Tail Of The Comet leaves them in his wake (Wayne Marks)
At this time last year the strength of the three-year-old male crop lay with Western Cape-trained horses, but that is not the case this season and the Sean Tarry-trained Tail Of The Comet illustrated that point at Hollywoodbets Durbanville on Saturday when slamming them in the Cape Racing Sales The Ready To Run Stakes over 1400m despite the race not panning out well for him.
He joins Sandringham Summit (Highveld), Main Defender (Highveld), the sidelined Lucky Lad (Highveld), GimmeAnotherChance (Highveld) and the Frank Robinson-trained unbeaten pair Sovereign State and Mexican Pete as the most taked about male sophomores to date.
The Western Cape’s winter was blighted by record rainfalls which might have hampered the preparation of some of their best three-year-old males. Good ones are sure to emerge from that powerful region sooner or later.
However, the highest rated entry in the Gr 3 Cape Classic this weekend is the 101-rated Dean Kannemeyer-trained Green With Envy, who won his first two starts well but then only managed fifth in a handicap off his current mark.
Tail Of The Comet was uncomfortable in the early stages of Saturday’s race as he was quite far back and the horse in front of him was battling to keep up with the fair temp.
Richard Fourie eventually switched Tail Of The Comet, so he was briefly running wde withiut cover around the turn, but he did then manage to slot him in again.
In the straight the progressive Gimmethegreenlight colt turned it on in superb style to win by a commanding 4,25 lengths from the useful Candice Dawson-trrained filly Just Be Lekker, to whom he gave 2,5kg.
He was rated 106 beforehand while Just Be Lekker was rated 97, but he did look to have plenty left when crossing the line.
Earlier in the day on the Highveld, Zinovi franked his form when winning a Progress Plate over 1450m by 4,75 lengths against decent older horses.
Tail Of The Comet had beaten Zinovi by 6,40 lengths when they met at level weights in a Graduation Plate over 1450m.
That augurs well for his chances of becoming a star.
Fourie described him as “an interesting horse”, because he has never before been on a Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas prospect who has not come in via the normal classic horse route..
Tail Of The Comet’s merit rating might well change if Just Be Lekker is made the line horse. She was coming off a fine 1,30 length third in the Gr 2 Betway Jo’Burg Spring Fillies and Mares Challenge over 1450m with only top older horses Feather Boa and Captain Peg ahead of her and Graded winners Emirate Gina, Marigold Hotel and Gimme A Shot behind her. So she is no slouch and Tail Of The Comet won easing up without having had the best trip.
The Eric Sands-trained 87-rated Querari gelding Sail To THe Moon stayed on well for a 5,25 length third and he was followed home by the Piet Botha-trained 77-rated Potala Palace filly Easy Money and the Glen Kotzen-trained 82-rated Querari gelding Paschendaele.
Time will tell how good the Nadeson Park Stud-bred Tail Of The Comet is, but he certainly looks the part.
Karel Miedema’s raceform awarded him an ability rating (AR) of 103 for Saturday’s effort, ten points higher than anything he had achieved in three previous runs.
That rating can be compared to Charles Dickens AR of 109 for his Cape Classic run over 1400m a year ago and to the 106 AR Main Defender was awarded by Miedema in his demoloition job in the Gr 2 Betway Jo’burg Spring Challenge over 1450m.
Delighted Keagan de Melo Bags First Hong Kong Double
Keagan de Melo enjoys his victory aboard Rising From Ashes at Sha Tin on Sunday. It was his first Sha Tin victory and he went on to post his first Hong Kong double with a pair of Class Two victories. (HKJC).
‘I’m on an upwards curve right now’
South African rider snares first Sha Tin win at the 23rd time of asking, while taking Francis Lui to the top of the trainers’ championship in the process
by Jack Dawling (South China Morning Post)
After saluting on Rising From Ashes in the penultimate contest of the day, the South African jockey steered home Atullibigeal in the finale to record successive wins and complete a 255-1 double.
Heading into Sunday’s meeting, De Melo had gone 22 rides without a win at Sha Tin, and he was relieved to break that duck.
“I’m absolutely delighted, and it’s great to get a first win at Sha Tin. It’s been a struggle here, but I think the quality of rides I had today proved it is possible,” De Melo said.
“I think my better rides have been at Happy Valley, so it’s nice to pick up some good ones today and I look forward to getting better ones again.”
Crowned champion jockey in South Africa last year, De Melo snared his first win in Hong Kong on just his fourth ride, and the first-season jockey hopes Sunday’s brace can springboard him to further success.
