KAHAL mare Witchcraft (16-1) dictated the R300 000 Gr3 Track and Ball Oaks over 2400m at Scottsville on Saturday to win the race for the second time running.
In-form Lyle Hewitson rode a well-judged race, rolling in front and then quickening clear into an unassailable position. Witchcraft won by Witchcraft won by 3.75-lengths from Meryl, who was doing her best work late and Flichity By Far, who started favourite but couldn’t get into a challenging position as she seemed a bit flat-footed on the day.
Witchcraft packs plenty of ability, but she’s not the most consistent five-year-old around, hence her big odds before he title defence.
Trainer Sean Tarry commented: “We’ve been pulling our hair out with her, we could’ve sent her to stud but she improved again to win. Perhaps she comes well at this time of year, I can’t say it’s the coastal weather because she was trained at Randjesfontein and we raided with her.
“I’d rather contend it’s distance thing. Witchcraft has tried 2400m twice and she’s won over it twice. All over she’s been a good servant and we may take our chances with her in the Gold Cup before she goes to stud,” he said.
Withcraft is a graduate of the Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale graduate,where she fetched R400,000. She has now won six races and placed eight times places from 23 starts, with earnings of R838 925 for the partnership of Chris van Niekerk, Bruce Gardner and Ken Truter.