PUNTERS would have noticed that three-year-old colt Watusi finished a combined 81 lengths behind in four pathetically poor career runs leading up to Saturday’s ninth race over 2000m at Turffontein. He started at 80-1.
Watusi, unsighted in the mentioned races, this time showed good pace over the toughest 2000m in the land, made his way purposefully the front with 400m to go, and then produced an all-heart finish under big pressure. Headed over the last 200m, he found another kick to win from Soldier’s Song.
Watusi wasn’t gelded before this race. There was no equipment change. Perhaps his older rivals gave this officially two-year-old (late November foal), a break as his merit rating was lower than a government minister’s IQ and he was in the region of 12kg out on weight-for-age terms.
Watusi had a sample collected for analysis, and trainer A Peter, acting on behalf of trainer PA Peter, was questioned by the Stipes regarding this unbelievable run.
The stipes report reads: “When afforded the opportunity to explain to the Board the improved performance of WATUSI, Assistant Trainer Peter could offer the Board no suitable explanation. His attention was drawn to the Rules pertaining to In and Out running.”
Ten days ago, when the same stable’s Blue Moon City (beaten a combined 61 lengths in three previous starts) won as he liked at the Vaal assistant Trainer A Peter, acting on behalf of trainer P A Peter, was also questioned regarding the improved performance.
On that occasion he explained that Blue Moon City had over-raced and compounded in his first two starts, the trainer then subsequently opted for different tactics in his last race and the Vaal race by dropping this gelding out and having it to run on strongly. Assistant Trainer A Peter also highlighted that in his opinion, he thought this was a particularly weak field. These two factors attributed to an improved performance.