salmon, Cosmonaut, and Alhambra, and in modern times Cereus and the Champion Stayer of two seasons ago, Desert Links.

So, we have the pedigree to produce another one, and going with Winning Leap is a little like picking Brazil to win the World Cup. That means he’s a fair bet, and at 5-1 a fairly generous one. The bookmakers would be wise to think again if their reasoning has to do with history. No three-year-old has ever been to the winner’s podium before, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done now.

There are enough examples in Australian racing to suggest that a properly programmed horse can do it. The one thing we do have to remember though, with a marathon like this, is that while good horses can sometimes pick up Group One races on the way to their objectives, it doesn’t often happen in a gruelling competition like the Gold Cup. You need to fix your sights firmly on your target, and get your horse there at the top of his game, because the “A” game is the only one that will do.

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TOP SPRINTERS LINE UP FOR POST MERCHANTS

noble heir winning the 2010 computaform sprint grade 1
noble heir winning the 2010 computaform sprint grade 1

Noble Heir - Computaform Sprint (Grade 1)

(Photo : JC Photographics / Summerhill Stud)

POST MERCHANTS (Grade 2)

Greyville, 1200m, 18 June 2010 

Winter has arrived with a vengeance in sub-tropical KwaZulu-Natal, but tonight’s racing action at Greyville promises to be sizzling hot. A full field of tip top sprinters go head to head in the Grade 2 Post Merchants, where Dennis Bosch’sgrey Noble Heir (Kahal) will attempt to add her name to those of Sunera (1986) and Marie Galante (1992) as only the third filly in the past 25 years to capture this 1200m sprint.

The race had its first running back in 1936 and was won in that year by one of the all time greats of the South African turf, the Syd Garrett-trained Moonlit, who won the Met in both 1936 and 1938, carrying 145Ib (65,77kg) in the latter. Two other great horses that won the Merchants were 1952 July winner Mowgli and 1968 Met winner William Penn.

The 1979 July runner up, Sun Tonic, 1987 SA Guineas winner, Sloop, and the 1970 Cape Guineas winner, Shah Abbas, are three other versatile types to have won the Merchants. In fact even last year’s winner, Sharks Bay, could be considered a sprint-miler having finished third in last season’s Grade 2 KRA Guineas.

A noted frontrunner, who has recorded all eight of her wins over the minimum trip, Noble Heir came from off the pace to beat the boys in the Grade 1 Computaform Sprint, which suggests that the extra 200m should be well within her scope. She has won twice at the track and on current form, has strong claims to add a third Graded win to her record.

Kitalphagelding Moroccan caught many by surprise when third to JJ The Jet Plane in the Grade 1 Golden Horse Casino Sprint last time out and a repeat of that effort could bring him right into the picture. Despite a wide draw, Moroccan is not without a chance.

Former Champion Sprinter Mythical Flight (Jet Master) has yet to visit the winner’s box since his return from an overseas campaign. He showed his customary pace in the Golden Horse Casino Sprint before running out of steam in the closing stages to finish about seven lengths off the winner.

Amazingly, this will be Mythical Flight’s first run at the Durban track, but he is well drawn and always merits respect.

FINAL FIELD

#

Horse

Kg

MR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

2

GAULTIER

60.0

109

4

B Fayd’Herbe

Mike Bass

3

THUNDER KEY

60.0

109

5

I Sturgeon

Glen Kotzen

4

CASEY COOL

59.5

108

9

K Shea

Darryl Hodgson

5

EXTINCT

59.5

108

13

M Yeni

Colin Scott

6

INTELLECTUAL

59.5

108

8

R Danielson

Herman Brown

7

IVORY TRAIL

59.5

108

12

P Botha

Joey Ramsden

8

MYTHICAL FLIGHT

59.0

107

2

G Lerena

Sean Tarry

9

NOBLE HEIR

59.0

107

3

A Delpech

Dennis Bosch

10

RED FLYER

58.0

105

18

S Randolph

Alistair Gordon

11

CYBER CASE

57.0

103

10

A Marcus

Charles Llaird

12

CLEARLY SILVER

56.5

104

15

A Forbes

Dennis Drier

13

BUSH PIRATE

56.5

102

14

K Teetan

Joey Ramsden

14

MOROCCAN (ZIM)

