Skip to main content

Picture : Deserving owner Dave Shawe leads in Dyce, who returned from an eight month layoff to toy with the opposition in a Pinnacle Plate event over 1200m (JC Photos)

Horseman extraordinaire Lucky Houdalakis has an affinity for thoroughbreds like few others and this was highlighted yet again today at Turffontein Inside by an impressive win by the class act Dyce, who was returning from an eight month layoff.

The affable Houdalakis’ training motto is for the horses to do the talking and to tell him when they are ready.
Lucky diverted the accolades to owner Dave Shawe, whom he said never put pressure on him and allowed the horse to come back when he was ready and in the right race.

Dyce was one of the best two-year-old’s of his crop, culminating in a demolition job in the Grade 2 Epol Umkhomazi Stakes over 1200m at Hollywoodbets Greyville turf, which he won by 4,30 lengths.

However, an injury then kept him off the racetrack for 15 months.
In his comeback he won second time out in impressive style in a Graduation Plate over 1200m and then finished a narrow second in the Grand Heritage to stablemate Duke Of Sussex, to whom he gave 3,5kg.
Lucky’s wife Natalie said at the time, “The longer you give them, the better they come back.”
There is no taking chances or cutting corners in the Houdalakis yard, so no rolling of the dice, or Dyce, so to speak.
Dyce had one more run after the Grand Heritage before the the next injury put him out for eight months.
He came back today in a strong Pinnacle Stakes event over 1200m.
Dyce is a joy to watch because of his distinctive action in which he carries his head at a high, but not an awkward, angle.
He sat last in the running from a tough draw of nine, but after they had come off the elbow he treated the opposition like unraced maidens, scything through the centre like a hot knife through butter under Kabelo Matsunyane.
He beat Captain Hindsight by 1,25 lengths without appearing to come out of third gear.
The latter was going for a fifth win in his last six starts and jockey Chase Maujean reportedly thought he was on his way to another win before Dyce passed him “as if he was looking for parking.”
Admittedly Dyce was only carrying 52kg.
He was officially merit rated 102, but that put him 1kg under sufferance with the best-weighted 120-rated MK’s Pride, who carried 60kg and was beaten 9,60 lengths.
Dyce has the potential to rise well above his 102 merit rating.  
Lucky said Dyce had never been an unsound horse and his two setbacks were due to two completely different injuries.
Hopefully, he has an extended trot this time because even at the age of five this Titanium Racing-bred William Longsword entire is an exciting prospect.