THE stable is approaching good competitive form and things kept ticking over while Mike was travelling between Mauritius and Hong Kong fulfilling various commitments recently.
The last week produced five winners, four saddled by Mathew de Kock and his team at Randjesfontein. The fifth came from Nathan Kotzen and John Buckler at Summerveld, where fewer runners have been entered recently as the action has moved upcountry.
Mathew and apprentice Ryan Munger got the ball rolling at Turffontein last Saturday when consistent four-year-old filly Semra posted her second win from nine starts, winning a Graduation Plate over 1600m. “She was disappointing in her run on sand last time, when we fancied her to go close, but it looks like she prefers turf. Ryan rode a good race,” said Mathew afterwards.
It was third-time lucky for three-year-old colt Casciano, a beaten favourite over 1400m on Greyville’s Polytrack last month. He cracked it over the same trip at Scottsville for Anthony Delpech and, being lightly-raced and stoutly-bred, should go on to win again.
Lava Flow made his debut against winners as a late two-year-old, taking second place to Grade 1 contender Fire Horse over 1400m at Turffontein. He came out stronger and more experienced over the straight 1400m at the Vaal last Tuesday and galloped his rivals off their feet under S’Manga Khumalo, winning by 3.50-lengths with much more improvement to come.
A R1,6-million yearling, Lava Flow is a half-brother to speedy eight-time winner Chant De Nuit, from the family of Gr1 winner Ethereal Lady. He has a touch of class.
Later in the day apprentice Akash Aucharuz was seen to advantage with a well-judged ride on 6-1 shot Jet Avenger, who recorded an overdue second career win over the straight mile, defeating his former stablemate, the capable Rocco’s Luck.
Guy From Dubai was well overdue when he won his Maiden at the ninth attempt back in July, but he followed up within three runs after that, showing a liking for the marathon 2600m at Turffontein on Saturday with a game Pinnacle Plate success under replacement rider Marco van Rensburg. Guy From Dubai’s dam was a Listed winner over 2450m at this very track and she’s passed on her stamina to this young gelding, who is unlikely to fade from prominence over ground now that he’s found winning confidence.
Here are the winning photos, courtesy of JC Photos and Gold Circle.
Saturday 6 September, Graduation Plate, 1400m, Turffontein
SEMRA, 4bf by Jet Master from Exceptional (x Equalize)
Breeder: Al Adiyaat South Africa (Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum)
Owner: Al Adiyaat South Africa.
Jockey: R Munger
Sunday 7 September, Maiden Plate, 1400m, Scottsville
CASCIANO, 3bc by Kahal from Bella Lea (x Gallic League)
Breeder: Somerset Stud
Owner: Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Jockey: A Delpech
Tuesday, 9 September, Maiden Plate, 1600m, Vaal:
LAVA FLOW, 3 bc by Western Winter from French Sun (x Elliodor)
Breeder: Lammerskraal Stud
Owner: Al Adiyaat South Africa
Jockey: S Khumalo
MR80 Handicap, 1600m
JET AVENGER, 4bg by Jet Master from Pacific Gem (x Model Man)
Breeder: Patricia Divine Investments
Owner: Mrs I Jooste and Mrs MJ Jooste
Jockey: A Acharuz
Saturday, 13 September, Pinnacle Plate, 2600m, Turffontein
GUY FROM DUBAI, 4bg by Right Approach from Limerick (x Fort Wood)
Breeder: Wilgerbosdrift Stud
Owner: Mr MF de Kock
Jockey: M van Rensburg