Redcliffe (AUS) 031 362 1110
Nottingham (UK) 031 362 1110
Geelong (AUS) 031 362 1111
Salisbury (UK) 031 362 1111
Happy Valley (HK ) 031 362 1107
Kempton (UK) 031 362 1101
Belmont (USA) 031 362 1104
KZN’s record-breaking Champion Jockey Anthony Delpech has flown over to the UK where he will ride the Alec Laird-trained J&B Met winner Smart Call in Saturday’s Group 1 Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes over a mile at Newmarket.
Delpech will also ride the crack Ideal World mare in the forthcoming Breeder’s Cup meeting.
Delpech has recently been retained by Mary Slack of Wilgerbosdrift Stud and riding the Mauritzfontein Stud-owned horses was also part of the agreement.
Smart Call was bred and is owned by Mauritzfontein Stud, which is run by Mary Slack’s daughter Jessica.
Saturday’s race is mainly being seen as a preparation run for Smart Call’s Breeder’s Cup mission, where she will run in the Breeder’s Cup Filly and Mare Turf. It will provide an ideal opportunity for Delpech to get a feel of Smart Call.
This will be the first time Delpech has ridden in the UK. The race, which will be run on The Rowley Mile racecourse, is due to start at 5pm South African time.
Summerveld trainer Dennis Drier and his wife Gill will be among the spectators at the race.
They were invited by Jessica Slack to attend and hopefully buy some horses at Ireland’s Premier Yearling Sale this week, the Goffs Orby Sale, and they will also attend the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale with her at Newmarket next week.
While the runners and jockeys have their work cut out for them in The Grand Heritage, sponsored by World Sports Betting at the Vaal Racecourse on Saturday there will be someone in the grandstand who has the toughest job of all on the day.
But for Alistair Cohen, the thought of having to commentate on a race involving 28 horses isn’t as scary a prospect as some might imagine as Racing. It’s A Rush found out when catching up with him earlier this week
“I’m really looking forward to 28-horses down the Vaal straight. It’s something unique and obviously hasn’t been done before. I think the biggest allure of the race is the fact that, as in any particular race, you can’t be sure what is going to happen. You’re never sure what to expect.,” said Cohen.
“I’ve known for a long time and I’ve been excited ever since. I’ll be the first guy to call 28-horses in a race in SA so that’s a really nice accomplishment.”
As far as his planning for the meeting goes he’s not going to try and pre-empt things by formulating some sort of script. This is racing after all.
“I tend not to over-prepare things. I obviously get accustomed to the form and things like that but I like to call things off the cuff and let the race develop. Because this is such an unknown and a new concept it’s going to be a thrill to be able to call the race.”
What could make his task that bit more challenging is the fact that there is a perception of a draw bias
“I’m not the biggest believer that there is a track bias. I guess when it comes to Saturday we might get a better idea in the first few races if the jockeys favour one side of the track or not. I’ve never believed there is a bias. In my view it’s flat, it’s grass and it’s long. If a horse is good enough it will win from anywhere on the track.
“What I am most worried about is if they split into two groups. For races down the straight I call off the TV, races around the turn I use the binoculars. There might be horses that are out of view so I’m going to have to use binoculars and having perception of which horse is in front is a completely different ball game. That’s probably my biggest fear but overall I can’t wait for it. It’s going to be something so cool.”
Cohen has been an official racecaller since August 2010, his love affair with the art started as a schoolboy when winning a commentator’s competition at the age of 12, and he’s revelled in the role ever since.
It means that he’s well-versed when it comes to picking out runners even if there are a number of runners in The Grand Heritage sporting the same colours, their caps will differentiate them and can’t see that being an issue in a big field.
“The nice thing is that these are all established horses. They’ve been around the block and I’ve seen them all before. If it was a whole lot of first timers that would be a different challenge. “
– Racing. It’s A Rush
The KZN pair running in the R750,000 World Sports Betting Grand Heritage over 1475m at the Vaal on Saturday, the Tony Rivalland-trained Humidor and the Gavin van Zyl-trained Celtic Captain, have both been doing well since running first and second in a MR 100 Handicap over 1400m on the Greyville polytrack.
