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Picture: The Roy Magner-trained Vaseem (Vercingetorix) will be out to retain the Spring Spree Stakes trophy (GC Photos).

Trainer will bid to win Saturday’s R175,000 Topbet Spring Spree Stakes at Turffontein for the third year running

David Mollett (Business Day)
Trainer Roy Magner arrived in SA having won three championships in Zimbabwe and remains respected by many as one of the best horsemen in the country. He was chosen by the connections of Kommetdieding as the man to look after the 2021 Durban July winner during his spell on the highveld.
Magner, who saddled 45 winners last term, will bid to win Saturday’s R175,000 Topbet Spring Spree Stakes at Turffontein for the third year running. His six-year-old, Vaseem, won 12 months ago and he is back for another tilt at the prize along with stablemates Rollwiththepunches and four-year-old Team Gold.
So — with three runners all boasting useful form — punters need help from the Randjesfontein trainer. Magner had this to say about his trio of runners:
Rollwiththepunches: “The big worry about him is his wide draw. If he’d been drawn, say 2, 3 or 4 I would have been a lot more bullish about his chances.”
Vaseem: “He won this race last year but has had issues with his feet. But he’s coming along nicely and I’m sure Muzi [Yeni] will be looking forward to partnering him again after his good second at Greyville.”
Gold Team: “He is a decent horse who ran against some top juveniles in his younger days. This trip [1,200m] might be a tad sharp but he’ll be running on.”
The final question, of course, was which of the trio he would back if given R100. The answer was Team Gold, so he’s got to be the selection. He is a 10-1 chance in early betting and therefore worth an each-way punt.
Jockey Raymond Danielson has built a good rapport with Team Gold with the past three starts yielding two wins and a second. When one considers that the gelding’s form includes finishing two and a half lengths behind Sentbydestiny and three parts of a length behind Castletown, it’s easy to understand Magner’s confidence.
The Hollywood syndicate will watch with considerable interest as it purchased Team Gold’s half-brother (by Rafeef) for R325,000 at the National Yearling Sales in April.
With S’manga Khumalo reunited with Sheela, it is Mike and Adam Azzie’s filly who may pose the main threat to the Magner trio. The bookies quote the daughter of The United States at 7-1.
Paul Peter’s runner, Val D’Orcia, is a five-time winner and the jockey reported “something amiss” when the four-year-old tailed off in the Mercury Sprint.
Keagan De Melo was in the saddle that day and he switches to top-weight Prince Of Fire. He is also a five-time winner but has to shoulder 62kg. He may battle to concede 8kg to Team Gold.
The supporting feature — the R150,000 Lady’s Stakes — sees some useful females race for the first prize of R93,750 and the chief contenders may be Kayla’s Champ, Bon Vivant, Mercury Rising and the lightly weighted Time For Glory.
Fanie Bronkhorst’s mare, Kayla’s Champ, is 7.5kg better off this time with Mercury Rising and the six-year-old could turn the tables.
Bon Vivant is unbeaten at the city track and is on the shortlist of possible winners, while Winning Form’s selection, Time For Glory, has a shout as the three-year-old has never carried such a light weight.
Brett Crawford’s three-year-old I Am Giant — a son of Querari bred by Alfie Dickerson — has been priced up 2-1 favourite for the eighth race after his impressive debut win.
Kabelo Matsunyane — among the winners at HollywoodbetsGreyville on Wednesday — will know this will be no walk in the park with the three-year-old taking on older horses — notably the Argentinian-bred gelding, South Boy.
If South Boy is not found wanting in his second start after a seven-month absence we could witness a close finish between the younger and older generations.
1st Race: No Selection
2nd Race: (1) Lunar Ballade (9) Hertzoggie (10) On The Guest List (6) Camerata
3rd Race: (1) Clap Of Thunder (2) The Inkosana (5) Poets Warrior (6) Prime Example
4th Race: (4) Raratonga Rose (5) Sassy (1) Dame Colleen (6) Ballycotton
5th Race: (5) Raiseahallelujah (4) Jamaila (6) Motown Magic (1) Green Haze
6th Race: (3) Kayla’s Champ (2) Bon Vivant (1) Mercury Rising (7) Time For Glory
7th Race: (10) Team Gold (5) Sheela (7) Rollwiththepunches (6) Vaseem
8th Race: (4) South Boy (2) I Am Giant (8) Winter Pearl (9) Texas Red
9th Race: (6) Bey Suyay (7) Legislate’s Dance (4) Foreign Field (10) Blonde Act