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Pistol Pete in Race 1 stands out as the best bet on tomorrow’s Turffontein card. Picture: JC Photographics

Tony Peter-trained youngster to enhance his reputation after facile debut win

Jack Milner (The Citizen)

Years ago, in another life, I travelled the world following the international tennis tour and I have to admit that Pete Sampras was my favourite men’s player in those years.

He introduced an elegance to the sport not seen in many years and he displayed humility with the media, always stating that it was vital to keep one’s feet on the ground and not become your own No 1 fan.

He was best known for his penetrating service and probably still can claim to have the best second serve in the sport. As a result, he was nicknamed Pistol Pete by the media and public.

One can never be sure when one names a racehorse that it will be able to live up to the assigned label, but based on his debut performance, trainer Tony Peter looks to have a promising performer in his yard.

It is unlikely Sampras was the man fully in the minds of those who named the colt as he is by Buffalo Bill Cody, a gunfighter and showman out of the old American West, who is probably the true source of this colt’s designation.

However he got it, Pistol Pete looks likely to do both Buffalo Bill and Sampras proud when he lines up for his second outing in Race 1 at Turffontein tomorrow, a Juvenile Plate over 1000m on the Standside track.

He attracted good betting support on debut, shortening from an opening call of 9-2 to go off at 14-10 and the result was never in doubt. He jumped to the front from the off, showed tremendous speed from the start, and went on to beat Ready Set Fire by 2.25 lengths over 1000m on the Vaal Classic track.

He is opposed by just five runners at Turffontein of which his stable companion, Bellissivar, looks an optimistic entry. Candice Dawson-trained Address The Nation won on debut, but only narrowly, and did not give the impression that sprinting will be his forte, especially the minimum 1000m.

One runner who could be a huge danger is Vercingetorix newcomer Cymric trained by Johan Janse van Vuuren. Van Vuuren likes to take on winners with his runners at this time of the year and the betting will need to be watched closely.

There could be two other good bets on the card, and both look possible bankers in the exotics. Mike de Kock-trained Marauding Horde will be most people’s idea of a banker bet for the exotics.

This colt, who has been runnerup in both starts, runs in Race 6, a Maiden Plate over 1800m.

Clearly bred for some ground, he ran a cracker on debut when kicking on strongly at the finish behind a promising sort in Presley.

Marauding Horde was expected to win his second start but once again found one better on the day in the form of Blackberry Breeze. The step up to 1800m will suit and he is back on the course of his good debut effort.

The other likely banker is Mid Winter Wind in Race 9, a MR 85 Handicap over 1160m. The son of What A Winter placed in his first two starts after which he was gelded. He finished second in his first start back but put it all together in his next outing when annihilating his opposition to beat There’s A Light by 4.20 lengths over 1200m on the Inside track.

The Sean Tarry-trained gelding is having his first run in handicap company but is expected to improve further with that confidence-boosting victory under his belt.