Cleaver Greene (Keagan De Melo) followed his impressive debut win over 1200m at the Vaal in December with a MR80 win over the same course and distance on Tuesday, winning by a short head for the International Racing Club and partners, Blaine Hamilton, Steve Sturlese and Gino Da Silva.
Cleaver Greene is a horse with ability but he was so coltish and full of himself before a mid-January handicap at Turffontein that he dislodged jockey Muzi Yeni, incurred a scratch himself and had to be withdrawn. Mike de Kock had no hesitation in recommending scalpel-to-nut and Cleaver Greene has made marked improvement since.
“He’s still full of pep, but he’s settled down and my assistant Vengi Masawi did a great job with him at the pens, he was re-schooled and hours of work went into him. Thanks to Vengi “Malan” for his hard work, it paid off, Cleaver Greene went into the pens without fuss and he jumped on terms.”
Cleaver Greene showed that he has a courageous nature. He looked beaten going through the 250m mark, but wanted to win. He rallied, took on two seasoned older sprinters in Goliath Heron and Super Agra, stuck his head gamely in front and kept it there.
“I like that he had to fight for this win in only his second start, and he won it. He will improve on this,” Mike said from Australia, where he and Diane de Kock watched the race on 4Racing TV.
Co-owners Hamilton and Da Silva, enthusiastic about racing and their horse, made the flight from Durban and travelled to the country track, thoroughly enjoying themselves.
The IRC’s Joaa Da Mata was just as delighted, speaking from his UK base. Da Mata selected Cleaver Greene as a yearling and he was syndicated among owners.
Cleaver Greene was bred by Paulo Do Carmo. He is by Rafeef from Yoshie, by Antonius Pius.