Jack Milner
2 minute read
20 Aug 2014
9:00 pm

Piere Strydom and Mike Azzie have a high strike rate

Jack Milner

Trainer Chesney van Zyl warned punters prior to the run of Heart Of A Lion in Race 7 at Turffontein on Saturday that his charge was not 100% fit.

FILE PICTURE: South African champion jockey Piere Strydom.Picture: Supplied.

After the stable had won Race 1 with outsider Club Savanah, Van Zyl said in his post-race interview that there was still work to do on Heart Of A Lion; that he had only had one run and was probably only 80% fit.

Those who were cautious came out on top as the four-year-old gelding barely got into the race and was beaten halfway up the straight. In the end he finished sixth in the eight horse field, beaten 8.50 lengths.

The race went to Brooks-Club, who went off at 4-1, and was ridden by Piere Strydom. After a few years in which the relationship between the two was in a state disrepair, trainer Mike Azzie has started to use Strydom again and their strike rate has been excellent.

Strydom recently won on Panjo on the Vaal sand and he brought home Brooks-Club, despite a rather disappointing run last time behind Meissa.

Brooks-Club is not known for his fighting qualities but this time there was no battle. After a good break Strydom let him coast along at the back of the field and halfway up the straight of the inside course, brought him through a gap. The six-year-old gelding accelerated smartly to win by a comfortable 2.25 lengths.

Antarctic Call, who went off at 40-1 for trainer Chris Erasmus, finished well on the outside to claim second place, with National Key getting up for third, another 2.50 lengths back.

The main race at Kenilworth on Saturday always looked tricky and it came as no surprise three runners flashed across the line as one.

When the photofinish came out it revealed that Mike Bass-trained Tobe’s First, ridden by Grant van Niekerk, had got the verdict by a short head from Shishangeni, under Craig du Plooy, with the old man of the race, eight-year-old Golden Dane, ridden by Aldo Domeyer, an equal distance back in third.

Favourite Greys Inn Control ran fourth but it came as no surprise that just 5.20 lengths covered the entire field.

Grey Light, who ran in Race 5 at Greyville yesterday, looked to one of the best bets of the weekend. The Joey Ramsden-trained runner was weighted to win this Novice Plate with ease and the grey filly, ridden by Anton Marcus, coasted home by 7.50 lengths.