“I’ve settled in very well. It’s getting easier to adapt to a lot of things here and obviously the racing is always competitive. You’ve just got to take it day by day but I think I’m on an upwards curve right now,” he said.
The 30-year-old, who has seven Group One wins to his name among over 1,200 career victories, recorded a fourth win for the season in the Swimming Handicap (1,800m) aboard $23 shot, Rising From Ashes.
A first-up winner over 1,600m at Happy Valley, the six-year-old was making his first appearance at Sha Tin for over 18 months, and relished the step up in trip.
Taking a keen hold, De Melo waited in midfield before urging his mount forward 400m from home.
After hitting the front 150m out, the Francis Lui Kin-wai-trained galloper edged clear to provide his handler with a 13th victory of the season and take him to the top of the premiership.
“It was his first time at Sha Tin for a while, and he was up in class, so I wasn’t that confident, but he had a nice draw and a light weight,” Lui said.
“You look at how he ran today and I think the switch [from Happy Valley to Sha Tin] made no difference.”
It was a similar story in the finale, with De Melo settling Atullibigeal in a similar position to Rising With Ashes from gate two before assuming the lead in the closing stages of the Equestrian Handicap (1,400m).
“He’s been racing against some good opposition in the past, and I was just very lucky that the gaps opened up,” the rider said of Atullibigeal.
Sha Tin’s dirt track takes centre stage on Wednesday evening, with eight races held on the all-weather surface.
After Sunday’s success, De Melo hopes to transfer his recent good form to the midweek meeting.
“I think it’s going to be a long evening on the dirt, but I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
Dynasty Mare Olma’s Colt Fetches 215,000 Gns at Tatts HIT Sale
Olma winning the Gr 3 Flamboyant Stakes on New Years Day 2016 (Picture: Candiese Lenferna)
The former Frank Robinson-trained Gr 3 Kings Cup and Gr 3 Flamboyant Stakes winner Olma, who was by Dynasty, had a bay colt by Wootton Bassett on the Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale today (Monday) and he fetched 215,000 Guineas knocked down to Sam Wright Bloodstock/KPF Bloodstock.
In his only start to date the Wootton Bassett colt Rascal Recknell ran a close third in a Newcomers Maiden Stakes event over seven furlongs at Sandown in August.
He was trained by Owen Burrows and both the winner of that race as well as the runner up and fourth placed horses have come out and won since, so the form has been well franked.
The details of Lot 370 Rascal Recknell’s purchase can be found below:
The sale started today, 23 October, and ends on the 27th.
Gimme And One World Stars Of CRS RTR Sale
This One World colt consigned by Soetendal Estate as agent was the Sales topper at the Cape Racing Sales Ready To Run and Unbroken 2YO Sale held on Sunday at Hollywoodbets Durbanville. One World’s former trainer Vaughan Marshall bought him for R1.4 million. (Picture: Cape Racing Sales)
Vaughan Marshall trained the great racehorse and sire Captain Al, he trained the latter’s son, the Met-winning One World, and he went to R1,4 million yesterday (Sunday) to buy a son of One World at the Cape Racing Sales Ready To Run and Unbroken 2YO Sale at Hollywoodbets Durbanville.
The colt, consigned by Soetendal Estate as agent and named One Stripe, is out of the Silvano mare Silver Stripe, who won three races including the Listed Spook Express Handicap over 2450m. Silver Stripe is a fulll-sister to Gr 3 Winter Derby winner Gifted For Glory and a three-quarters sister to the Silvano pair Clematis and Flying Silver, who are Listed-placed horses. Silver Stripe is a daughter of the Gr 1 Paddock Stakes winner Badger’s Gift (Badger’s Drift). One Stripe displayed a big action and some zip in his breeze up.
The Drakenstein Stud-based One World’s other five lots went for R300,000, R200,000, R200,000, R160,000 and R70,000 to give him an aggregate of R2,330,000 and an average of R388,000.
Twice national champion sire Gimmthegreenlight’s three lots aggregated R1,752,000 and averaged R575,000.
His top lot was a filly bought by Sandy Arundel for R800,000.
This filly is out of twice-winning Var mare Varsity Girl. The latter is a half-sister to the twice Gr 2 winner and Gr 3 winner MyFunnyValentine; they are out of the Gr 1 Allan Robertson winner Give Me Five (Goldkeeper). The filly is from the family of Gr 1 winners Attenborough, Consensual and Just Sensual and also from the family of Gr 1 runner up Al Sakeet.
