ON a day of several racing highlights featuring The Charity Mile at Turffontein on Saturday, Buffalo Bill Cody (IRE) stood out for most.
Mike de Kock’s lightly-raced four-year-old colt brought gooseflesh to observers from the commentary box to the grandstand to the homes of armchair punters as he sped away to record his fourth win from five runs, well stripped after a five-month break in a MR103 Handicap over 1600m.
Bred in the Northern Hemisphere, Mike has always maintained that Buffalo Bill Cody will improve with maturity to extend his natural racing ability. He has taken firm steps towards his peak in his time off and with undoubtedly even more to come, he’s a racing prospect to be followed with great interest.
Buffalo Bill Cody has the element that separates top horses from good ones – he can quicken off a high cruising speed. When you think he’s at top speed, there’s another gear to come! He blew his rivals away early and, simply going through the motions for Randall Simons over the last 100m, clocked 96,48s. This was a tiny split slower than the time recorded over the same distance by Coral Fever, a hard-ridden Gr2 winner in a driving finish an hour earlier.
Mathew de Kock commented on Sunday: “Buffalo Bill Cody is very smart. He’s a machine. We’ll be sitting down to plan his next few races this week and putting our heads together because he is versatile and it looks like he’ll see out 1800m and even 2000m, so the Victory Moon Handicap and the Summer up are options, and of course the Queen’s Plate in January. But nothing is firm yet, we’ll see.”
Buffalo Bill Cody, by Redoute’s Choice from Buffalo Berry (Sri Pekan) races in the silks of Mary Slack.
The stable was quick off the mark in Race 2 over 1400m, the first contest in which jockeys were not allowed to ride with whips. ‘Hands-and-heels’ may be an archaic expression a few years from now – this is the way they were all ridden and Simons made no mistakes on three-year-old Hawwaam, a smart debut winner for Sheik Hamdan of Dubai.
“Hawwaam is most promising,” said Mathew. He just shifted late until Randall straightened him out but went on to win well from another first-timer Reach For The Line, with the favourite ten lengths back in third. One would have thought the newcomers would need the stick in a race like this, but they didn’t. I think both Hawwaam and Mr Azzie’s runner-up have good careers ahead of them. Ours will be considered for the Dingaans.”
Hawwaam is by Silvano from Halfway To Heaven, by Jet Master and was bred by the Wilgerbosdrift/Mauritzfontein partnership. He’s a half-brother to the late Chris Gerber’s unbeaten rising star, Rainbow Bridge.
Balustrade completed a stable treble in Race 10 over 1160m. Coming off a layoff, she was in contention at the 200m mark, looked beaten with 100m to run ut suddenly took off and won going away under another polished Simons ride.
“Balustrade is a nice type and our partners have been patient because she’s had a knee chip removed and was out for a while,” Mathew told of the filly, in which he owns a share alongside Mike, Charles Savage, Johnny Geroudis and Peter White.
“She’s well-bred, a sister to Bold Eagle which already gives her some paddock value and she’ll go on from here to win again,” Mathew concluded.