Rafeef’s Daughter Special Variety Set To Notch Third Victory
Regular winner Calvin Habib will be in the saddle
Rafeef’s son, Aragosta, disappointed in the Hollywoodbets Durban July but his daughter, Special Variety, looks worth a punt in the final leg of the Pick Six at Turffontein on Saturday.
Rafeef’s progeny have done well this term — notably Master Archie — and Special Variety has chipped in with two wins from seven starts for trainer Ashley Fortune.
With the filly’s regular pilot, Ryan Munger, not at the meeting, the ride has gone to Calvin Habib, who has booted home more than 60 winners this season. He will be pleased his mount has drawn well in stall four.
It is understandable that bookmakers have priced up Emerald Princess as favourite — the daughter of Gimmethegreenlight is trained by Paul Peter and there were lots to like about June’s win on the Turffontein inside track.
Though not well drawn, Golden Aspen rates an each-way chance for Corné Spies, but Special Variety can notch the third win of her career.
It looks like a five-leg Pick Six for punters as Adam and Mike Azzie’s three-year-old, Arilena, rates a banker bet in the fourth race. This R430,000 daughter of Silvano ran second on her debut here in June and should have the measure of another Peter runner, La Banquiere.
Owner Suzette Viljoen will have found Captain’s Ransom’s defeat at Greyville a hard pill to swallow, but she co-owns three-year-old It’s About Time, who is one of three Peter runners in the sixth race.
It is surely significant that Warren Kennedy has elected to partner It’s About Time though he’ll be expecting a challenge from stablemate Kwite A Trip.
Top weight of 62kg could anchor former Glen Kotzen inmate Casa Inverno, but the filly might complete the trifecta for the Peter stable.
The only runner with a chance of upsetting the trio is Goliath Heron with Clinton Binda booking man-of-the-moment S’manga Khumalo to partner the six-year-old. He finished second on the gelding in a race at Scottsville in 2019.
Owner Dave Scott and his friends have had more downs than ups with their four-year-old Humble Tune, but Khumalo nearly got the gelding home at odds of 33-1 at the Vaal recently.
Khumalo rides Candice Dawson’s charge again in the seventh race and — in a thin contest — his mount may have most to fear from Billy Ruiters’ recent winner, Quattro Passi.
Mover And Shaker Unlikely To Be Seen Again This Season
The Fabiab Habib stable’s racing manager Jonathan Nassif said BSA Sales Cup (colts and geldings) winner Mover And Shaker would unlikely be seen out again this season.
He said, “I think we going to put him away and give him a chance.”
He added it was hard to acquire good horses but easy to effect their careers by over racing them early.
Mover And Shaker bounced out from a good draw of three to take the lead in the Hollywoodbets Durban July day 1300m event.
He relaxed beautifully in front with his head in his chest on a long rein which allowed S’Manga Khumalo to dictate.
Khumalo switched him towards the outside for a run and the 33/1 shot stayed on well to beat the hot favourite Now I Got You by a quarter of a length.
The Mauritzfontein-bred son of B Twenty One, a six-time winning Silvano daughter of Grade 2 winner Park Lane (Elliodor), was purchased for R400,000 at the BSA August Two-year-old sale last year.
Jonathan said, “I had one or two big buyers at the Sale.”
One of them was Jimmy Sarkis.
He continued, “Dominic Zaki earmarked this Rafeef colt and said to me go and have a look because ‘he is a proper horse’ and when I saw him I loved him. I liked every thing about him, he was a good walker, he had a good action and was nicely put together and well balanced.”
He added, “I bought him on blood too. He is very well bred. His mother won a few races over 2000m plus, so the further we go with him the better he will be.”
Jimmy Sarkis agreed he should be bid for.
There are now many owners in the syndicate and among them is another big Gauteng-based owner Laurence Wernars.
The partners in the horse are Messrs J Sarkis,G J Nassif,J Nassif,S H Pieterse,G Stravino,L Stravino,P G Stravino,J F & L M F Wernars,Mr J H & Mrs A De Lange & Tri-Deal Sixteen CC.
Jonathan said, “From day one we rated him, but he was actually a pressure horse because he was showing phenomenal work and he let us down. We did one or two changes including gelding him and trying the tongue tie, and that has done the trick.”
Mover And Shaker’s long odds in the BSA Sales Cup were not surprising because the first glance at his form was not inspiring.
After a close second over 1000m second time out he then finished a 13,50 length eighth over 1160m.
However, he did have an unfavourable low draw in the latter race and it has also turned out to be one of the best two-year-old maiden form races of the season. Seven winners have come out of it so far, including easy Grade 1 Gold Medallion winner Thunderstruck (Rafeef).
