MIKE de Kock and Anthony Delpech didn’t want to “get carried away” after Muwaary (AUS) had doddled Saturday’s Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m at Turffontein. On reflection Sunday, however, they’ll be looking forward to his next few runs with some anticipation.
Delpech felt that Sheikh Hamdan’s hard-galloping three-year-old “hadn’t beaten much” following the scratching of ante-post favourite Bull Valley. Mike shared his sentiments, noting that the two Ready To Run Cups worth a joint R4,5-million had owners and trainers “chasing the money” earlier in the day, leaving Muwaary to test his mettle against runners rated between 6 and 20 points below his 100-rating in a Graded race worth a pitiful R250,000.
Muwaary, in a class of his own. (JC Photos).
The stable would not have dismissed the big loot if they had runners that qualified for R2R, but that’s not the issue. Rich Non Black Type sweepstakes races staged on the same afternoon as a low-prized Graded event for three-year-olds are bound to attract more highly-rated runners. The greater the discrepancy in prize money between these races, the greater the distraction from the quality and the value of the Graded contest as a classic yardstick. This is something the Racing Operator should not forget to consider when programming their feature race calendars.
All that said, and in our customary fashion of comparing recorded race times over a given distance, let’s look at the reasons why the connections of Muwaary can draw much encouragement from his 2.25-length win, post-race.
Muwaary (rated 100), clocked 84,80s over the distance. This compares well with the times set by previous winners of the Graham Beck like Kavanagh (85,23s) and Astro News (84,24s) but more importantly was the fastest time on Saturday over this trip.
Lineker (rated 100) won the BSA Ready To Run Cup in a time of 85,91s after a hard-fought finish.
Champagne Haze (rated 90) won the CTS Ready To Run Cup in a time of 85,37, defeating the to this point unbeaten Rabada (rated 111), who posted 85,93s.
Starling Stakes winner Madame Du Bois (rated 102), completed the 1400m journey in 86,18s.
In looking at the above we’d like to say, ‘Bring On The Opposition Going Forward!”
Mike’s official comments after the race were: “In his last run Muwaary was beaten 1.55-lengths by Seventh Plain (in the Gr1 Golden Horseshoe over 1400m at Greyville), but that was from a wide draw. It’s almost impossible to win from that deep at Greyville. You need a horse that is well above average and things have to go your way in the race.
“When Muwaary came back to Johannesburg we put him away in the paddock for three or four weeks. He had a good rest and furnished well and he’s come along very nicely. Well done to Sheik Hamdan, Angus Gold and the Shadwell Team.”
Muwaary, raised by JE Abrahams (NSW) and purchased at the Inglis Easter Sale, is a son of the deceased O’Reilly, a former multiple champion sire in New Zealand and Hong Kong. He sired 80 stakes winners including 16 individual Gr1 winners before his untimely death late last year.
The Centenary, full of running.
There is a NZ-HK connection too, in The Centenary, who scored a cracking win for the stable in the Gr3 Yellowwood Handicap over 1800m. She’s a four-year-old NZ-bred by Mastercraftsman and her owner Winston Chow is based in Hong Kong.
“I’m sure Winston would have listened to the race, well done to him,” Mike said after the Yellowwood when asked if news of the filly’s win would have filtered through to the Far East.
Randall Simons produced The Centenary with a sustained finish to win from Marmalady and Bilateral and Mile commented: “We changed her tactics, she loves coming from off them.”
The Centenary, by Mastercraftsman, has won five of 15 starts for stake earnings approaching R500,000.