CLOSELY contested finishes make racing doubly exciting, especially when you’re on the winning end of the battle. Indira (Turffontein Saturday) and Pine Princess (Clairwood Saturday), both came out narrow winners after putting their heads down on the line in fast-run races.
Jockey JP van der Merwe placed Mary Slack’s Indira just off the pace in a 1000m dash around the bend on the inside track. She had two lengths to find behind a wall of horses with just 100m to run, but Van der Merwe saw some daylight on the running rail, went for the gap and got up a stride short of the post.
Indira, by Tiger Ridge from Rat Burana, has won four of 15 starts for Wilgerbosdrift Stud.
Maine Chance-bred Pine Princess, by Captain Al, boasts a record of three wins from four starts after her nailbiting win, but she showed lots of courage fighting off Banbury after the pair had gone stride-for-stride for 500m. She’s still learning how to race, and owners Dr Andreas and Mrs Natalie Jacobs, John Magnier and Mrs Paul Shanahan can look forward to more wins – this one looks to have a feature win in her.
Indira (black, red silks), needed late daylight to squeeze through on the running rail.
Pine Princess (nearest camera), drew to the line almost as one with Banbury.