The Star Early Edition - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

WEIHO Mar­wing has es­tab­lished a rep­u­ta­tion as a phe­nom­e­nal trainer of stay­ers and his charge Her­moso Mundo looked a po­ten­tial winner when pass­ing the stand for the first time in the Grade 3 SABC Gold Vase over 3 000m on Vo­da­com Dur­ban July day at Greyville on Satur­day.

How­ever, in the end the con­nec­tions had to go through the agony of an ob­jec­tion in­quiry be­fore land­ing the re­sult they had dreamed about for weeks.

The most re­lieved man on course was part-owner Sean Sin­gle­ton, who then en­ter­tained the crowd to his tra­di­tional vic­tory war cry.

Over in Ger­many the race had also stopped an im­por­tant match on the tour­na­ment ten­nis cir­cuit in which an­other part-owner Neil Pa­trick Smith had been tak­ing part.

Sean’s war cry is well known to all of his rac­ing friends, but this was the first time it had been shouted out­side the con­fines of his home or a race­course suite.

He ex­plained yes­ter­day the Afrikaans se­quence of words, which are shouted at full vol­ume while im­i­tat­ing a jockey rid­ing and whip­ping a horse, were in­vented by him chiefly as an adrenaline re­liever and had no real mean­ing.

“Jou lekker ding, jou lol­lipop, jou opgeswelde hoen­der haan, jou woer woer masjien!”, echoed across the race­course and it was clear af­ter­wards Sean had fi­nally re­cov­ered his com­po­sure and breath.

Ear­lier, while wait­ing for the ob­jec­tion ver­dict, his girl­friend Chan­tal as well as his good friend Dar­ryl Ma­ree had be­come con­cerned. The lat­ter poured wa­ter down his throat and Chan­tal or­dered him to breathe deeply. On this oc­ca­sion he re­ally did need to get rid of the adrenaline. He said, “I didn’t re­ally have a big bet, but we just re­ally care about this horse and it was all about the ex­cite­ment of hav­ing a winner on July day.” Later, Sean was speak­ing to Neil Pa­trick Smith on the phone. “He was crying like a baby,” ad­mit­ted Sean. “He then said, hang on, I have to get back to my ten­nis match!”

Neil is an out­stand­ing ten­nis player and his im­por­tant tour­na­ment match on Satur­day was sched­uled to clash with the time of the race.

How­ever, it had been agree by all in­volved in the match, in­clud­ing the um­pire, they would call a halt at race time and watch the live transmission from Greyville on a com­puter screen at the back of the court. The ob­jec­tion caused quite a long de­lay to the match as Neil could not leave the re­sult hang­ing in the air.

Sean is a pas­sion­ate fan of the sport of kings from many an­gles and the Pick 6 is one of his favourite bets. He did banker his horse in the Pick 6 and then landed a per­cent­age of the healthy R253,143.70 div­i­dend when his other banker Al Mari­achi ar­rived in the last leg.

The con­nec­tions of the Mau­ritz­fontain Stud-bred Her­moso Mundo, who also in­clude NC Smith, GD Cahn, G Mor­ris and W Volschenk, are now dream­ing of a Gold Cup win and the com­ple­tion of a his­toric hat-trick.

Sean said, “He won the Gold Bowl at Turf­fontein, which used to be a Grade 1, and he won the Gold Vase, which used to be a Grade 2. The Gold Cup used to be a Grade 1 and I don’t think any horse has ever won all three of these races in the same sea­son.”

On Satur­day Karl Zech­ner had the long-strid­ing four-year-old geld­ing by Ideal World re­laxed in a per­fect po­si­tion on the rail by the time they had passed the win­ning post for the first time.

Her­moso Mundo had been shuf­fled back to about sixth from the back by the half­way mark. How­ever, he had trav­elled beau­ti­fully through­out and crept closer when the field con­certi­naed com­ing up the hill to­wards the straight.

He was go­ing so well in the straight Zech­ner was able to force his way through a vir­tu­ally non-ex­is­tent gap be­tween Sun On Africa and Helder­berg Blue at the 350m mark.

The rangy bay then got into full stride and be­gan rapidly eat­ing away the lead, which had been es­tab­lished by the Lons­dale Stir­rup Cup winner Cap­tain Splen­did.

How­ever, the lat­ter then sud­denly be­gan hang­ing out­ward away from the whip and bumped him. Her­moso Mundo had to change legs and re­gather him­self, yet he still failed by only a whisker to get up.

In the ob­jec­tion in­quiry Zech­ner pointed out the leader had been “tread­ing wa­ter”, while his mount had been fin­ish­ing strongly and was clearly on his way to vic­tory.

Piere Strydom is a master in all as­pects of his pro­fes­sion and coun­tered by point­ing out Her­moso Mundo had also moved in­ward.

He added he had also been forced to stop rid­ing in or­der to straighten his mount. But the stipen­di­ary stew­ards were not buy­ing it and quickly up­held the de­ci­sion.

Weiho Mar­wing heaped praise on Zech­ner as well as the own­ers. He had a glint in his eye when say­ing it had been a “priv­i­lege to win a race … again … on July day.” Of course, he was on the wrong side of one of South African rac­ing’s most in­fa­mous ever ob­jec­tions af­ter Wylie Hall had crossed the line first in the July three years ago.

Ideal World’s prog­eny are stout and con­tin­u­ally im­prove so there should be a few more “Woer woer” war cries be­fore the end of the pro­gres­sive Her­moso Mundo’s ca­reer.

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