ON-course presenter Deez Dyanand revealed just before the start of the Turffontein Pick 6 that there were long queues of punters at the track’s betting windows. Chances are most of them didn’t get on – the pool was about R600,000 short of the projected R5,4 million but it’s fair to say that those who missed the boat sighed with relief after Race 4 went to 35-1 outsider William The Silent, near impossible to find on exposed form.

The son of VAR was speedy throughout in the Gr2 SA Nursery over 1160m, fought a battle with Cirillo and kept on strongly for a win, reversing his form with the unbeaten Bold Eagle and indeed with Cirillo, to the tune of about 12 lengths, shocking most racing fans.

Trainer Robbie Sage said in the post-race interview that William The Silent pulled up shin sore after his disappointing last run and that participation in this race was also touch-and-go, but the colt had trotted up well this week and was accepted to race.

The stunned silence and lost cash aside, there was merit in this win.  William The Silent held off the talented Cirillo as the raced side-by-side into the closing stages, despite showing signs of greenness.

“The more S’Manga Khumalo (on Cirillo) came at us, the more William The Silent gave me.  To do that for a full 200m says a lot,” commented jockey Aldo Domeyer, who rode a strong finish. “He’s a big baby, but a lovely horse. Mr Sage told me to give him a chance, but he used his stride and was up there quick.”

William The Silent was a R600,000 purchase at the 2017 National Yearling Sale. He was born from the Captain Al mare Tock Tock, raised at Drakenstein Stud and races for owner Colin Bird.