The Gimmethegreenlight filly was also consigned by Soetendal Estate as agent.
The Kommet Syndicate bought a R500,000 Gimmethegreenlight filly bred by Klawervlei Stud. She is out of Captain Al mare Pure Power, a twice Listed winner.
Gimmethegeenlight’s other lot called Green Street was bought by Sean Tarry for R425,000. Consigned by Soetendal Estate as agent, this filly is out of a twice-winning Philanthropist mare who is in turn out of twice Gr 3-winner Trinity House (Captain Al), who is a half-sister to none other than Vercingetorix.
Vercingetorix had a below par sale by his standards, but nevertheless his three lots aggregated R1,140,000 and averaged R380,000.
His top lot was Bodacious Secret, a Maine Chance Farms-bred chestnut colt who is out of Best Kept Secret (Captain Al), a twice winner who is a full-sister to two Gr 1 winners in All Is Secret and The Secret Is Out. He was purchased by Spencer Cook for R600,000.
What A Winter aggregated R1,210,000 for an average of R302,500.
Bass Racing not surprisingly bought his top lot, a colt consigned by Soetendal Estate as Agent, for R425,000. He is out of an unraced Duke Of Marmalade mare who is a half-sister to the Candice Bass-Robinson-trained Gr 1-winning stalwart Trip Of Fortune.
Fire Away’s five lots were popular and he aggregated R1,295,000 and averaged R259,000.
His most expensive lot was bought by Form Bloodstock for R525,000.
This colt consigned by Target Acquired CC is called French Flame and is out of an unplaced Vaar mare, who is a half-sister to Listed-placed Baroness Mary (Dynasty). He showed a nice big action in his breeze up.
The WSB Met is the highlight of the Cape Racing season and produced a stiring finish last season as the Justin Snaith-trained Jet Dark (extreme outside) just got up under Richard Fourie to deny Kommetdidding (blue and red colours) (Photo: Cape Racing)
Cape Racing’s Summer Season of Champions: A Fusion of Heritage, Elegance, Excitement, and Innovation
Cape Town – Cape Racing’s Summer Season of Champions is almost here! The seven-feature race extravaganza promises a rebirth of the elegance and glamour of a bygone era, coupled with the thrill and excitement that horse racing delivers.
The Racing Renaissance will usher in the first phase of a new look Hollywoodbets Kenilworth, which is undergoing massive renovations over the next few years, with the vision of becoming a ground-breaking lifestyle destination that will be a first for the African continent.
Donovan Everitt, the Chief Operating Officer of Cape Racing, says: “Cape Racing is thrilled to introduce the 2023/2024 Cape Summer Season of Champions, aptly themed ‘The Racing Renaissance’. The Cape Summer Season of Champions is the start of a new era of lifestyle experiences at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth, with much more still to come.”
“Our commitment to innovation is evident in this first phase, as visitors will see with the state-of-the-art digital screens that are being installed throughout the building and on the course – including one of the largest outdoor screens in the country – and upgraded sound throughout the venue, designed to uplift the event and racing experiences, and creating a world-class audiovisual experience that has never been seen before.”
“Stay tuned for more innovation as we gear up to introduce an exciting Sports and Entertainment Experience with our Sportstainment offering during phase two in the upcoming year.”
Cape Racing Chairman Greg Bortz expands on the vision for the iconic venue: “Developments are underway for a 365-day-a-year, 24/7 lifestyle and entertainment complex, where the sport and stakeholders will benefit, as well as the local community.”
“The focus will be on a secure and convenient lifestyle centre of excellence, structured around horseracing and providing culinary, sporting and entertainment experiences, conferencing, and event facilities in the near future. Cape Turf Club members will enjoy privileges and access beyond racing events and benefit from all on offer. The Cape Summer Season of Champions is just a prelude to a new era in the industry.”