The pair are drawn in 19 and 26 respectively in the 28 runner event, although they will each come in two positions if both reserve runners are scratched.
Rivalland said Humidor had done well in his last serious workout at Summerveld on Tuesday and was in good shape. He added, “If the right Humidor turns up on Saturday, I think he is the horse to beat.”
Rivalland’s chief concern is the mere 13 day gap the horse will have had between his last run, which followed a two-and-a-half month break, and this one. “It is not ideal from a training perspective. If he had had his intended run at Scottsville on September 7, instead of rearing up and having to be scratched, that would have been ideal. But we can’t control these sort of things and they happen.”
Rivalland had said earlier in the week. ”A 1475m big field event down the straight is a tough race, but I think he will handle it.” He referred to Humidor’s fourth place finish in the KZN Breeders Million Mile as evidence he would stay the trip, before concluding, “He has natural cruising speed, but a lot will be down to jockeyship in a race like this. If you go too early it will kill your chances. Those coming from off the pace will be favoured in a race like this and that’s the only thing against him, because he likes to do his own thing out in front.”
The Backworth Stud-bred four-year-old Miesque’s Approval gelding, who is owned by KZN stalwart racing personality Mary Liley among others, holds the Scottsville 1200m course record, lowering the time, previously held by Kildonan, to 66,98 seconds. He led from start to finish in that last 1400m start and was not stopping at the line. Top jockey Muzi Yeni rode him for the first time in that race and remains aboard.
Humidor has been backed in to 12/1. As a lightly raced five-year-old he is still relatively unexposed. He also seems a progressive sort, so he could be well handicapped off his current 86 merit rating.
Celtic Captain is a classy son of Captain Al, bred by Patricia Devine investments and owned by Brian “Buffalo Bill” Burnard. He chased Humidor throughout the aforementioned 1400m race on the poly, but was still 0,75 lengths shy at the line. However, he will now be 1kg better off at the weights which will bring them together on paper. Celtic Captain also likes to race handy, but possesses a noteworthy kick and is deserving of his 99 merit rating.
Gareth van Zyl actually trains the Burnard-owned horses in the yard and said, “I am happy with his preparation, he has done well since his last run and will run well.”
Humidor and Celtic Captain will travel up to Johannesburg on Friday morning together with the James Goodman-trained Aldric, who runs in the WSB Heritage 1200.
He said: “I don’t know when Black Arthur will start but he is doing very well. We were careful with him in Durban where he only had two starts and he was unlucky in the Vodacom Durban July – Dougie Whyte couldn’t get a run.”
Picture: Justin Snaith on Black Arthur at the beach in Cape Town. His father Chris follows on Dynamic (Snaith Racing)
Three of the best of last season’s Cape Town two-year-olds reappear against older horses at Durbanville tomorrow and the Racing.It’s A Rush Handicap looks by far the most significant race on the card.
Sergeant Hardy beat Attenborough and Our Mate Art in the Cape Of Good Hope Nursery over this trip at Kenilworth in May – with recent winner Bishop’s Bounty fourth – and in the Langerman next time Our Mate Art, a close second, had Attenborough two lengths back.
But it’s the Joey Ramsden horse that should come out best of the three. He started favourite for the Cape Nursery but was found to have mucus in his lungs immediately after the race, and in the Langerman he failed to stay the 1 500m after over-racing early on. Also he was conceding 3kg and here he meets Grant van Niekerk’s mount at levels.
The question is whether he is fit enough after three months off. “I would hope so, yes,” is Ramsden’s answer and the July-winning trainer confirms that the colt has done a fair bit of work.
The same query, only more so, applies to Sergeant Hardy who has been off for four months. “It’s hard to say,” replies Justin Snaith. “But he has had a gallop and he will run his race.” However the trainer adds that conceding 1.5kg to Attenborough “won’t be easy.”
With Our Mate Art, who is running for the first time since the Langerman, it’s as much a matter of whether this 1 200m will be too short. “Not necessarily – and he is doing well,” says Candice Bass-Robinson who adds that this is a prep for the Cape Classic on October 29. “But I would like to see him settle better than he did last time.”
