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Picture: Clan The Conqueror (JC Photos)


The Allied Steelrode Onamission Charity Mile raceday at Turffontein kicked off with a bang when 100-long shot Cian The Conqeror sped down the outside of the track to beat tote favourite Munchkin by half a length in the card opener over 1160m.

Both the runners, trained by Corne Spies and Lucky Houdalakis respectivley, were on debut.

Third was the Ashley Fortune-trained Black Egret, who was having his second outing. Black Egret ran second to Mythical Dream on debut, a horse which has gone on to win twice more and is unbeaten after three runs.

“I knew that he (Cian The Conqueror) could run, but I really  didn’t expect him to beat this field today,” said Spies in the winner’s enclosure after the race.

“I expected him to still be all over the place. What a great start to the day.”

Johan Janse van Vuuren had an equally good start to the day when Southern Skies took the honours in Race 2, a Maiden Plate for fillies on Mares over 1160m. Also a debutante, she paid R5,90 for the win on the tote.

With the two debutantes winning the first two races, the first double on the day rewarded bettors with a R900 dividend.

“She’s a lovely filly,” said Janse van Vuuren of Southern Skies.

“We’ve  given her a couple of gallops with some really good horses. We thought that inexperience would be our biggest competitor today. That was also the message to the owners.

“She’s been very good at home and we’ve done a lot of work for her. I’m very happy for the owners.”

If the first two races caught punters off-guard, Race 3 had them pulling their hair out.

More than 90 percent of the Place Accumulator tickets were looking for a trash can after Triple Tiara legend Rain In Holland (pictured) finished last in the six-strong field, the first leg of the Place Accumulator.

It must be said that she was last out the stables and didn’t even do a single lap in the parade ring before the race, and going to post she did not look happy.

For a horse of  her calibre not to finish in the top three in such a small field was unthinkable, so it’s no surprise she was seen as a Place Accumulator banker.

But such is the nature of racing.