56.0

101

16

F Coetzee

Weiho Marwing

15

GALANTHUS

54.5

100

7

*D Mansour

Tyrone Zackey

16

MR TOP (ARG)

53.5

96

1

K Zechner

Sean Tarry

17

TWO TONE

53.0

97

11

-

Wendy Whitehead

Late Scratchings

1

FORT VOGUE

60.0

109

17

* Domeyer

Mike Bass

Reserve Runners

18

COOL SPENDER

52.5

94

6

Reserve 2

Sean Tarry

2010 BETTING WORLD 1900 : RESULTS

bold silvano betting world 1900
bold silvano betting world 1900

Bold Silvano - Betting World 1900 (Gr2)

(Photo : Gold Circle) 

R350,000 BETTING WORLD 1900 (Grade 2)

Greyville, Turf, 1900m

21 May 2010

#

LBH

Horse

Kg

MR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

0.00

BOLD SILVANO

53.5

104

7

A Delpech

Mike de Kock

2

0.15

ASLAN

56.0

104

2

F Coetzee

Sean Tarry

3

1.90

GOAT

54.5

101

9

A Marcus

Paul Lafferty

4

2.40

DANISH SILVER

52.0

94

14

D Daniels

Yogus Govender

5

2.50

FORT VOGUE

58.5

109

3

B Fayd’Herbe

Mike Bass

6

3.50

SPEED FOR GOLD

54.0

100

10

A Forbes

Dennis Drier

7

4.00

CAYMEN ISLAND

53.5

99

13

D David

Yogas Govender

8

4.50

ROBINSON CRUSOE

53.5

99

5

S Randolph

Glen Kotzen

9

5.00

GRISHAM

52.0

90

8

M Yeni

Mike Bass

10

5.15

SPORTS FACTOR

52.0

89

16

*J Greyling

Paul Lafferty

11

5.40

STRATEGIC NEWS (AUS)

57.0

106

1

*J Jordaan

Herman Brown

12

6.15

THANDOLWAMI

56.0

104

11

R Danielson

Craig Eudey

13

6.25

OMAHA BEACH

58.0

108

4

B Lerena

Joey Ramsden

14

6.35

IVORY TRAIL

60.0

112

6

A Fortune

Joey Ramsden

15

6.60

BOUQUET-GARNI

53.5

99

5

G Lerena

Gavin van Zyl

16

9.10

NOBLEWOOD

54.0

100

12

G Schlechter

Stephen Page

2010 KRA GUINEAS AND KRA FILLIES GUINEAS FIELDS

dean kannemeyer and noordhoek flyer
dean kannemeyer and noordhoek flyer

Noordhoek Flyer - Dean Kannemeyer

(Photos : Gold Circle / Heather Morkel)

KRA GUINEAS (Gr2) AND KRA FILLIES GUINEAS (Gr2)

david thiselton
david thiselton

David ThiseltonThe KRA Guineas meeting at Greyville on Sunday provides a mouthwatering kick start to the Champions Season as both feature races have been eagerly anticipated by the racing public.

The Dean Kannemeyer-trained Noordhoek Flyer is one of the top three three-year-old colts in the country and impresses more with each outing. The mile looks ideal for him and he is also very much a Greyville type of a horse as he possesses an electric turn of foot, which is required for this tight track with its relatively short straight. Noordhoek Flyer had a gallop at Greyville on Thursday last week that pleased his big race jockey Karl Neisius. He looks difficult to oppose but there is one concern and that is his wide draw coupled with a narrow five metre false rail. He is likely going to have to come around horses to get his run in the straight, so will have to be wary of any horses stealing a march.