Jonathan added, “Everything went wrong in that race. We had just relocated to Turffontein (from The Vaal) and the horses hadn’t settled down. He was drawn on the wrong side of the track and he came out and over-raced. He ran to a point where he looked like he was going to win, but he had just had enough. So it was back to the drawing board and that is when we decided on the gelding and tongue tie so he could put it in and thank God it has come through.”
Jonathan explained the tactics that were discussed.
“Leading wasn’t ideal. The plan was to get him out from the draw and place him if there was enough speed, otherwise let him have a soft lead and let him quicken at the top of the straight.”
The plan worked to perfection.
Jonathan concluded, “It’s hard for a two-year-old to travel down from Jo’burg to Durban and set the pace but he is a horse who is full of heart and lot’s of ability and thank God he has done the job.”
Plenty more is likely to be heard about Mover And Shaker.
Picture: Mover And Shaker led in by Jonathan Nassif (left of horse) and a host of other partners on Saturday (Candiese Lenferna).
Sporting Life Speculate On Real Reasons For Gosden/Dettori Reunion
Cancel the divorce lawyers – Frankie and Johnny renew their vows.
There’s something irredeemably sad about a famous couple splitting up in old age.
Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall are back on the market as they head to the divorce courts aged 91 and 66, but what are we to make of the fact that another famous old couple are making up after one of the more dramatic public spats in recent racing history?
John Gosden initiated proceedings with his carefully crafted ‘sabbatical’ statement less than two weeks ago and ended the short-lived separation yesterday when announcing that Frankie Dettori was back in the fold to ride Inspiral in the Falmouth and Emily Upjohn in the Irish Oaks.
It’s John’s right to insist this was a necessary kick up the arse designed to get his mercurial rider back on point; it’s Frankie’s right to continue saying little outside of a brief RTV piece last week; and it’s our right to speculate on a few less-publicised factors that might have helped make this one of the shortest celebrity breakups on record.
The TIF: Also known as the Thady Intervention Factor. Perhaps the lad who will inherit the shop in due course was right behind his old man in benching Dettori. Or maybe the real Slim Thady played diplomat to help heal the rift. Young Thaddeus isn’t saying much. But I wouldn’t take a short price about option B.
The RFF: Aka the Reverse Ferret Factor. John’s ability to seduce the media with the honeyed word is unmatched but some of it just doesn’t stand up. Take the “I’m pleased Frankie has just got on with it and is getting rides everywhere” line. The bloke has had one solitary ride in Britain and two in Germany since Royal Ascot, for goodness sake.
The OOF (part one): Aka the Owners Opining Factor. I often wonder if Sheikh Mo leaned on Jim Bolger to run New Approach in the Derby but major owners often have strong views. It’s hard to think Cheveley Park (and Juddmonte) were content to lose Frankie with no top-class sub lined up. Still, it worked out well for Jolly Jim in 2008. And it might work out nicely for Big John if Inspiral and Emily do the business.
The OOF (part two): Aka the Other Offers Factor. Doors tend to open when superstars are free to roam and it’s clear from his RTV chat that Frankie is already eyeing an international tour before he retires. Only he knows whether there were offers from America as a bridge to the farewell tour but cutting the sabbatical short was a canny move from Gosden – just in case.
The WTF: Last but by no means least, the Weekend Traffic Factor. Did you not see how the Eclipse and Lancashire Oaks panned out? Gosden missed out on one big one at Sandown and might have seen another slip by at Haydock but for Free Wind’s agility. It might take a while to hear Frankie’s full version of Frexit and how his Italian pride was wounded. But world-class riders who make a difference on big days are few and far between. Over to you, Inspiral, Emily and, who knows, maybe even Stradivarius?
Japan’s Sodashi Is The Best White Thoroughbred In History
Sodashi, who won the Victoria Mile on Sunday, May 22, in Tokyo, has a rare genetic anomaly and may be the greatest thoroughbred of her kind.
Victor Mather (New York Times)
Sodashi won the Victoria Mile on May 22 with a closing rally and received an especially loud roar from the fans at Tokyo Racecourse. The cheers did not come exclusively from those who had bet her to win at 5-1. The filly has become a sensation in Japanese horse racing circles because of her color: pure white.
White thoroughbred horses are exceedingly rare: As few as one in 100,000 are considered pure white. To qualify, the horse’s entire coat must be white and cannot have any other colors. Sodashi meets that definition.