With most of the Season’s events free and open to the public, the series provides the perfect family-friendly entertainment. Highlights on the Summer Season of Champions include the L’Ormarins King’s Plate on January 6th and the World Sports Betting Cape Town Met – Cape Splendour on January 27th, both of which will be ticketed events. But the season offers plenty of other options to enjoy all the action at no cost, so mark your calendars for the following:
26 November – Cape Punters Cup: Join us as we jump out the gates into a new era of racing that blends tradition and innovation with the start of the Cape Summer Season of Champions. Prepare for an adrenaline rush as horse racing takes centre stage and delivers excitement like never before. Highlights include Food Trucks, Kids Zone, Live Music, and Horse Racing. FREE ENTRY
02 December – World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas: Celebrate the grace and power of thoroughbred horses as we embrace the spirit of elegance and speed at the first Grade 1 race of the season with the World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas. Indulge your taste buds with a delectable array of culinary delights, from gourmet treats to local flavours. The event is family-friendly, with a dedicated kids’ area to ensure that even the youngest guests have a blast. Highlights: Food Trucks, Kids Zone, Live Music, Horse Racing. FREE ENTRY
10 December – Cape Merchants: Cape Town Festival of Beer celebrates local and global brewing heritage and craft. Featuring more than 200 beers, this is the premier celebration of all things beer and will be the biggest yet. Experience the horse racing of the Cape Merchants Race while enjoying local brews and live music—highlights: Food Trucks, Kids Zone, Live Music, Horse Racing, and 60+ Local Breweries. Entry is free to the racecourse for those wanting to watch the races. Tickets will be required for the festival. FREE ENTRY TO THE RACECOURSE
16 December – Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas: Immerse yourself in Cape Town’s rich cultural heritage at the Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas Day, where the essence of the Mother City comes alive through thrilling Grade 1 horse racing, performances by the Kaapse Klopse, traditional Cape Town cuisine and a colourful festival that’s perfect for the whole family. Highlights: Food Trucks, Kids Zone, Live Music, Horse Racing, Kaapse Klopse. FREE ENTRY
06 January – L’Ormarins King’s Plate: Showcase your elegant blue and white outfits and capture those stylish L’Ormarins King’s Plate moments that epitomise the 163rd LKP race day that ends with a stylish party. Highlights: Food, Live Music, Horse Racing, Best Dressed competition with amazing prizes. TICKETS ON SALE SOON https://lormarinskingsplate.co.za/ for more information
27 January – World Sports Betting Cape Town Met: The 2024 edition of the World Sports Betting Cape Town MET is themed “Cape Splendour”, which encapsulates the breath-taking beauty and unique charm of Cape Town and celebrates its natural wonders, cultural heritage, and vibrant spirit. This will be a bigger, better Cape Town Met with a red carpet to show off those spectacular outfits; dress in your best Cape Town flair, drawing inspiration from the city’s landscapes, colours, and history. Highlights: Gourmet Food & Food Trucks, Picnics, VIP Hospitality, Live Music, Horse Racing, Best Dressed Competition, Betting into the World Pool. TICKETS FROM TICKETPRO: https://bit.ly/3LVwxF7
24 February – SplashOut Cape Town Seafood & Jazz Racing Festival: Welcome to an exciting fusion of Grade 1 horse racing, entertainment, and indulgence at the Splash Out Cape Derby: Seafood & Jazz Festival! Set against the illustrious Hollywoodbets Kenilworth Racecourse backdrop, this event promises soulful jazz melodies, a delectable seafood feast, heart-pounding horse racing, and endless entertainment for the entire family. Highlights: Gourmet Food & Food Trucks, Live Music, Horse Racing. FREE ENTRY.
Champagne Cocktail Waltzes In Again – Superstar In The Making?
Champagne Cocktail puts daylight between herself and the opposition (JC Photos)
Mike de Kock had a fine day on Saturday and looks to have a potential star in the Silvano Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfonetein Stud homebred filly Champagne Cocktail, who is out of the useful former De Kock-trained British mare Espumanti (Dansili).
Having won her debut by 7,50 lengths over 1700m, De Kock put her into a MR 89 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1800m, where she had to run off a 94 merit rating.
She was up against the like of Say Yes, a four-year-old Gimmethegreenlight filly who was going for a hattrick.
The time of Champagne Cocktail’s debut effort was not great, but on that occasion she was just about tripping over herself sitting behind the pacemaker as she is a big fillly with a big stride.
On this occasion JP van der Merwe took her to the front where she was able to use her big stride.
She set a nice gallop with ears pricked.
In the straight that big stride took her clear while still under the hands.
Van der Merwe shook the reins at the 200m mark and she stretched away from the nearest challenger Say Yes to win by five lengths.
Van der Merwe said, “She is quality, we will see how good she is later on.”
De Kock said, “I liked the way she did it, ears pricked, not green at all, not even first time out was she green, she didn’t shift her ground at all. Total professional and going the right way. These horses always create a bit of pressure, but I would rather have the pressure than not have it to be honest.”
He doesn’t believe she is a filly who needs a lot of racing and said she would either go for the Gr 3 Betway Fillies Mile on Betway Summer Cup day or the Gr 1 WSB Fillies Guineas on December 2.