The Herman Brown-trained Galileo colt Absolute Heretic is ideally drawn and has been working like a bomb at home at Summerveld. Ideally he would prefer further, but the yard felt he would run well fresh. He has also improved a lot since his last 1600m effort in which he got going late to win a Novice Plate at Scottsville in February. Galileo’s progeny don’t seem to possess the most impressive hindquarters, but that doesn’t stop them from packing powerful finishes as Mahbooba proved in the Umkhomazi Stakes last Tuesday.

An interesting contender is the first-timer from the Mike de Kock yard, Top Mark. He is by English 2000 Guineas winner Mark Of Esteem out of a Rahy mare who has produced two Grade 1 winners in Brazil. He doesn’t have an easy task from a wide draw. Mike de Kock’s first choice appears to be the Havasha, who has been claimed from 8-1 into 11-2. He has the distinction of being the only horse to have ever beaten the country’s top three-year-old, Pierre Jourdan. However, the latter needed the run on that occasion and Havasha had to settle for second place in the Gauteng Guineas. Havasha is certainly going to be dangerous as a handy type because he is drawn in pole. If he dictates out in front Noordhhoek Flyer’s connections might have some cause for concern.

The Dominic Zaki’sExhilaration was a top juvenile and is not only talented but a courageous front-runner. He could provide the strong pace that Noordhoek Flyer needs. He should have benefitted from his last outing and should be thereabouts as he usually keeps on finding in the straight.

The Dennis Drier-trained Clearly Silver appears to be improving and ran the best race at the weights in the Byerley Turk in which he finished a close third. He is a powerfully built horse who might have a slight question mark over getting the mile, although he wasn’t stopping in the Byerley Turk.

The Robbie Sage-trained Iliad finished four lengths back in the SA Classic over 1800m, thrashing Havasha, who likely didn’t stay. He has won his last two attempts at a mile comfortably and could be the dark horse as he has clearly improved.

Nocturnal Affair is likely better at 1400m and has a wide draw.

Whole Kaboodle was quietly fancied in the Byerley Turk but didn’t have the best of luck. He is a consistent sort who could be another dark horse as he enjoys this course.

Noordhoek Flyer is selected to beat home Absolute Heretic with Top Mark, Havasha and Exhilaration next best.

The KRA Fillies Guineas sees the eagerly awaited clash between the Milke de Kock-trained Gibraltar Blue and the Glen Kotzen-trained Imperious Star.

Gibraltar Blue pulled her way around the field at Turffontein on her South African debut and was still full of running at the finish, winning by 5,5 lengths. She is very widely drawn this time but might go to the front. Her style of running suggests she might prefer a more galloping track and with Imperious Star drawn in barrier two she might be able to get a nice tow from Gibraltar Blue.

Imperious Star is thus the selection but it should be a fascinating contest. In the race for the places, Sweetie Pie could surprise as an improving type drawn in pole.

Strawberry Ice, Gluwein and Field Flower make the most appeal of the rest.

R500,000 KRA GUINEAS (Gr2)

Greyville, 1600m, Turf

2 May 2010

Final Field

#

Horse

Kg

MR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

NOORDHOEK FLYER (SNL)

58.0

109

11

K Neisius

Dean Kannemeyer

2

EXHILIRATION

58.0

108

3

B Lerena

Dominic Zaki

3

HAVASHA

58.0

106

1

K Shea

Mike de Kock

4

CLEARLY SILVER

58.0

104

9

A Forbes

Dennis Drier

5

ILIAD

58.0

103

7

G Wrogemann

Robbie Sage

7

NOCTURNAL AFFAIR

58.0

101

14

R Hill

Greg Ennion

8

DELLOTTO

58.0

100

8

M Yeni

Kumaran Naidoo

9

ABSOLUTE HERETIC (AUS)

