MEADOW Magic’s consistency, courage and affinity for the sand track at the Vaal culminated on the right day as the five-year-old by Mogok landed Africa’s richest race on sand, late afternoon Thursday.
Meadow Magic, the lukewarm favourite in an open event, held on bravely to win the R600 000 Grade 2 Emerald Cup over 1450m from a low-flying Beacon Flare, and Captain’s Secret.
The obvious accolades were handed out – a good training feat for Mike de Kock’s team in Durban and Johannesburg and a powerful ride from Anton Marcus, but the Emerald Cup is never an easy race to win and Meadow Magic’s own desire to keep his head in front produced the bold effort that played the biggest part in his narrow success.
Assistant trainer Mathew De Kock pointed out: “He’s a horse with a big heart. We had a good draw and the sand suited us, Anton rode a masterful race but this was all Meadow Magic. He did it courageously.”
From his favourable stall gate, Meadow Magic was quickly in the firing line and he turned for home galloping freely near the lead. With three, four runners more or less at his girth and keen to contest matters, it was clear a long way out that the race would be decided by sheer guts – the most relentless galloper would win.
Meadow Magic pulled it through by digging down deep on the surface in the days of yore touted as an all-weather track. He delivered a trifle extra because he really wanted to get there first!
Beacon Flare came storming up standside – jockey Sean Veale throwing the kitchen sink and probably the bathtub too at his fast-finishing mount – but Meadow Magic had done just enough and he got the spoils by a quarter of a length.
“Funny old game, racing,” commented the ever-reliable Marcus, who picked up the winning ride after his original mount, In A Rush, had been withdrawn.
Meadow Magic is owned by the partnership of Larry Nestadt, Greg Blank, Marshall Finlay, Philip Georgas and Selwyn Nathan, who weren’t able to attend the rescheduled event but would be truly delighted with the nobility of their steed – the type of horse anyone would love to own.
Meadow Magic, raised in the paddocks of the brothers Scott, is now a six-time winner from 15 starts and he’s earned nearly three-quarters of a million South African rants for the boys to split among them.
Photo: Meadow Magic (blue silks), with the winning post a stride or two away and Beacon Flare nipping at his heels.
How we spotted a potential Emerald Cup winner early. Follow the comments on mikedekockracing.com.