Egyptian Mau winning on debut back in March (Picture: JC Photos).
One of the most eyecatching runs on Hollywoodbets Durban July day was produced by the Lucky Houdalakis-trained Fire Away filly Egyptian Mau.
She was caught hopelessly wide the whole way from a wide draw of 11 in the Gr 2 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Slipper over 1400m, yet her big stride still carried her to third place, beaten 3,95 lengths by superstar filly Mrs Geriatrix.
Lucky said about the rangy Fire Away filly, who is running on Sunday in the Gr 1 Douglas Whyte Stakes over 1600m, “She’s not drawn well again this time (draw 9), but I just hope we get one or two things in our favour. She’s got a good jock on he, he knows his way around that joint.”
The jockey he refers to is no less than Richard Fourie.
They say what used to give Anton Marcus such a terrific strike rate season after season, was because he used to take notice of the horses around him when riding a decent winner.
Fourie rides Mrs Geriatrix, so knows how good she is, and it is interesting that he phoned for the ride on Egyptian Mau.
It worked out well because incumbent rider Craig Zackey, whom Lucky said he would have been loyal to, is now first call rider for the Tony Peter yard. Therefore, Craig was booked to ride Bavarian Beauty.
Lucky said Egyptian Mau had come out of that last race well and she had been doing well.
Egyptian Mau, bred by Wilgerbosdrift Stud, was purchased at the BSA National Yearling Sale for R425,000.
Lucky had believed it worthwhile to go to that price because she is a half-sister to Rafeef gelding Munchkin.
The latter had the dogs barking before his debut and started favourite in a big, decent maiden field on Allied Steelrode Onamission Charity Mile day. He was unfortuinately mowed down late by Cian The Conqueror, but won second time out.
Lucky would have known how potentially good Munchkin was at the time of the Nationals Sale.
He said, “Being the half-sister was what made us look at her and Dave Shawe liked her so we got her.”
It is now looking to be a particularly good purchase for loyal owner Shawe, because freshman sire Fire Away is turning out to be a stallion with an exciting future, having already produced two individual stakes winners.
Houdalakis and Shawe have won a feature on World Pool Gold Cup day before, the crack William Longsword colt Dyce pulverising them by 4,30 lengths in the Gr 2 Epol Umkhomazi Stakes over 1200m two years ago.
Lucky described Dave Shawe as a loyal owner and would love to win a Grade 1 for him.
Perhaps, Egyptian Mau could be the one to do it.