58.0

96

2

F Coetzee

Herman Brown

10

BOIS DE VAR

58.0

94

10

D Daniels

Glen Kotzen

11

MELTAWAY

58.0

93

13

J Geroudis

Mike de Kock

12

WHOLE KABOODLE

58.0

90

4

K Zechner

Alyson Wright

13

TRENDLINE

58.0

84

15

S Randolph

Des Edges

14

AL’S DEPUTY

58.0

82

6

*A Domeyer

Kumaran Naidoo

15

TOP MARK (BRZ)

58.0

0

12

A Delpech

Mike de Kock

Late Scratching

6

SMANJEMANJE

58.0

102

5

n/a

Tyrone Zackey

R250,000 KRA FILLIES GUINEAS (Gr2)

Greyville, 1600m, Turf

2 May 2010

Final Field

#

Horse

Kg

MR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

GLUWEIN

58.0

103

14

A Delpech

Mike de Kock

2

FISANI

58.0

102

16

J Geroudis

Mike de Kock

3

FIELD FLOWER

58.0

100

10

R Danielson

Stephen Page

4

GIBRALTAR BLUE (IRE)

58.0

99

15

A Marcus

Mike de Kock

5

QUEEN MIRA (AUS)

58.0

98

9

P Strydom

Geoff Woodruff

6

STRAWBERRY ICE

58.0

97

6

K Neisius

Dean Kannemeyer

7

IMPERIOUS STAR

58.0

96

2

F Coetzee

Glen Kotzen

8

PLAY NICE

58.0

96

12

A Fortune

Darryl Hodgson

9

LAVERNA

58.0

95

7

K Shea

Mike de Kock

10

CAPTAIN’S CALL

58.0

94

11

D Daniels

Glen Kotzen

11

SECRET BABE

58.0

91

3

A Forbes

Dennis Drier

12

SWEETIE PIE

58.0

89

1

M Yeni

Mike de Kock

13

ASHBROOK

58.0

87

13

B Fayd’Herbe

Mike Bass

14

COMEBACKANDDANCE

58.0

87

4

R Hill

Darryl Hodgson

15

AIR POCKET

58.0

79

8

I Sturgeon

Michael Roberts

16

WEST END

58.0

76

5

S Randolph

Jeff Freedman

POCKET POWER claims tenth Gr.1 victory

Pocket Power
(Photo : Gold Circle)

The amazing six-year-old Pocket Power raced to his tenth Gr.1 victory in Saturday’s Gold Challenge over 1600m at Clairwood. The son of Jet Master, who has now earned more than R8.3million, beat Kapil (Jallad) by just over a length. Pocket Power’s year younger full-sister River Jetez was third.

The European Bloodstock News reports that Pocket Power was bounced out of the stalls very smartly by his regular jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe and took a strong hold down the back straight, settling in behind his pacemaking stablemate Blue Tiger and Buy And Sell. Bernard Fayd’herbe had no option but to let him go at the 400 metre pole but, as is customary, he slipped into cruise control at that point and contributed no more than he had to, to hold a fast-finishing Kapil at bay.

Pocket Power will head for Greyville early next month where he will attempt to claim a second Vodacom Durban July victory.

Daily News 2000 and Woolavington Stakes

Zirconeum
(Photo : Gold Circle)

 “BIG RACE DAYS : ALWAYS A CAUSE CELEBRE FOR VUMA”

Those who read the Sporting Post will undoubtedly know by now that, come the big days, there’s always a drum banging for horses that know the taste of Africa’s finest horsefeed.

Saturday’s gathering of the best three-year-olds in the land, witnessed the renewal of the Daily News 2000 (Gr.1) and the Woolavington Stakes (Gr.1), an assembly of the best colts and fillies respectively and the principal trials for the sophomore generation aiming at the biggest horse race in Africa, the Vodacom Durban July.

