FOUR first-timers from the stable made promising debuts at Scottsville on Wednesday, Erfaan (photo) best of all, but there were two disappointments from older runners.
Sheikh Hamdan of Dubai has enjoyed a very good run of winners and newcomer Erfaan (Kevin Shea) strode away to a comfortable success in a 1200m Maiden Plate. He’s by Fort Wood from Arabian Secret, a talented filly that was trained by the stable several years ago and sold on to Moutonshoek Stud when her her career was over.
“Erfaan’s nice, I think he will develop into a a useful horse,” said Mike.
Ellle Rassa, a daughter of Toreador, failed by a whisker to Paul Lafferty’s charge Turbo Friday, with Shea doing duty for a rival stable this time and winning a race MuziYeni would have wanted on his list of victories.
Shea would be glad to retain the ride next time on another Fort Wood offspring Eucalyptus, a close fourth on her 1200m debut. She’s a half-sister to stakes-winning stayers Treaj Pots and Sweetie Pie, which makes hers a remarkably good run as all indications are that she, too, will come into her own over more ground.
Spy Glass (Fort Wood – Lorngette), falls in more or less the same category. He was thereabouts, showed for a while and just faded out late in his own sprint pipeopener and Mike commnented: “You can watch this one, he’s a smart sort.”
Assistant trainer Nathan Kotzen on the unplaced runs of the fancied favourites South Ranger and Fisani, saying: “Fisani over-raced from her draw, she went fast and ran out of steam, she’llk come on for this run. South Ranger’s weak run is simply inexplicable. He was fine after the race and this morning (Thursday) when I pulled him out he trotted out perfectly, he was floating! It’s hard to explain, this happens sometimes.”