Other light-colored horses that you might see at the track are registered as gray (a mixture of black and white hairs) or roan (red or brown and white). Some of these may become whiter as they grow older but still don’t qualify as the rare white horse.
Plenty of gray and roan horses have fared well over the years, including Kentucky Derby winners like Spectacular Bid in 1979, Winning Colors in 1988 and Silver Charm in 1997. But the handful of white horses hadn’t really distinguished themselves until Sodashi came along.
Sodashi is the first white horse in Japan to win a Group One race and, with white horses in other nations just as rare, would have to be considered the best ever of her color.
Recent research has shown that white horses are the product of spontaneous gene mutations. Some of those mutations are dominant, so horses can potentially pass on the white color no matter whom they are mated with.
Sodashi’s sire, Kurofune, was gray. But the key to her color is undoubtedly found on her mother’s side. Her dam, Buchiko, was striking in her own way, white with chestnut-colored spots. Her dam’s dam, Shirayukihime, was, like her granddaughter, pure white. (Shirayukihime translates as “snow white.”)
Sodashi first gained attention with a streak of five straight wins in 2020 and 2021 that included the Japanese 1000 Guineas. But she then had a bad run of form until a return to her best on Sunday. Her exploits have earned her the nickname the White Wonder.
The sight of the snow-white Sodashi dashing through the field had a cinematic quality. The impression was amplified by the jockey Hayato Yoshida’s unusual all-white bridle.
“As today’s race included a very strong field, it was like a dream for a white horse to be able to win a Group One race at Tokyo Racecourse,” Yoshida told Japan Racing.
The win qualifies the 4-year-old Sodashi to run in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf in early November at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., as well as two big French races in August and September. It’s not clear whether she will participate: Her trainer Naosuke Sugai has not yet made a decision on any international travel for the filly. Wherever she goes, she will no doubt make a startling visual impression.
Picture: Sodashi (Kurofune) wins the Victoria Mile.(Japan Racing Association via YouTube)
Winter Smoke, Galla Vanting, Captain Lannister On CTS Horses In Training Sale At Turffontein (16 July)
The CTS RTR SALE 2022 will be held at Kenilworth Racecourse.
Please complete the above form IN FULL and return to: email@example.com
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Has a white thoroughbred ever been born in South Africa?
See Answer At The End Of Newsletter
Picture: Group 1 winner in Japan, Sodashi (Kurofune) (Pininterest).
Newmarket July Festival 2022 Day 3 (Saturday) Tips
By Steve Chambers
14:40 Newmarket – bet365 Mile Handicap
Charlie Appleby won this race 12 months ago and the Godolphin handler will attempt to retain his crown on Saturday as he saddles both Bay Of Honour and New Kingdom in the 1m contest, and of that pair the former looks to be the most likely contender for glory. However, the pair could struggle to get the better of Richard Hannon’s LAASUDOOD, who has been hugely progressive this season, and could well be open to more improvement, as the War Front colt bids for a third win in five starts.
A winner at Kempton on his second start, he was then beaten by Secret State at Nottingham in a novice stakes, but that form has been boosted with the winner that day going on to claim victory in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot, and Hannon’s charge built on that Nottingham run by landing a Doncaster handicap with consummate ease. Upped 7lbs for that victory on Town Moor, Laasudood will need to improve again, but he shaped like he could be on the road to be rated in the 100s, and he can sparkle at Newmarket on Saturday and land this prize around the 3/1 mark.
14:40 Newmarket – bet365 Mile Handicap
15:15 Newmarket – bet365 Superlative Stakes
Won by the top class juvenile Native Trail last season, the Superlative Stakes can often throw up a future 2000 Guineas contender and the 2022 renewal looks no different with a small, but select field going to post. Mark Johnston’s Lion Of War has recorded a brace of impressive wins so far during his fledgling career and having won at Leicester on debut he then went on to claim a fine win at Newcastle. Installed as a 33/1 shot for the Guineas next season, the son of Roaring Lion has to be a leading player here.
However, the Charlie Appleby team can strike gold again in this event as they unleash the hugely exciting VICTORY DANCE, who has only been seen once on the track, but his debut success saw him enter into the 2000 Guineas betting at 33/1. The expensive foal (700,000gns) was sent off an odds-on favourite on debut at Newmarket a few weeks ago and the Dubawi colt managed to narrowly get his head in front, and he’s sure to improve significantly for that experience. Returning to the same track on Saturday, Victory Dance is unlikely to be as green in this contest, and if he can show his qualities then he can prove to be good for his rivals.
