Flying restart for racing – and Marcus

All the rules pertaining to social distancing were carefully observed. Presenter Warren Lenferna wore a Perspex mask while both apprentice Thabiso Gumede and assistant trainer Pat Lunn, the pair who teamed up to win Race 1 on the card, also suitably attired. Uncontained joy is the best way to describe those who participated in the meeting, even though they were playing to an empty house. Considering the betting shops and TABS were all still closed, the Pick 6 pool did well to reach R296,676 but the results did not all go the way of the bettors and it resulted in...
All the rules pertaining to social distancing were carefully observed. Presenter Warren Lenferna wore a Perspex mask while both apprentice Thabiso Gumede and assistant trainer Pat Lunn, the pair who teamed up to win Race 1 on the card, also suitably attired.

Uncontained joy is the best way to describe those who participated in the meeting, even though they were playing to an empty house.

Considering the betting shops and TABS were all still closed, the Pick 6 pool did well to reach R296,676 but the results did not all go the way of the bettors and it resulted in a carryover of R189,732.

One person who couldn't contain his excitement to be back was jockey Anton Marcus who came away with five winners on the 10-race card.

His run began in Race 2 where he rode a typically forceful finish to carry Brett Crawford-trained Hopskipandjump (53-20) over the line. He was back in the winner's enclosure after Races 3 and 4, winning aboard Fred (22-10), also for Crawford and first-timer Fast Love (7-2) for Glen Kotzen.

Fast Love drifted from an opening call of 5-2 but produced a torpedo-like finish to win easily by 2.50 lengths. This one looks worth following.

Favourite Fade To Black found himself behind a wall of horses at the 200m mark and, with no chance of getting a run, did not disgrace himself when beaten 5.05 lengths. He is worthy of a second chance in similar company.

Marcus rode another strong finish to win Race 7 on Farland (5-2) for Doug Campbell and then closed off the meeting with a comfortable 1.20-length victory on 18-10 favourite Winter Chill, which gave trainer Garth Puller a double on the day.

Sadly, for log-leading jockey Warren Kennedy it was a day bereft of winners, although he got awfully close on Hexatonic in Race 5. Unfortunately, his mount went down 0.40 lengths to 20-1 shot Final Attempt, his stable companion ridden by apprentice Khanya Sakayi. Both runners are trained by Kotzen.

The meeting did not start well for punters as Tromso, trained by Johan Janse van Vuuren and ridden by 4kg claiming apprentice Thabiso Gumede, got up close home to touch off odds-on favourite Thomas Henry by 0.40 lengths.

Tromso paid R21.70 for a win and R4.70 a place.

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