Racing News 4.9.2017 11:43 am

First graded win for Azzies

CHEERFUL SALUTE. Jockey Craig Zackey makes a point as he crosses the line aboard Will Pays in the Grade 3 Spring Spree Stakes over 1200m at Turffontein on Saturday. Picture: JC Photographics

CHEERFUL SALUTE. Jockey Craig Zackey makes a point as he crosses the line aboard Will Pays in the Grade 3 Spring Spree Stakes over 1200m at Turffontein on Saturday. Picture: JC Photographics

PE-basedClassify runs a cracker in Grade 3 Spring Spree.

Mike and son Adam Azzie continue to ride the crest of the wave and a fist and second place result in Saturday’s Grade 3 Spring Spree Stakes over 1200m saw them move into third place on the trainers’ log, behind Justin Snaith and Alec Laird respectively.

The season is only a month old but it has been a great start for Adam Azzie, who became part of his father’s ticket on 1 August. This was the first feature they had contested this season and it was winning one for the younger Azzie.

“It’s just nice that it can be in partnership with my Dad. It’s really nice and it’s a special moment for both of us. Running first and second is an absolute bonus,” said Adam.

Some horses just run for certain jockeys and that seems to be the case with Will Pays and Craig Zackey.

He has now ridden this six- year-old son of Imperial Stride 10 times for five wins.

“We forget he is an eight-time winner,” added Azzie. “You come into a Group 3 and you are really hoping he can run a great race with 60.5kg on his back – and he lands up winning it. There are some great guys involved and it’s just like a fairy tale for them. I’m really happy for the guys involved.”

Will Pays had the benefit of No 1 draw, a massive asset on this track, and with a wide false rail Zackey had no fears of getting boxed in on the rail. Once in the straight he moved to the front and held off stablemate Angel’s Power with Sporting Monarch running a cracker in third.


Will Pays has been nominated to run in the WSB Grand Heritage over 1475m at the Vaal on Saturday 30 September but he has been allowed 64.5kg and that will have the connections having a long discussion as to whether he should take his place in the R750,000 race.

One person who will no doubt be delighted with the outcome is Port Elizabeth-based trainer Dorrie Sham whose runner, Classify, ran on well to finish fourth, beaten just 2.50 lengths.

She felt this 1200m would be “too short and too fast” and all she was hoping to see was that he would run on well.

He did just that and, with 1475m being more up his street, this is a runner to consider for the big race. He is staying on the Highveld and will have plenty of time to acclimatise.

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