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Dyce powers to victory in his usual head in the air style (Picture: Wayne Marks)

Vaal-based raiding trainer Lucky Houdalakis also pulled off a magnificent training feat on Saturday when his five-year-old William Longsword entire Dyce won the Gr 1 World Pool Cape Flying Championship

There was drama at the start when Equus Champion Sprinter and favourite for this race, the Peter Muscutt-trained Isivunguvungu, rushed the gate and cut himself on a rivet and had to be withdrawn.

The new respective favourite and second favourite Thunderstruck and Dyce dominated the race from the off, but it was Dyce who found etxra in the closing stages. He won by 0,40 lengths from a brave Thunderstruck and it was then a length further back to Bereave. Former Equus Champion Sprinter Rio Querari was next best ahead of Mr Cobbs.

Dyce converted odds of 5/2.

“I came to the Cape with a gun, not a peashooter,” said Houdalakis, renowned for training world class sprinter JJ The Jet Plane to seven Gr 1s, including the international Hong Kong Sprint.

Dyce has a screw in the left fetlock and previously did a tendon in his right leg.

However, Lucky Houdalakis is a horseman extraordinaire and said, “Time heals everything. I don’t like to force horses according to a set programme, but like to let the horse tell me when they are ready to go.”

Dyce showed huge ability as a two-year-old, culminating in a 4,30 length win in the Gr 2 Umkhomazi Stakes over 1200m at Hollywoodbets Greyville.

However, he was then laid off for 15 months.

In his comeback he won once and then placed second in the Grand Heritage and second in a 1400m race, before being laid off again for nine months.

He was kept to sprints in his second comeback and has won four out of five, including a Listed race, a Gr 3 and now a Gr 1 wfa event.

Lucky added, “I am just so happy for Dave Shawe… a homebred … this is what he’s been waiting for … his first group 1. Hopefully we can go on from here with many more. He’s such a good horse. I had to bring him. I didn’t want to bring him for the season, for the simple fact that he’s got his issues. I’ve got my tracks to work in (at the Vaal), so I’m happy”.

Dyce’s owner and breeder Dave Shawe said, “This is a plan come together. This boy looked stunning today. They had him spot-on”.

Jockey Craig Zackey said, “It is unfortunate that a top horse like Isivunguvungu got scratched. I was never scared of any horse in this race. I’ve bragged from last year about going into this race. I highlighted him. I stuck my neck out when I last won on him and said he is the best horse in the country. I think he’s made a good statement today. He’s become very special. He’s very important to us. I promised David that I was going to give him his first group 1”.
Karel Miedema awarded Dyce the highest Ability Rating of the meeting on his raceform website, 115. That can be compared to Double Superlative’s 112 and Princess Calla’s 109.