Glider Pi­lot set to soar

The Star Early Edition - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

TY­RONE Zackey has an in­ter­est­ing run­ner in the Gr 1 Daily News 2000 in the Sum­mer­hill-bred A P Ar­row geld­ing Glider Pi­lot, who is a half-brother to last year’s win­ner of this race Rabada.

Zackey bought the rangy geld­ing for own­ers Kevin and Na­dine Backos, his sonin-law and daugh­ter re­spec­tively, and Sheddy Habib at a dis­per­sal sale of the late Adri­aan van Vu­uren.

He said, “That’s why we could not nom­i­nate him for a while (red tape re­lat­ing to Van Vu­uren’s frozen as­sets).

“The horse did not show me much in the be­gin­ning, I think he was a bit out of work, but he then started run­ning equal with his com­pan­ions and then he started putting some dis­tance be­tween him­self and them.

“He wasn’t work­ing with cham­pi­ons, but then I put him up against a horse who had won a race and af­ter that gal­lop de­cided to nom­i­nate him.”

It was un­usual to see a horse mak­ing its de­but over 2 000m and the race was also run at just af­ter seven o’ clock in the even­ing. Nev­er­the­less, Glider Pi­lot was backed from 40/1 into 10/1.

The wild cheer­ing from the nearby Zackey box could be heard dur­ing the com­men­tary as Glider Pi­lot got the bet­ter of the 16/10 favourite Starpath to win by 0,8 lengths.

Zackey con­tin­ued, “The rest of the field were more than ten lengths back and I thought well he can’t be bad. And then Starpath came out and won too.

“So I nom­i­nated him for a hand­i­cap over the same dis­tance at the Vaal.”

On this oc­ca­sion he was beaten 1,9 lengths into third.

How­ever, Zackey was im­pressed by two facets of the race. DUN­CAN How­ells has had blink­ers in mind for Se­cret Cap­tain for a while and this tal­ented grey has his first run in the head­gear in the Grade 1 Daily News 2000 on Satur­day.

The com­bi­na­tion of Se­cret Cap­tain’s form and his style of rac­ing has How­ells baf­fled and he is still not sure what his best trip is.

He pointed on the one hand to the Cap­tain Al colt’s good sprint form, in which he has al­ways dis­played a good turn of foot, and then added, “When you watch this horse gal­lop­ing he looks to be a horse who needs ten fur­longs and he is also a half-brother to Bela-Bela, but he seems to bat­tle to quicken in races over fur­ther.”


An­other con­fus­ing as­pect is that in his races over a mile and beyond, he stays on late af­ter that ini­tial flat-foot­ed­ness.

How­ells is thus hop­ing the blink­ers will help him quicken.

He reck­oned Se­cret Cap­tain’s last run on the poly over 1800m could be ig­nored. He said, “He ran way be­low his hand­i­cap mark and I don’t think it had any­thing to with the sur­face, rather it was the

Firstly, the win­ner of the race was the five-year-old Am­s­ter­dam and the run­ner up was Ju­bilee Line.

Am­s­ter­dam had fin­ished sec­ond in the Gr 1 SA Clas­sic as a three-year-old and had con­se­quently been bought out of the Paul Peter yard, iron­i­cally by Adri­aan van Vu­uren, while Ju­bilee Line has al­ways been highly re­garded and was a Vo­da­com Dur­ban July en­try this year.

Late Surge

Se­condly, Glider Pi­lot had pro­duced a late surge.

Zackey said, “He wasn’t bal­anced and he couldn’t get on to the other foot, that comes with in­ex­pe­ri­ence, but when he did he caught the eye.”

Zackey now be­lieved he had a horse of some po­ten­tial.

He said, “Greyville is a tricky course for an in­ex­pe­ri­enced horse.

“But we have got a ticket and are go­ing sharp cor­ner and the short straight which didn’t suit him.”

