The Mercury

Six of the best for Ramsden

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LANGERMAN king Joey Ramsden resumed his dominance of this important Kenilworth two-year-old test when Variety Club and Master Mascus gave him a one-two in yesterday’s Betting World-sponsored feature. This was his sixth Langerman win in 11 years but his first for four seasons.

“I wasn’t enjoying seeing other people win my race,” said Ramsden, “and so this time I kept a couple of my better horses back from Durban to try and regain my crown.”

Glen Hatt made much of the running on Master Mascus but the 2-1 favourite had no answer when Andrew Fortune slipped Variety Club through on his inner half a furlong out, and Ingrid Jooste’s Var colt scored by a fifth of a length.

Fortune said: “I was always going like a winner - I had a lot of horse under me throughout – but this is the ground he has been looking for and he’s a lovely sort.”

The winner has had a few problems and Ramsden explained that it has taken a horse whisperer to sort them out. “He was monkeying around in the pens and generally trying to do everything in life too quickly so I brought in Malan du Toit and he did the trick.”

Ramsden’s two-year-olds have had a tremendous season and he also took the Betting World Irridescen­ce Stakes with Leeward in the same colours. Madame Rooney ,backed from 20-1 to 13- 2, tried to make every post a winning one but Hatt drove the Captain Al filly past just under 200m out. The winner weighs less than 400 kilos but apparently she doesn’t seem particular­ly small or light from the saddle. “I don’t know where people get that from,” said Hatt. “She is a real athlete and she has a massive stride on her.”

With Varushka it’s her teeth that have the most impact. Just ask Mike Stewart. The Noordhoek trainer helped take the tack off Hatti Zeppel’s filly after she made all under Aldo Domeyer in the 1000m handicap, only to be rewarded by having a piece painfully taken out of his thumb.

Domeyer had to work for his fee on that one but Das Beste in the Marsh Shirtliff colours in the Woodstock Branch Maiden was armchair stuff.

The gelding revelled in the soft ground and simply strode away in the last furlong to win as he liked. The going on the stands side here is normally better after it rains and Fortune, drawn on the opposite side on Gatusso in the Adderley Street Maiden, spent much of the race tacking across the course. The tactics paid off when he brought the filly home for a narrow win for Paul Barrett, Judy Wintle and the latter’s sonin-law Glen Kotzen.

Fortune needs just two more to reach his century for the season after getting up in the final stride of the finale on Frank Sharp’s homebred Forest Of Dean for Paddy Kruyer. The favourite Kambrook was declared a non-runner after losing an impossible amount of ground at the off.

Lady Dappleloo also started slowly in the Kuilsriver Branch Maiden but in her case punters lost their money – and they lost a lot. Morne Winnaar’s mount was backed as if there was no tomorrow and, although she finished like a train, Chris Puller on Prairie Star was gone beyond recall. Raymond Hass’s homebred, trained by Shane Humby, was an unconsider­ed 40-1 shot.

However, Vaughan Marshall and M.J. Byleveld got favourite backers off to a winning start in the opener with Roy Eckstein’s Hunting Time. Newcomer Welsh Factor ran on strongly to take third and is one for the notebook.

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