My Pal Al impresses at Greyville
On the face of it, the addition of blinkers would account for My Pal Al’s current good form but Alistair Gordon was not so sure.
My Pal Al was a most impressive winner of the Kas Govender Memorial Handicap at Greyville on Sunday leading stable companion Marshall That and Roy’s Strike Force a merry dance as Anton Marcus took the race by the scruff of the neck from the jump.
“He’s finally learning what racing’s all about,” said Gordon. “The blinkers may have helped but you can see in the morning’s that he wants to race and he’s starting to enjoy his racing.”
“It’s still too soon but we may even take the blinkers off at a later stage. Anton says he’s still a big baby but I haven’t had time to have a good chat to him so I’ll see what he says before we decide. For now we will keep him to weaker opposition and take it from there,” Gordon concluded.
There was certainly a lot to like about the victory as My Pal Al hammered away from the break and showed no signs of stopping come the line. My Pal Al is owned and was bred by father and son combination of Dr Nic and Kim Labuschagne.
There is a fine line between being fit and at peak fitness as Anthony Delpech alluded to at Greyville yesterday. Quizzed about his ride Al Sahem in the G2 Gauteng Guineas at Turffontein on Saturday he said his mount had missed some vital work because of the rain and that was the difference between winning and losing.
Al Sahem went down a short head to pacemaker Janoobi and Delpech added, “He’s a very smart horse and will have a big chance in the other two legs of the Triple Crown.”
Delpech opened the batting on the filly Osprey for Dennis Drier where the sister to Met winner Martial Eagle and Algoa Cup winner Nebula opened her account. The opposition was nothing to write home about but Delpech rated her “a bit better than the other horses in this race. She’s decent.”
Delpech took his tally to three for the afternoon as Napoli rattled home for Alyson Wright in the fifth.
It was David vs Goliath in the second but Goliath winning this round as Good Grace scored a narrow victory over Mark My Card. Good Grace comes from the all-powerful Candice Bass-Robinson yard while Wayne Bardenhorst trains a small string out of a private establishment that borders Doug Campbell’s yard near Richmond.
Robert Fayde’Herbe does an excellent job with the Bass-Robinson satellite string and the switch to poly may have been the secret. “She didn’t travel in Cape Town,” referring to her action, “but she’s travelling now.”
Part owner Eric Buhr concurred. “It was a good move to bring her up from Cape Town for the poly,” as Good Grace recorded her fourth victory.
“I don’t come down here for nothing,” warned Gauteng-based Brian Wiid after he picked up his second winner of the weekend. Racing Socks did the honours on Friday night and Lee’s Pick rounded off a profitable weekend with the gelding proving far too strong for some modest opposition.
Former jockey turned trainer Jeff Freeman has been through a quiet spell of late but What A Scorcher was given a peach of a front-running ride in the fourth by apprentice Lyle Hewitson who was recording the 154th success of his short career.
- ● Senor Santa Stakes wide open at Turffontein
- ● Ready to Blossom at Kenilworth
- ● Back Tarry tops Classic boards
- ● Lily Theresa can improve at Kenilworth
Cape Town trainer Joey Ramsden has been making KwaZulu-Natal plans for some of his stable stars for the 2017 South African Champions Season and Cape Fillies Guineas winner Just Sensual looks set to drop in trip.
Lily Theresa is a big price at 5-1 for the opening R80,000, Maiden Juvenile Fillies (1000m) at Kenilworth on Wednesday considering the way Joey Ramsden has been dominating the Cape Town two-year-old races.