Dennis Bosch-trained filly Le Premiere was the second of three winners for underrated stallion Visioanire at the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly meeting on Monday this week. (Candiese Lenferna Photography).
Visionaire Meeting Treble Highlights Underrated Status
Visionaire has for a long time been one of the most underrated stallions in South Africa and is proving so again as he has one of the most exciting three-year-olds in the country, the Frank Robinson-trained Sovereign State.
A picture of devastation at Hassen Adams’ Nadeson Park Stud farm (Sporting Post picture).
Rains Cause Devastation To Hemel ‘N Aarde Valley Breeding Farms
The Nadeson Park stud farm of Hassen Adams was all but swept away by raging torrents caused by the relentless downpours in the Western Cape on Monday coupled with the cumulative effects of record rains over the winter. Thankfully all of the staff and horses withdrew to safety without incident.
David Hepburn-Brown’s Hemel ‘N Aarde Stud farm also reportedly suffered damage, although apparently not as bad as Nadeson Park.
Thankfully Barbara Sanne’s Oldlands Stud, also in the Hemel ‘N Aarde Valley, emerged unscathed despite being close to Nadeson Park.
The Sporting Post reported on the devastation at Nadeson Park.
Hassen Adams poured decades of passion in to the farm, but took a philosophical view on the devastating turn of events.
Kommetdieding winning the 2022 Met (Picture: Chase Liebenberg).
Kommetdieding Firing On All Cylinders
John Freeman has reported Klawervlei Stud-based July and Met-winning hero Kommetdieding to be showing all the signs of excellent fertility.
Senso Unico (scarlet, gold crossed sashes) fending off the challenge of Triple Time (Picture: Wayne Marks).
Senso Unico Comes Of Age
The big Vaughan Marshall-trained Twice Over gelding Senso Unico was always going to be a horse who needed time and he finally earned bold black type at the age five on Saturday at Hollywoodbets Durbanville.
The big galloper with the big stride is at his best on the back of a good pace over a testing distance and he finally got a good pace in the Listed Hollywoodbets Settlers Trophy over 2000m on Saturday.
He sat one wide one in midfield in the nine horse field after being rousted from a wide draw by Luyolo Mxothwa.
The Futurist set good fractions that neabled Senso Unico to use his big stride without being cramped for galloping room.
In the straight his resolute finish soon saw him take command as others began gasping for air.
However, he had to withstand a late surge by the favourite Triple Time and only just held on (by a head).
The latter was a touch unlucky as he had to switch all the way from the inside rail to the ouside of runners to get a clear run.
Senso Unico is owned by AN Foster and the Honorary Mrs GR Foster and was bred by AN Foster.
His connections will be hoping for more fast-paced races to bring out the best in the big gelding.
Rule Book brought home today (Tuesday) by Philasande Mxoli (JC Photos).
Rule Book Could Be A Stayer To Follow
The Alec Laird-trained Global View gelding Rule Book had the field stretched out like the washing when winning the last race over 2600m at Turffontein Inside today (Tuesday).
It was his fourth career win for owner Grant Cornwall.
He turned for home in midfield and ran on resolutely before fending off the challenge of the big stayer, Breeze Over, who started favourite at 2/1, to win by 1,75 lengths.
The third finisher American Grayson was beaten a further three lengths and the fourth and fifth placed horses, Over Two You and Flying First Class, were beaten eight and eleven lengths respectively.
Rule Book was actually beaten 3,50 lengths by Breeze Over last time out over the same course and distance and was today facing him on 1,5kg better terms.
However, Alec Laird said before the race, “Rule Book is terribly lazy at home, he gives nothing away, but he should be close to his peak now.”
This was his fourth run after a layoff of close to seven months.
He was only merit-rated 75 in today’s Middle Stakes event but was 2,5kg under sufferance with the best-weighted Flying First Class.
Hopefully, Alec can keep him ticking along at his peak for a while, because he looks to have the potential to win more races and maybe a feature race.
His four wins have been over 2000m, 2400m and twice over 2600m, which emphasises his stamina capacity.
Global View’s two Group wins were over 1600m (Gr 3) and 1700m (Gr 2), but he is by stamina influence Galileo.
Furthermore, Rule Book, who is out of a British-bred Medicean mare, is a half-brother to Archipenko gelding Royal Honour, who won the Listed Aquanaut Handicap over 2400m as well the Gr 2 Ok Grand Challenge over 1800m at Borrowdale in Zimbabwe.
Rule Book stays all day and looks to be one to follow, as he is still quite lightly raced for a five-year-old.
He had a six month layoff between June and December last year as well as that aforementioned layoff between January and late July this year, meaning he has only had 15 career runs to date.
