Is He The First SA Trainer To Land A Jackpot Of Wins?
The Brett Crawford yard achieved the rare feat of a Jackpot of wins at Hollywoodbets Durbanville’s midweek meeting last Tuesday and as a whole the yard look to be on an upward cycle as they have some promising youngsters.
A jackpot of wins is achieved every now and then by jockeys, but it is hard to recall a trainer ever doing it.
Crawford said, “I have won four races at a meeting twice before, but can’t remember having won four consecutive races. It was cool to do it.”
Even when Justin Snaith won a reported world record eight races in a day on Met day in 2016, including the first six of the meeting, he did not do the Jackpot.
Crawford might have achieved a South African first.
The stalwart Cape trainer went last season without a Grade 1 win.
It was the first time the yard had not won at the highest level since the 2010/2011 season.
A sequence of ten successive seasons with a Grade 1 win, most of which contained multiple Grade 1 wins, was thus broken.
However, the youngsters in the yard have been putting up their hands and can get the trend chart going upward again.
On Saturday at Durbanville in a maiden over 1250m, Crawford introduced the Klawervlei Stud-bred Twice Over colt Champion Warrior.
This big colt has plenty of substance coupled with a good action and won with consummate ease despite being noticeably green throughout. He was only half-a-length clear at the line, but after showing a good turn of foot in the straight he was ridden hands and heels by Luyolo Mxothwa and was being eased at the line.
He is owned by a member of Mauritius’ most famous racing dynasty, the Gujadhur family.
Mr A Gujadhur chose him at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale and bought him for a mere R85,000 before sending him to Crawford.
The yard thought highly of the horse before this debut, although assistant trainer Barry Donnelly was concerned about the track. Durbanville is a fast and relatively tight track and Champion Warrior is a big, classy galloper.
Barry represented the yard on Saturday and said, “But the way he did it was mind-blowing, it has confirmed what we had thought about the horse.”
Twice Over continues to be a stallion of tremendous value. with his cover fee for 2021 having been just “R10,000 with no nom and R10,000 live foal fee”.
The horse who clinched the Jackpot for Crawford last week, the Varsfontein Stud-bred Querari colt At My Command, is also an exciting prospect.
He powered clear in his first handicap, over 1400m, to win by 2,25 lengths, despite facing older horses off a 98 merit rating.
“He won a very good race,” said Crawford.
That brings Klawervlei Stud-bred Gimmethegreenlight gelding Port Louis into the equation, because this Khaya Stables-owned gelding was beaten a head by At My Command over 1400m as a two-year-old and later beat At My Command when running second in the Grade 3 WSB Langerman over 1500m.
Another of Crawford’s jackpot winners last week, the Futura colt Le Morne, remained unbeaten in two starts when winning a Classified Stakes race over 1400m fluently in the famous Gujadhur light blue with a red chevron and cap colours. He is owned by Mr. T Gujadhur and JM Lim Fat.
Up in Johannesburg the AC Dickerson-bred Querari colt I Am Giant is a classy individual who was beaten by the tightness of the Turffontein Inside track over 1200m second time out. He was caught on the rail a bit far back and by the time his giant stride had been wound up to its full capacity the bird had flown. He was closing in for a 1,50 length second, a fine effort under any circumstance running off a 90 merit rating in just his second career start. More will be heard of this Laurence Wernars-owned colt, who won by a commanding three lengths on debut over 1200m.
The Drakenstein homebred filly Future Girl (Futura) won easily second time out over 1200m at the end of last season.
The Ridgemont Highlands-bred Alpine Challenge (What A Winter) won easily on debut as a young juvenile and, although a touch disappointing since then, this 90-rated sprinter could still improve.
Meanwhile, Zapatillas (Master Of My Fate) has recovered from the fetlock injury which saw him scratched from the Hollywoodbets Durban July and Crawford hopes to see him in the L’Ormarins King’s Plate and WSB Met. He is back in Cape Town.
Older horses who could earn more black type are Walk Of Fame (Dynasty) and Winchester Mansion (Trippi), among others.