Thursday’s Vaal meeting brought two exciting winners for us in three-year-old colt Cleaver Greene and four-year-old filly Right Choice, both winning over 1200m on the track proper.
We saddled our first winner for Joao Da Mata and Mike de Haast’s Interational Racing Club – their first horse/first runner with us, which made this a special win in all respects, even better by the manner in which he won!
Mike was a bit concerned that Cleaver Greene (Rafeef) wouldn’t be comfortable on a soft track because he has a low action, but the well-built colt showed that he was well suited to the sting out of the ground. He raced a little green and a few lengths off the pace early, but found another gear when Muzi Yeni asked for an effort and drew clear easily to win by 4.25-lengths,.
“He didn’t beat much, but Cleaver Greene has always showed us ability so we’ll pick his races, I think he’ll be a summer horse, we’ll try to avoid the winter tracks. His time was good, faster than the five-time winning filly who won a MR94 over 1200m on the same day, – a good comparison to draw.
“It’s always good to get off the mark winning with new patrons. The IRC is passionate about racing, and they bring others into the game, like they did here with Gino Da Silva. Well done also to Blane Hamilton and Steve Sturlese, and breeder Paul Do Carmo. Cleaver Greene is a colt with potential. He is quiet and placid at home, at the track he was full of himself. I like that in a horse.”
Brian Makwabarara’s Right Choice (Global View) was almost as impressive as the youngster. She completed a hat-trick of wins in a MR74 Handicap – an easy 3.25-length success in Warren Kennedy’s hands. “Brian deserves this,” said Mike. “There was a time we had to decide whether to persist or give up on her, but he decided to keep her in training as long as she kept earning, and she has. Right Choice has surprised us with her improvement, she is fragile and we’ve adapted her training programme. This has clearly made a difference. On the manner of this win she has more to come!”