SHEIKH Hamdan of Dubai and Mary Slack had two winners apiece on a top weekend for the stable in Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal, a fifth winner going to Markus and Ingrid Jooste.
On the headline photo, Anthony Delpech, in Sheikh Hamdan’s blue-and-white silks on Pilot, beats stablemate Jetsons (Muzi Yeni, Slack’s black-and-red-silks), completing Sunday’s Scottsville meeting on a high note in Race 7 over 1400m.
This was Pilot’s second win from eight starts and the son of Jet Master is back on song, with scope for more future wins. Jetsons, too, is coming back to promising form and is one to keep an eye on in his next few starts.
Welwitschia, a 1-8 winner for happy punters.
Slack’s top filly Welwitschia started at prohibitive odds of 1-8 in Race 2 over 1450m at Turffontein’s inside track on Saturday, but her 1.50-length win was as popular as ever with punters, who cheered her and Delpech home.
This was Welwitschia’s fourth success from seven starts and the daughter of Oasis Dream is unbeaten on the inside track. She will be one of Mike’s pivots in the forthcoming Highveld Autumn Season and in Durban later this year.
Slack’s Kavanagh, recently gelded, turned in the type of performance he is capable of, winning a Pinnacle Stakes over 1450m in good style from Galanthus.
Kavanagh, ridden along and won well.
Delpech placed Kavanagh in second, chasing the pacemaker, and he said: “I rode Kavanagh hard today. He is a very talented horse but we had to geld him. Mary wasn’t too keen on having him gelded but I am so happy he won today, Mary deserves the success, she’s a great patron. Thanks to her for all the support!”
He added: “Kavanagh had more in the tank winning today, but he’s best over 1200m and 1400m, a mile maximum. He ran a good race, gave me what I asked and he can go on from here.”
Third-placed Solo Traveller, in his first run for the stable, looked well in himself and ran on best of all under Weichong Marwing. He is another for the notebook and Mike will be licking his lips to get this one over a more suitable trip.
Royal Ridge, fast time.
The Hamdan-owned Royal Ridge was ridden in a similar way to Kavanagh. He settled in second, travelling well in another 1450m event, moved up at the 300m mark and took over to win smartly, putting two lengths between himself and well-performed three-year-old, Tandragee.
“Royal Ridge is a horse with ability, he will improve more from here on,” Delpech said.
It was interesting to note that Royal Ridge posted a markedly faster time over the course and distance than both of his winning stablemates had recorded earlier.
The first stable winner at Scottsville was the Jooste-owned Halabaloo, a three-year-old son of Kahal and Gr1 winner, Bridal Paths. He raced green and was changing legs, but looks to have plenty of promise and jockey Anton Marcus said: “I can describe this as a workmanlike win, but I’d like to think he will improve a lot once the penny drops.”
Halabaloo, watch once the penny drops.