15:15 Newmarket – bet365 Superlative Stakes
Victory Dance 13/8
15:50 Newmarket – bet365 Bunbury Cup
Arguably the toughest betting race on the entire card is the Bunbury Cup, which takes place at 15:50 and the market is headed by Montassib, who lost his unbeaten run at Royal Ascot. Having found slight traffic problems the William Haggas-trained raider managed to finish fifth in the Buckingham Palace Stakes and he will run off the same mark of 97 today and looks a major player.
John & Thady Gosden will saddle a huge contender in the shape of SAMBURU, who was another seen at Royal Ascot, and the Kingman colt was seen finishing sixth in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes. Another that went to the Royal meeting unbeaten, Samburu was a little keen through the early stages of the race and was just unable to see out his race in that event. So, if he can relax a bit more in this event, and with the drop back to handicap company sure to aid his chances then the Gosden team can claim victory in what is a thrilling contest.
2022 Bunbury Cup
16:25 Newmarket – Darley July Cup
Impressive Commonwealth Cup winner Perfect Power will bid for more Group 1 success on Saturday when he lines up in the July Cup, and the three-year-old dominates the betting as he looks to down his older rivals in a vintage renewal of the showpiece event of the card. Travelling smoothly at Royal Ascot, Richard Fahey’s charge produced a stunning burst of pace to get the better of Flaming Rib, who also lines up in this event, and the pair have to be huge players for this prize, with Perfect Power likely to prevai.
But, with a hugely competitive field going to the 6f start then there could be some each-way value and the standout selection is TWILIGHT JET, who is available at 25/1, at the time of writing, and while he was a distant last in the Commonwealth Cup, he had previously shown some notable form and he could well make the frame. A winner of the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket at the back end of last season, the son of Twilight Son booked his place at Ascot with a taking Group 3 win at Naas, and while he needs to improve on that effort he’s certainly better than his Commonwealth Cup showing, and he’s worth taking a chance on.
Twilight Jet (EW) 25/1
Picture: The July Course at Newmarket (www.horseracing.net)
Turffontein Standside Saturday July 9 Fields
Hollywoodbets Scottsville Sunday July 10 Fields
Today’s Question Answer
Mike McHardy of Rathmor Stud in the Kwazulu-Natal midlands was given the fright of his life on September 15 2011 when his top Rakeen broodmare Perakeen gave birth to a white foal by Summerhill Stud stallion Kahal.
It was the first time in South African history that a white thoroughbred foal had been born.
The layman would be surprised to learn this as many “white” throughbreds are seen, even at the racecourse.
However, these horses are actually greys.
Greys are born with a base colour, usually bay, chestnut or black, but an inherited gene slowly removes pigment from the coat and they might eventually appear to be white.
The white colt was named Gran Blanco.
White patterned horses of any breed fall under a category of horse known as Pinto.
The Rathmor stud colt had an unusual pattern called Medicine Hat in that he was white all over except for his ears which were chestnut .
McHardy said at the time, “It was frightening. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad and at first I wondered why this had to happen to one of my best mares. He is definitely by Kahal, there is no doubt.”
The world’s first ever white thoroughbred registered was a filly born in 1963 in Kentucky called White Beauty. She was a genetic mutation.
By the end of 2005, only 48 white thoroughbreds had been registered in history, but 28 of these occurred between 2001 and 2005 as a result of the American Paint Horse Association, which specifically breeds unusually coloured thoroughbreds and quarter horses.
White colouring, whether white markings, white patterns or dominant white, is collectively known as depigmentation phenotypes, and is caused by areas of skin that lack pigment cells.
It has various genetic causes, but much of the genetics behind all-white depigmentation phenotypes is still unknown.
Alan Bechard, a Midlands veterinarian, sent a DNA sample of the Rathmor Stud foal to Onderstepoort where experts confirmed the parentage and attempt to identify the genes that had caused the colouring.
Northern Dancer, the great stallion who appears in most thoroughbred pedigrees today, is said to be an example of a minimally marked sabino, a colour pattern that falls under the Pinto term, and he and some of his offspring have occasionally passed on this gene.
Gran Blanco has Northern Dancer in his male and female lines and this is perhaps where the colouring could have originated from.
Perakeen, who is by the Northern Dancer sire Rakeen, won five races and was a runner up in a Grade 3 and a Listed race.
She has produced three winners including the four-time winner Lucy In The Sky (Noble Tune), who runs for the Brett Webber yard at Turffontein tomorrow.
Gran Blanco’s first owners could not afford his upkeep bought back in a dispersal sale.
He was in training with Robbie Sage for a while but did not have the best of legs and never made it to the races.
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