Today’s runner up Breeze Over, a Mike and Adam Azzie Twice Over gelding who has had eleven starts for one win and no fewer than seven seconds, gave Rule Book 2kg and also looks to be a stayer who will pay to follow.
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).
Lucky Never Rolls The Dyce And They Come Back Strongly
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.
Dyce was one of the best two-year-olds 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.
Hewitson Double, Disappointing Support For De Melo
Lyle Hewitson rode a double at Sha Tin on Sunday to join compatriot Luke Ferraris on three wins for the season.
Alexis Badel delivers front-running masterclass on Healthy Happy
Healthy Happy claimed Hong Kong’s first black type victory of the 2023/24 season with success in the G3 Celebration Cup Handicap (1400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (24 September) when a belated reunion with Alexis Badel delivered drought-breaking triumph.
Badel has been aboard in three of Healthy Happy’s five Hong Kong wins – the 2021 Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m), the 2022 G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup Handicap (1400m) and today’s HK$4.2 million feature – but the Frenchman has not always been available to partner the seven-year-old.
“Someone asked me ‘Why did you only this time ask Alexis to ride the horse?’ and I told them ‘I always ask him, but he’s busy’,” trainer Frankie Lor joked after Badel’s flawless pace-setting display allowed Healthy Happy to lead from start to finish, clocking 1m 21.93s, to defeat Circuit Stellar and The Golden Scenery.
“He (Badel) controlled the pace very good. I’m very happy because this horse has gone a long time without winning. First-up is always best for him. Last season, he was beaten by a good horse, California Spangle, in this race first-up. This season, also first-up, he won.
“There are not many 1400m races for horses with high ratings (107), so maybe I’m looking at 1600m races. The Sha Tin Trophy on 15 October may be too close for him. The Jockey Club Mile on 19 November may be his next start. That would give him more time to rest and return to the races fresher.”
Winless in 15 starts since his 2022 Chinese Club Challenge Cup victory, Healthy Happy was able to saunter through first 600m today in a pedestrian 37.08s before Badel gradually upped the tempo.
“It was a lovely run, he’s a lovely horse. He likes to go forward and take the pace. He flew from the machines, so I was left alone very easily and I then increased a little bit the pace and the horse is very good early season using these tactics,” Badel said.
“He gave me a nice kick entering the home straight and he showed good stamina to resist. He’s been a lovely horse to me. I won a (Hong Kong) Classic Cup on him, so it’s one of my greatest memories in Hong Kong – it’s always difficult to win races, big races are even harder (to win). He just keeps trying very hard. He’s an honest horse and he’s been great to me.”
Lor and Badel crowned a productive afternoon when Happy Together snared the Class 3 HKU Faculties Of Arts And Education Handicap (1600m).
In the throes of an excellent start to the season, Francis Lui moved to the top of the Hong Kong trainers’ championship with eight wins to lead Caspar Fownes (five) and Danny Shum (five) after registering a treble with Always Fluke, Yellowfin and Packing Treadmill.
“I’m not surprised but it’s still satisfying because they’re the favourites and they all did well in the morning trackwork,” Lui said. “It’s still too early to say (about possible championship success), but if I can, I like to try.”
Still regaining full fitness following an off-season race fall, Vincent Ho slotted a double with wins aboard Super Legends for Shum and Always Fluke for Lui. Lui teamed with Lyle Hewitson and Yellowfin to snare in the Class 3 Hong Kong University Alumni Association Challenge Cup Handicap (1400m) before the pair struck with Packing Treadmill in the Class 2 HKU Foundation Handicap (1200m).
Antoine Hamelin savoured his first win of the season when Sparkling Knight posted his fifth win over Sha Tin’s 1000m course to land the Class 3 HKU Business School And Faculty Of Engineering Handicap (1000m) for Dennis Yip.
“I’m very happy. Like everyone, it’s a little bit tough this season – more than we’re used to – because there are less horses, more jockeys but we keep going on and we keep doing the best and when you have this horse and the support, it’s fine,” the Frenchman said.
Zac Purton combined with Ricky Yiu and talented Green N White after Michael Chang celebrated his first victory of the season when Bear Slam charged home under Andrea Atzeni to post his fourth career – and the veteran’s first since February, 2021.
Earlier, Pierre Ng-trained M M Nebula survived a desperate challenge under Matthew Chadwick from Zac Purton on Son Of Makfi.
Hong Kong racing continues at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (27 September).
Mxoli, Matsunyane Doubles
Philasande Mxoli and Kabelo Matsunyane both rode doubles at Tuesday’s Turffontein Inside track meeting.
Mxoli goes to 18 wins for the season and has achieved it at a strike rate of 18.37%.
Matsunyane is on 13 wins at 10.16%.
Who is the highest earning horse in world history?