That race was a case in point of the long-strid­ing horse not quick­en­ing ef­fec­tively, but then stay­ing on late. He was beaten 2,35 lengths by Daily News sec­ond favourite Edict Of Nantes and now has to face him on 9kg worse terms.

How­ever, the run must have been all wrong be­cause in his pre­vi­ous start he had stayed on res­o­lutely for a de­cent 1,75 length sec­ond in the Gr 2 Daisy Guineas on the Greyville turf, beat­ing the like of prom­i­nent Daily News con­tenders Zo­diac Ruler, Cop­per Force, Hori­zon and Africa Ris­ing. He will face all of those horses on the same terms on Satur­day.

How­ells con­cluded, “He def­i­nitely has the abil­ity, oth­er­wise I would not be run­ning him here. He has been show­ing ex­cep­tion­ally good work and if he stays he will give a very good ac­count of him­self.”

Se­cret Cap­tain has been to come down to Dur­ban and have some fun.

He can run a lit­tle, but whether he can com­pete with all of those horses who clearly have Gr 1 po­ten­tial I don’t know, so if he runs a place I will be very happy.”

An in­ter­est­ing form-line for Glider Pi­lot comes through Ha­maan.

He re­ceived 2kg from the cur­rent Daily News third-favourite Pagoda in the Derby Trial over 2000m and was beaten 5,3 lengths. In Glider Pi­lot’s last start he gave Ha­maan 2,5kg and a short-head beat­ing.

Glider Pi­lot thus has close to five lengths to find with Pagoda on pa­per, but it should be born in mind that last start on May 11 was only the sec­ond of his ca­reer, so he is not just there to make up the num­bers.

He has been priced up a 50/1 shot by the book­mak­ers and will be rid­den by Zackey’s high-fly­ing nephew, Craig Zackey, who is ly­ing in sixth place on the Na­tional Jockey’s log. priced up at about 25/2 and sta­ble jockey Kea­gan de Melo is up from a pole po­si­tion draw.

How­ells also runs the Quer­ari geld­ing Gin­ger­bread Man, who was beaten 6,8 lengths into eighth in the Daisy Guineas. How­ever, a closer look at the race shows him to have a big ac­tion and he was stay­ing on in eye-catch­ing style from last.

Gin­ger­bread Man

How­ells said there were no other races for Gin­ger­bread Man off his 90 merit rat­ing.

He added, “I think he was a bit too far back in the Guineas.”

How­ells said this geld­ing had al­ways shown good track work. He be­lieved he would stay on pedi­gree. He is out of a Fort Wood mare, Gin­ger Tree, who won over 1800m and who is a full-sis­ter to Rhi­zome, who won six times from 1600m to 3000m. Fur­ther down his fe­male line there is plenty of stamina as well as class and his fourth dam, Na­gaika, pro­duced three horses who went on to be sires, in­clud­ing Con­naught, who fin­ished sec­ond to Sir Ivor in the Ep­som Derby. How­ells hoped Gin­ger­bread Man could earn a share of the R2 mil­lion stake money.

How­ells rates the Gim­methe­green­light filly Girl In Gold, who runs in the first race over 1600m, and she cer­tainly caught the eye on de­but over 1400m at Greyville when caught very wide and run­ning on strongly for fourth. He will tar­get her at the Gr 1 Thek­wini de­pend­ing on how she fares on Satur­day.

Mean­while, he will tar­get the Gr 1 Al­lan Robert­son third­placed Nep­tune’s Rain at the Gr 2 Golden Slip­per on Vo­da­com Dur­ban July day. He be­lieved she was un­lucky to have had a low draw last Satur­day, which forced her to be handy while her best form had been when com­ing from off the pace.

How­ells’ Bet­ting World 1900 win­ner Ten Gun Salute will go straight into the July. The back is­sue he had is al­most com­pletely clear now and the fact he had it might have turned out to be a bless­ing in dis­guise. He was hardly blow­ing af­ter his ex­cep­tional 1900 vic­tory, so the yard have learnt he does not have to be given a lot of work to be at his peak.

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