Upsets at Turffontein put punters in the ‘poor house’
Bookies beaming after Turffontein favourites bite the dust
Let’s not beat about the bush. Saturday’s Turffontein results put punters in the “poor house” — without question the worst meeting for upsets in 2019.
Here’s a list of the flops:
2nd race: Zillzaal — it looked just a stroll around the city track on merit-ratings for the Silvano colt who had been on my shortlist of possible Durban July winners. After this defeat, he is off it.
3rd race: Eskimo Kisses — Gavin Lerena has not been able to get her out of the maidens in five attempts. She is proving decidedly costly to follow.
4th race: Captain Flynt — after two promising runs, it was understandable this son of Captain Al attracted plenty of support. Same disappointment as race three.
5th race: Many pundits regarded Comaneci as the meeting’s banker bet — especially with Richard Fourie booked for the ride. However, money lost again as Basilius had no trouble giving her 5,5kg.
6th race: Perhaps a race where a result looked possible although Rockin Russian’s runs behind Takingthepeace had many believing she would be up to winning her second race.
7th race: Jonathan Snaith had warned Oh Susanna had a number of factors against her in the Empress Club Stakes and so it proved. But if the favourite was to be beaten, it surely had to be at the hands of just three other runners — Cascapedia, Nafaayes or Celtic Sea. I doubt if many bookies even wrote a ticket about Robbie Hill’s winner, Camphoratus. She had been beaten five lengths by High Sea Beauty on her penultimate start and was now running in a grade 1.
The one happy fact about the filly's win is that she is co-owned by one of Joburg's most flamboyant characters, Gerald Sadlier. While he loves nothing better than to tickle up the bookies in both horseracing and other sports, he surely cannot have driven to the course with any expectations of being in the number one box after the R1m race.
But that is what exactly happened, so hats off to Gerald and Robbie (he did buy a round in Kelvin's bar later on) and to Rob Pickering who bred the daughter of Byword at his Middlefield Stud.
8th race: Lyle Hewitson’s meeting did not get any better with the favourite, Jetorio, never at the races. The filly’s dam, Met winner River Jetez, would have been embarrassed by her daughter’s no show.
9th race: Just when you thought it could not get any worse, Fire And Rescue, in which this writer owns a leg, proceeded to turn in the worst run of his career resulting in the cancellation of any lavish Saturday night dinner. “I’m afraid the stable is going through a bit of a lull, but he’ll be back,” said Alec Laird.
10th race: Regal Graduation boasts a formline of three wins and a number of places this season, but punters trying to get out of jail on Gavin Lerena’s mount fell deeper into the mire.
At least Lerena did not return home without a winner as his first race ride, True To Life, built on her excellent debut win when she caught connections by surprise. Not many Lerena horses start at 13-1.
I remember when Robin Bruss, still for my money the most knowledgeable guy in the sport, offered the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade for sale at the National Sales and was gobsmacked when she failed to make R200k. Well, strange how things turn out as I’m sure he and Roy Magner are now eyeing a tilt at the SA Fillies Sprint at Scottsville.
Final word from bookmaker Lance Michael’s long-serving assistant, Eric Chiappa. “Not out of turn for us to have a good day like this.”
Happily for Australian racing fans, the script went according to plan and there was no upset with superstar racemare, Winx, winning on her final racecourse bow at Randwick racecourse in Sydney.
Winx’s victory in the grade 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes was her 33rd consecutive win and the media were searching for new superlatives to honour a horse who has captured the hearts of the Australian public.
Winx’s trainer, Chris Waller, said: “Saturday really was something special. It will be remembered forever. Her fans really got behind her, not just in Australia, but around the world. It was pretty obvious it was a big sporting moment and one that generations will keep in their minds for a long time.”
Winx now retires to stud. “It's opening up another chapter —we’re looking forward to her being a mother.”