JACK MILNER: PROBABLY the most important piece of news to come out of Saturday’s meeting at Turffontein was that many punters will have the opportunity to win back some of the money they lost, thanks to a carryover Pick 6 of R950,239.
A total of R500,000 will go through to Saturday’s Greyville meeting, which sees the running of the R3-million Vodacom Durban July, while the balance of R450,239 will be included in Sunday’s Turffontein Pick 6 pool.
There already was R500,000 added to Saturday’s pool, which exceeded the estimated R2.7 million by almost R400,000. However, just one favourite managed to win on the day and that was the Mike de Kock-trained Aneefa in Race 3.
Gavin Lerena was aboard the Australian-bred daughter of Encosta De Lago and at one time she also looked to be battling to get the better of 55-1 shot New Light. However, once Aneefa woke up to her task, the 1-4 favourite drew off nicely to win by 2.25 lengths. She looks a decent sort who is likely to improve the further she goes.
The biggest upset of the day came in Race 5 when 55-1 shot King’s Castle came through well to get the better of The Die Is Cast by 1.25 lengths with 5-10 favourite Al Rashid only third.
Salutation finally found her best form when she ran out an easy winner of Race 4, a Pinnacle Stakes over 2600m. She was weighted to win but the fact that there were huge reversals in forms from second and third-placed Changing Moon (66-1) and Dreamy Times (40-1) respectively, makes the form somewhat suspect.
Salutation, however, was a convincing winner, coming home by three lengths under Marco van Rensburg. He put the improved form down to a change of tactics. “I knew she was an out-and-out stayer – that’s why I said `let me take them on early’. Before, we would try and sit on her for as long as we can, and then she comes too late.
“She always runs good races against the boys and she is forever giving them weight, so today she was well in at the weights. The pace was quite nice. In the beginning they went slow and that’s why we went around them, and it ended up suiting us and she won a very good race.
“She’s going to race for another season because she is a sound filly. She is a stayer and we don’t have many stayers here, so she will do well in her division.’’
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Punters at Arlington on Friday also had their share of punishment as outsiders dominated the meeting with not a single winning favourite on the day.
So bad was the hiding that huge dividends were evident after the last race. The Place Accumulator paid R15,761.30, while the Jackpot returned a massive R93,903.80. The Pick 6 paid R86,243.80.
Punters were blown off their feet in Race 6 – the first of two main events – when 18-1 outsider Lucky Flag, from the Gavin Smith yard, came home strongly under a good ride from apprentice Teaque Gould. Lucky Flag opened at 12-1, but drifted gradually to 18-1 with no evident support.
He beat another outsider, Leading The Field (12-1), for the main prize with Sunny Spain (9-2) and Alif (9-2) third and fourth respectively. The victory was Lucky Flag’s sixth from 56 starts for Mr and Mrs Arne Botha.