With such talent in the field – and the older horses are hard to fancy – it might sound sacrilege to name another three-year-old to beat the big three but Vaughan Marshall thinks so much of Rock Of Africa that this one gets the vote.
The gelding’s trainer is convinced that he would have won the Graduation (in which Bishop’s Bounty lowered the colours of the useful Rodney) 11 days ago had the race been run to suit the horse. MJ Byleveld’s mount receives a significant amount of weight and, although the early 5-1 has already been snapped up, the current 4-1 still appeals. Interestingly this horse is also the prediction of the sahorseracing computer.
Our Mate Art, a little surprisingly considering the shortness of the trip – particularly over this tight course, was yesterday a firm 2-1 favourite with World Sports Betting which has Attenborough next best at 28-10 with Sergeant Hardy a 3-1 chance.
The Snaith horses are fairly burning up the turf at the moment and evens favourite Over Drive in the first is taken to beat Captain’s Version despite the money for the Paddy Kruyer four-year-old who has been backed from 5-1 to 33-10.
The stable introduces Greenflashsunset, a R700 000 half-brother to Legislate, in race three and the colt is favourite at 2-1. But this is a tricky course for newcomers and so Ramsden’s 3-1 shot Rebel Alliance is preferred to 22-10 second favourite Varational.
Durbanville Wednesday Sep 28 Race Previews by Warren Lenferna
Preview: OVER DRIVE has run two fair races thus far and looks ready to go close to winning. He has a good draw which will help. CAPTAIN’S VERSION showed improvement last time and based on that will be concerned in the finish again. ELUSIVE SINGER is surely better than his last run and if running like he did on debut should go close again. (Warren Lenferna 10-2-5)
Preview: OUR MATE ART is lightly raced and looks very progressive – he has run well in Feature Company and should be a very hard horse to beat here. SERGEANT HARDY has solid form and has also done very well in Feature Company. He, too, has a very big chance. ATTENBOROUGH is consistent and another bold performance can be expected. (Warren Lenferna 5-3-4)
Preview: REBEL ALLIANCE is coming along the right way and was running on well last time to finish second to the favourite. He is confidently selected to go one better. VARATIONAL is coming along the right way and ran a cracker last time – based on that, he should run well here. FLOWER BLUE has a quartet chance. (Warren Lenferna 9-2-3)
Preview: CAVALLERIA has solid maiden form and is lightly raced. She gets a good draw today and is one of the leading lights for top position. Very strong each way claims. EMPIRE RISING showed encouraging improvement from runs one to run two. She should have more improvement to come and if this is the case then she will go very close. KATIE DUBOIS showed big improvement last time and is a must for the quartet. (Warren Lenferna 1-10-11)
Preview: PUT THE BERRIES is seldom far off the action and today gets the services of bang in form jockey Andrew Fortune. She is drawn well and is the firm first pick. BEAUTIFUL GIRL and BRINKLEY look set to fight out the minor money in a small and not so strong maiden field. (Warren Lenferna 3-2-1)
Preview: A TIME TO KILL was well beaten in second last time but the winner (Red Peril) did win easily. She can go one better this afternoon. Stable mate HAMMIE’S GAME has been knocking loudly at the door in his last two and he will be waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces if A Time To Kill does not win. The stable have a strong hand here. SAINT ROCH ran well last time and looks a solid selection for a place bet. (Warren Lenferna 3-6-5)
Preview: ELEVATED has good, solid form. He has run second in his last three starts and is now overdue a win – he looks very hard to beat and a recommended bet! SOLAR NIGHT is seldom far off the action and is one for the shortlist – the apprentice claim will be a huge positive. VOLATILE ENERGY won well last time and could run well again – he is the value bet on today’s card. (Warren Lenferna 2-1-7)
Preview: A tough race to close off proceedings at Durbanville this afternoon where all of: TRIP THE WILLOW (the first choice), WHISPERING LIGHT (better than her last run) and JACK AND JILL have to be included. Jack And Jill ran well on debut and could improve to go very close to winning. (Warren Lenferna 2-1-7)
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