Craw­ford’s 1-2-3-4 is a trail­blazer

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - RACING - MICHAEL CLOWER

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.

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