Crawford’s 1-2-3-4 is a trailblazer
BRETT Crawford goes into battle with one of the best hands in the country this season but he left the opposition shellshocked when he trumped them with four aces in Saturday’s Kenilworth Pinnacle.
For Piere Strydom, too, it was an immensely satisfying outcome because he has managed to put himself on standby in the event of Anton Marcus picking the wrong one.
The six-time champion said: “Derek Brugman rang me and asked if I was looking for a horse for the Cape season. After Saturday’s race, I am hoping to stay with Edict Of Nantes but that depends on Anton – whether he sticks with Legal Eagle who ran well on Thursday or decides to jump ship and ride this one. If he does that then I would hope to get on Legal Eagle.”
Edict Of Nantes
Edict Of Nantes, despite winning the Cape Derby and Daily News and going under in the July by little more than a metre, was a revelation in Saturday’s race.
Far from finding the 1 400m too quick for him, he was always travelling strongly and all it took for him to find another gear was one wave of his rider’s whip.
Strydom said: “At the weights he couldn’t win and I was caught three wide yet it was always only a matter of when I was going to get there.”
That was 30m out and the Mayfair Speculators 7-1 chance beat his three stable companions by half a length, a neck and a fifth.
Their understandably pleased trainer said: “I thought seven furlongs would be a bit short for Edict Of Nantes but he has been working exceptionally well and he is improving. All four go the route everybody is going – Green Point , Queen’s Plate, Met – and I felt Black Cat Back (fourth at 22-1 after making the pace) ran out of his skin.”
Greg Cheyne, who has already been booked for runner-up Sail South in all three big races, added: “The Queen’s Plate is the one I would like to win - but I’d be happy to take any of them!”
Corne Orffer stays with Captain America who started 2-1 favourite and ran on again close home after appearing to be outpaced when the tap was turned on.
He said: “It was a good run. The horse is a year older and the others now turn it on a bit quicker than he does but he may get a bit further this season.”
African Night Sky, squeezed early on, finished fifth but the vets reported that stable companion Black Arthur was striding short after finishing stone last. Justin Snaith was not happy.
He said: “There is something not right with Black Arthur and I’ve got to find out what it is. Both horses need to be at their best in January and they are further back than I thought they would be. I’ve got work to do.”
Second favourite Table Bay, beaten two and a half lengths into sixth, lost more than that coming out of the pens and seventh-placed Horizon also took a slow-starting approach to what was his first appearance since the July. The Maine Chance team has Cape Flying Championship ambitions for Sommerlied who made it five out of six in the Laisserfaire Stakes and racing manager Glenn Hatt said: “We are going to take it step by step but we do have high hopes for her.”
This was Dennis Drier’s first Cape Town winner of the campaign and he commented: “It’s taken a while but I haven’t really been under pressure.”
However a run of 13 consecutive losers was seemingly beginning to jangle a few nerves because a grinning Sean Veale added: “I know he can now sleep tonight!”
Anthony Delpech’s visit for just one ride had punters plunging on Meryl in the 2 000m handicap but the Dean Kannemeyer filly, backed from 9-2 to 16-10 favourite, could manage only an expensive third behind Robert Khathi’s mount Fresnaye who apparently had no luck at all when eighth to Snowdance in the Western Cape Fillies Championship.
Joey Ramsden said: “She got splattered all over the show by her stable companion (Rose In Bloom) in that and I am grateful that she was able to come here and get her confidence back.”
Brett Crawford was in his element when he won the Pinnacle Stakes with EDICT OF NANTES at Kenilworth on Saturday with three of his other charges, Sail South, Captain America and Black Cat Back, filling the minor placings in the same race.