Dyce wins easing up on Saturday (JC Photos).
The Lucky Houdalakis/Dave Shaw combination is becoming an increasing force and they landed two stakes races with two exciting horses on Saturday, Dyce and Egyptian Mau, who were both ridden to victory by Craig Zackey.
It is unusual to call a five-year-old “exciting” but the William Longsword entire Dyce has twice made comebacks from lengthy breaks, the first 15 months and the second nearly nine months, and he has thus only had eleven career starts.
He made it win number five in the Listed Golden Loom Handicap over 1000m at Turffontein Standside on Saturday.
He showed his usual high cruising speed and high head carriage while sitting behind the pacey Mover And Shaker from a nice draw of six in the nine horse field.
He then sliced between horses afer switching outward won easing up by two lengths.
His merit rating of 106 proved to be inadequate and the NHA handicappers have raised him a whopping ten points to 116. This might be based on I Am Giant, whom he beat by four lengths, being used as the line horse. At a factor of 2.3 pounds per length over that distance he would get 9.2 points and the extra 0.8 to take it to ten has probably been awarded due to the ease of victory.
The 116 merit rating is still 14 short of the two highest rated sprinters in the land, Isivunguvungu and Gimme A Prince.
However, Lucky was surprised to hear of the ten horse raise, believing he would get six at the most. If I Am Giant was indeed the line horse he questioned whether he was a 1000m horse.
Although Dyce has some long term Gr 1 wfa targets, it must be remembered that there are only three Gr 1 wfa sprints during the year and the higher the merit rating the harder it is too both place and win with a horse in the in-between races.
Lucky said Dyce had pulled up very well from the race and said the Gr 1 Cape Flying Championship was on the agenda, but only as a raider, and he said he would not be going to Cape Town for the whole season. He said there were races for him in Jo’Burg before then.
Karel Miedema awarded Dyce a 103 Ability Rating for the win.
The three-year-old Fire Away filly Egyptian Mau made it a quick double for Houdalakis, Shawe and Zackey in the Gr 3 HSH Princess Charlene Starling Stakes over 1400m.
Zackey placed her beautifully on the rail from draw three in the ten horse field.
The long-striding bay was able to get a tow from the hot favourite White Pearl until just before the 400m mark and had mastered her by the 200m mark, making her run inside of the latter and down the centre of the track. When White Pearl, who had been touched off at level weights in her previous start by the champion Mrs Geriatrix, fought back Egyptian Mau found extra to repel her and beat her by 0,40 lengths.
Egyptian Mau was raised five points to 110.
Lucky said the Wikgerbosdrift Triple Tiara was always in the back of one’s mind for Egyptian Mau.
However, he said even though the pedigree suggested she would stay a trip, only a race ever told whether they did or not.
The Gr 3 Betway Fillies Mile on Betway Summer Cup day November 25 looks the obvious short term target for Egyptian Mau.