JOEY Ramsden told the media before Saturday’s Gr1 Mercury Sprint over 1200m at Greyville that Red Ray was “as good as he was before leaving for Dubai two years ago” and the high-riding trainer was right on the mark.
Red Ray, blinkers fitted first time, galloped his rivals off their feet under Anton Marcus and had two lengths to spare over Night Trip, Real Princess and Gulf Storm. Talktothestars was out of his ground from a wide draw but finished fastest in fifth, not disgraced.
Red Ray raced off a MR108, and having finished second in two previous Gr1’s and fourth in another off the same mark, his odds of 8-1 seemed generous.
“On raw ability, Red Ray is probably the best horse in the country, it was just a question of whether he’d bring his form to the track and he did,”” enthused Marcus after the race. “This was a dream result for the Mayfair (Speculators) team Of Markus Jooste and Derek Brugman. Red Ray broke well, the conditions suited him and he gave me his all.”
Ramsden: “We arrived a bit later in KZN this year, but it’s about having them right at the right time. Red Ray and Brutal Force were in Johannesburg, thanks to Markus for sending him back to me. He arrived one-million-and-ten percent from Mike de Kock.
Red Ray had one run for De Kock in Dubai in 2015 – he was fancied to go close in the Gr2 Al Fahidi Fort over 1600m but was beaten just over six lengths by Godolphin’s smart Safety Check and at the time De Kock was quoted as saying: “Red Ray raced too free and fresh and just needed it, we did expect more but his run was actually not as average as it may have appeared. He was only beaten six lengths and if you consider that the winner was four lengths ahead of the second horse, there is every reason to feel upbeat about Red Ray’s run. He’ll go on from here.”
Punters who’d been following Red Ray’s career would most certainly have helped themselves to at least the R3.10 available for a Saftote Place.
Red Ray is a five-year-old entire by Western Winter from Nacarat, by Pas De Quoi. He was an R800,000 purchase at the 2012 Ready To Run Sale.