There was nothing really surprising about the outcome of either, as the winners represented some of the best form of the season, with Big City Life taking the colt’s version, and Zirconeum, bred across the valley from Summerhill by our neighbours, Karen and Warwick Render at Bush Hill Stud, snatching the laurels in the fillies’ version.

What wasn’t surprising though, was that the first three home in the Daily News 2000 were all sustained by Vuma (Big City Life trained by Glen Kotzen, Dan De Lago (Charles Laird) and Captain Scott (Alec Laird) while Zirconeum, the little filly with the heart of a giant, was another feather in the already substantial cap of Mike de Kock.

No doubt, knowing the protagonists, these fellows will all march on to the Greyville track on the first Saturday in July to the Vodacom jingle.

Comment

BETTING WORLD 1900 : Pointer to Vodacom Durban July

Thandolwami
(Photo : Gold Circle)

Tonight’s Grade 2 Betting World 1900 at Greyville sees a highly competitive field lining up for this traditional pointer to the Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July.

With four Summerhill graduates prepped for battle; Thandolwami, Catmandu, Dynamite Mike and Let’s Get Started (Reserve), it is sure to be a cracker.

Jack Milner writes for Tab Online that the on-fire Thandolwami must be every owner’s dream. Purchased for just R80,000, Thandolwami (Woodborough x My Sweet Love) has amassed R820,150 in stake-money and can become another “Equine Millionaire” if victorious in tonight’s R350,000 feature.

Summerveld-based trainer, Craig Eudey, has done a great job with this talented four-year-old, who seems to be getting better with every run. A useful three-year-old, he has now come of age and following some high-class recent efforts, is overdue to record a big win.

Thandolwami’s recent form is most consistent. He finished second to Likeithot in the Charity Mile November Handicap, fifth behind Rudra in the Steinhoff Summer Cup, a fast finishing second to Pirate’s Gold in the King’s Cup and a one-length third behind Smart Banker in last month’s Champions Challenge at Turffontein.

He has saved some of his best performances for Greyville racecourse though, having won three of his six starts at the track and placing on three other occasions. A strange phenomenon if one considers how he loves to challenge from well off the pace.

Thandolwami will once again be partnered by jockey Raymond Danielson, who has established a fine understanding with the gelding. He has piloted Thandolwami in his last seven starts for two wins, three places and two close-up fifths.

Catmandu (Makaarem x Gypsey Spirit) is in superb form and is another fighter who loves the Greyville track. In last year’s running of this very race he was denied by a nostril at the hands of Jet Master’s full sister, River Jetez. After a couple of mediocre performances, Gauteng trainer Andre Kirsten’s charge seems to have regained his touch and last time out in the Grade 1 Champions Challenge, Catmandu ran just 0.75 lengths adrift of Thandolwami, despite having to switch for a clear run.

Other big names in the race include Charles Laird’s Crown Of Power; Mike Bass’ Thundering Jet, Air Combat and Judged Excellent; Gavin van Zyl’s Cape Town and Duncan Howells’ Tropical Empire.

The big race kicks off at 20:40.

R350,000 Betting World 1900 Grade 2
Final Field

No Horse Kg MR Dr Jockey Trainer
1 Singing Sword 60.0 104 7 D Masour Tyrone Zackey
2 Thundering Jet 59.5 103 17 B Fayd’Herbe Mike Bass
3 Catmandu 59.0 102 9 G Wrogemann Andre Kirsten
4 Thandolwami 59.0 102 10 R Danielson Craig Eudey
5 Vision Of Grandeur (Ire) 58 100 2 F Coetzee Justin Snaith
6 Tropical Empire (Aus) 57.5 99 11 B Lerena Duncan Howells
7 Wonder Lawn 57.5 99 8 S Randolph Dean Kannemeyer
8 Air Combat 56.5 97 1 G Lerena Mike Bass
9 Crown Of Power 56.5 97 6 A Marcus Charles Laird
10 Pirate’s Gold 56 96 18 S Cormack Glen Kotzen
11 Cape Town 55 94 14 K Shea Gavin van Zyl
12 Dynamite Mike 55 94 5 K Jupp Kumaran Naidoo
13 Full Power (Arg) 54.5 93 13 D L Habib Geoff Woodruff
14 Judged Excellent 54.5 93 12 A Delpech Mike Bass
15 Al Pasha 53.5 91 16 M Byleveld Dean Kannemeyer
16 Kiribati 52 92 15 D Daniels Sean Tarry
17 Mr. Esplendid (Arg) (Reserve) 52 88 4 Reserve 2 Joey Ramsden
18 Let’s Get Started (Reserve) 52 81 3 Reserve 1 Alyson Wright

