IT makes logical sense that horses that can win over 3200m are very fit, but what about their jockeys?
Apprentice Callan Murray had to work hard in Saturday’s Lanzerac Le General Kenilworth Cup, a listed event over 3200m in which his mount, Smart Mart, had to be kept in touch throughout to win a battle of tactics in a field of six stayers in which every runner had a chance of sorts.
The gallop changed from slow to slower and then a bit faster as the respective riders tried to outwit each other for most of the long and gruelling journey.
Smart Mart (inside) earned his keep with a workmanlike win, and jock Callan Murray was thanking his stars for being fit and well himself in a tough race that required persistent, hard race-riding !
It was going a but ding-dong up front as they raced int0 the home bed, but Callan got Smart Mart into a narrow lead with 300m to run. They were headed by challenger Three Balloons with just 100m left to the line, but he kept driving vigorously and Smart Back edged back again to get the verdict close home.
The winner is a five-year-old by Mambo in Seattle, bred by Moutonshoek and owned by Ferdi and Liz Ladeira, Gerald Sadlier, Chris Gerber and a group of veterinarians including Drs Bennie van der Merwe and Terry Casey.
“We thought that this was an ideal race for Smart Mart so we supplemented him into it,” said Mike de Kock. “”Well done to all involved.”
He spoke about Al Fahad, who finished fifth in the Gr2 Selangor Cup over 1600m: “I think we’ll take the good from this run. Al Fahad was green and unsettled around the left-handed bend. He lost his way, ran in snatches. It looked like he was fading out and then he stayed on well again late.
“This was a field of good quality and the 1600m looks on the short side for Al Fahad now, he needs further. I’m bringing him back to Johannesburg and give him a break. He’s a good horse, he will be back.”