Rascova powers home to an impressive victory (Picture: Wayne Marks)
Glen Kotzen Claims Two Big Scalps At One Meeting
Glen Kotzen was surprised to see Rascova in the lead in the Gr 2 Western Cape Fillies Championship over 1400m on Saturday at Hollywoodbets Durbanville, but thanks to the work done on her by Chad Little at home he would have been confident when seeing her relaxing in front, which allowed Craig Zackey to dictate.
She duly kicked on and it was clear from a long way out she was going to win.
She crossed the line 3,10 lengths clear, making a mockery of her 40/1 odds.
It was a first Gr 2 win for owner Sandy Arundel’s Itsa IT & Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd.
It was an emotional win and well deserved considering the money Sandy pours into the game.
Kotzen had said to Turf Talk in the build up, “She is very talented and what I do like about her this season is that last season she pulled and that cost her races – this season she has settled down. Chad Little has done a lot of work on her and she’s not so aggressive, so that should make a huge difference.”
He had said about her WSB Cape Fillies Guineas credentials, “She is out of a very, very fast female line, but she is by Lancaster Bomber and he got a mile easily and won his Group 1 over a mile, and she doesn’t look like a sprinter, she looks like a classic horse, so we’re hoping she gets the trip. She will definitely get the 1400m.”
He had told Zackey she was lighning quick out of the stalls so suggested he have her up there.
She pinged the gates perfectly and Zackey reckoned this had given her a three length advantage.
Her speeed enabled her to easily find the rail in front from a tough draw of eight, despite two of the potential pacemakers, her stablemate Royals and the fancied Justin Snaith-trained Double Grand Slam, having jumped from draws one and two respectively.
As a two-year-old Rascova had won on debut and had won a Listed race over 1100m third time out. Thereafter she ran a fifth, sixth, second and fourth in Gr 3, Gr 1, Gr 2 and Gr 1 races over 1200m, 1200m, 1400m and 1600m resepctively.
On Saturday, she was up against the champion Vercingetorix filly Mrs Geriatrix, who had beaten her by 6,60 lengths into sixth and 3,70 lengths into second in the Gr 1 Allan Robertson Championship over 1200m and the Gr 2 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Slipper over 1400m respectively.
Rascova was not surprisingly ignored by the punting public, especially as she had that draw of eight in the ten horse field.
Mrs Geriatrix had to give the whole field 2kg and drifted dramatically from 7/10 out to 14/10 as a flood of money came for the impressive, unexposed and well drawn Justin Snaith-trained Vercingetorix filly Double Grand Slam, who shortened from 25/2 in to 28/10.
The Candice Bass-Robinson-trained Winter Cloud, who was the Allan Robertson runner up and was a recent impressive winner over 1250m carrying 60kg against older horses, started 9/2.
The Candice Dawson-trained Highveld filly Just Be Lekker, runner up in the Cape Racing Sales Ready To Run Stakes, was the only other single figure runner at 8/1.
Mrs Geriatrix suffered an awful trip after being unable to find cover from draw five. She was in fact caught three wide throughout and was pulling early as Richard Fourie attempted, unsuccessfullly, to find an opportunity to slot her in. A line can likely be drawn through her eventual 5,60 length fifth.
Rascova quickened off the false rail and galloping resolutely looked the winner a long way out.
Double Grand Slam, who was covered up throughout in about seventh place, ran on well for second and is a a good WSB Cape Fillies Guineas prospect.
Royals was in the box seat and stayed on for a four length third while Gqeberha heroine, the Alan Greeff-trained Luna Halo, was a 4,10 length fourth after staying on well from a covered up handy position.
Winter Cloud, like the favourite, was a disappointment but did not enjoy the slow pace after being dropped out from a wide draw. She overraced and was eventually not persevered with, finishing a 13,60 length ninth.
Deceased Lancaster Bomber, who stood at Drakenstein Stud, was the champion freshman sire last season and is going to be a big loss.
Rascova was bred by Cheveley Stud and was purchased for R260 000 at the Cape Yearling Sale. She is out of the five-time winning Western Winter mare, Netsuke, and is a half-sister to multiple winners Emperors Decree (Legislate), Naoshima (Master Of My Fate) and Brave Viking (William Longsword).Now a winner of 3 races with 2 places from 8 starts, Rascova took her stakes earnings to R785 938.
Earlier, the Kotzen-trained four-year-old Dynasty gelding King Regent managed to beat the Equus Horse Of The Year Princess Calla over 1250m in the Turf Talk Syndicate Cape A Stakes over 1250m despite being 9kg under sufferance on official merit ratings.
In the build up Kotzen had blamed the rule in South Africa of not being allowed to jump out of the hood, as is allowed in some other countries, for King Regent’s in and out form because if the timing of the removal of the hood is not precise he tends to “bunny hop” out of the stalls.
On Saturday he got a good break from draw two which enabled him to get a tow from the perennial front-runner After The Rain, who always takes a strong hold.
He stayed on well and found a late surge to fend off the late challenge of Princess Calla, who had come from draw eight to sit on his quarter.
Kotzen has always had fine bounce back-ability.
It must have been a blow to him when he lost the crack colt Cousin Casey at the end of last season.
However, fortunes took an upswing in unexpected fashion recently.
A new stud farm called Paardeberg Stud moved in to a property “just up the road” from his Woodhill Racing Estate in the Paardeberg.
He was no longer in isolation, so this was an added boost to the one which had already been provided by the continual upswing in Cape Racing’s prospects thanks to the amazing business skills of Greg Bortz.
Furthermore, Paardeberg Stud have a fine stallion prospect in Expert Eye, a Breeders Cup Turf Mile winner by Acclamation, and this will be handy for the Kotzen family’s breeding interests.
Kotzen has alreedy been sent a few horses to train by Paardeberg Stud.