Comment

AUTUMN IN SOUTH AFRICA

 
AUTUMN IN SOUTH AFRICA
MEANS DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE

The rains have stopped now in our part of the world, the days are blue and there’s hardly a cloud in sight. From now until September, the one thing that’s constant with us, is day after day of sunshine, the only difference lies in temperature. From nature’s perspective, Mooi River’s world goes to sleep for a few months and takes a well earned rest after so much output, so much given from September until now.

But for those of us who live here, we’re just entering another era of furious activity, weaning mares, preparing the winter pastures, preparing ourselves for the breeding season and the marketing of the stallions, assessing all the horses on the farm, particularly the mares, with a view to the forthcoming breeding season, and then writing the recommendations to our many customers around the world.

Of course, KwaZulu Natal, Africa’s racing capital, enters its Champion’s Season as we write, and so the sports are only just starting.

It’s a beautiful time at Summerhill and Hartford, and it’s not only the wonderful weather but the changes that come with the seasons, the briskness of the mornings, the warmth of mid-day and the coolness of the evenings. It’s an invigorating time, energies are lifted, and while the land and the environment go to rest, we have a little respite in which to get stuck into our intellectual pursuits.

And then we have a few things to look forward. Next month we have a draft of five yearlings arriving from Australia, two filles by the reigning European champion sire, Galileo, and colts by the celebrated international stallions, Red Ransom, Anabaa and Hussonet. On the same flight we will have a brace of new stallions, two men who will hopefully have a breed-shaping influence on our lives for many years to come.

These are momentous events in the life of a thoroughbred stud, the arrival of two progenitors who’ve been especially selected to take us to new levels.

But this little story is about autumn, not new stallions, and that is a story for another day.

Dancer's Daughter in Mint Condition

dancers daughter empress club stakesDancer’s Daughter winning the Empress Club Stakes (Gr1)
(Photo : Phumelela)

David Thiselton reports that Dancer’s Daughter on Monday checked into Clairwood for the Champions Season 2009.

Trainer Justin Snaith rode Dancer’s Daughter out yesterday and said that the superstar grey mare was very well. Jockey Bernard Fayd’herbe will work ride her today.

“She has been in a very bad mood today,” said Justin Snaith, who has always stated that a foul mood is the signal to him that the mare is in the mint of condition.

Pocket Power, arch rival to Dancer’s Daughter, settled in at Clairwood just under two weeks ago, with the pair’s rivalry promising to feature epic in the Champions Season.

The first Dancer’s Daughter versus Pocket Power clash might once again be delivered in the form of the Grade 1 Gold Challenge over 1600m at Clairwood, come 13 June.

To date the score stands at : Pocket Power two-and-a-half and Dancer’s Daughter one-and-a-half; with Dancer’s Daughter beating Pocket Power when taking victory in last season’s Gold Challenge, the pair dead-heated in the 2008 Vodacom Durban July thriller and Pocket Power beat Dancer’s Daughter when finishing second in the 2008 Champion’s Cup.

Pocket Power took an historic third victory in this year’s renewal of the J&B Met and Justin Snaith will be determined for Dancer’s Daughter set the score straight in the 2009 Vodacom Durban July.