He said he was leaning towards the latter race saying, “I believe she deserves a crack at it … we will raid in and let’s hope she gets a half decent draw.”
He added, “I think she is one of those horses who can go any distance you put her. She has the ability to relax and she has a massive stride. She probably puts them all under pressure in the first 1000m of a race. I think she will go the Oaks distance. The Triple Tiara is the obvious future with her here, but you can’t ignore the Fillies Guineas in Cape Town, that is always a quality race and quality fillies win it.”
De Kock later had an easy winner in the Danika Stud-bred Heavenly Blue colt Zinovi, who is owned by the ASSM Syndicate.
He won a Progress Plate by 4,75 lengths and this franked the form of his stablemate GimmeAnotherChance, who runs in the Gr 2 Betway Graham Beck Stakes on Saturday.
He has breathing issues and De Kock said an operation would eventually probably have to be done.
He has been impressed how well he has done with the breathing issue, so a successful operation could see him becoming some horse.
New Rule Could Save Muscutt From Conviction ?
Bevie’s Delight (far side) was tested positive for Trendione after dead-heating with stablemate Except Temptation in her last start (Candiese Lenferna Photography).
Horseracing owner and aficionado, attorney Robert Bloomberg, toiled for many years to bring the NHA’s “strict liability” rule into line with the six major racing jurisdictions around the world and he finally succeeded a couple of months ago.
It could well be a timely rule amendment for Summerveld trainer Peter Muscutt, because it might well save him from conviction in an inquiry, due to be held tomorrow, into a horse of his which was tested positive for a forbidden substance called Trendione.
Bloomberg explained, “My fight in bringing it into line was in allowing trainers to discharge the onus and burden of proof where contamination has taken place beyond their control and not merely being automatically guilty as the trainer of the horse that tested positive to a prohibited or forbidden substance”.
Rule 76.16 now states: 76.16 If a TRAINER and/or OWNER of a HORSE is convicted of a contravention of any of the subrules to RULE 73.2, it shall be mitigatory even to the extent of no penalty for such TRAINER and/or OWNER if he is able to conclusively prove in discharging the onus and burden of proof, that the TRAINER and/or OWNER took all reasonable precautions to prevent such positive finding of that PROHIBITED SUBSTANCE and to prove that the TRAINER and/or OWNER could not have reasonably foreseen the circumstances which led to the PROHIBITED SUBSTANCE from being present in the HORSE and that such positive finding resulted only from contamination. Notwithstanding the aforegoing, all affected horses shall be automatically disqualified and the provisions of RULE 67.7.8 shall apply mutatis mutandis.
A forbidden substance is not allowed in a horse at any time or in any amount.
However, Trendione is known around the world to be associated with a substance called Altrenogest, an oestrus suppressant, whose use is provided for in the provisions of the NHA’s Exempted Substances List.
The details about the Muscutt case, and how the cause of the positive was likely due to Altrenogest that was contaminated at manufacture stage, was published in an article by Turf Talk last week.
It would seem then that Muscutt will, as is reflected in the new rule, be able to conclusively prove in discharging the onus and burden of proof, that as the trainer of Bevie’s Delight he took all reasonable precautions to prevent such positive finding of Trendione and can prove that he could not have reasonably foreseen the circumstances which led to the Trendione from being present in the horse and that such positive finding resulted only from contamination.
If he succeeds in doing that he will not be convicted.
Yeni, Robinson, Wright Score Doubles
Mexican Pete proves he is effective on turf. The Master Of My Fate colt is unbeaten in three starts and in the 1600m contest on Monday gave Frank Robinson and owner Sid Moodley a double together and it was the first leg of a double for Muzi Yeni. (Candiese Lenferna Photography).
Muzi Yeni regained the lead in the national jockeys championship after a double on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly/turf meeting on Monday and Frank Robinson and Alyson Wright also scored doubles.
Yeni is now on 66 wins for the season at a strike rate of 16.34% and he is one win clear of Richard Fourie.
Alyson Wright’s double takes her into the lead in the KZN Trainers Championship with 15 wins at 12.30%.
She is two wins clear of Wendy Whitehead and Duncan Howells.
Robinson’s two wins were both for owner Sid Moodley and he is now on ten wins at 23.81%.
Linda Meech after winning a race on Thought Of That is with the joint trainer of the horse Ciaron Maher (AAP)
What outcry did the Australian horse Thought Of That cause in 2019?
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