The Star Late Edition

Covenant gives Bass the tonic


MIKE Bass, forced to stay at home by a mild attack of hepatitis, had just the tonic he needed when Covenant won the Graham Beck Memorial Sceptre Stakes for the second year running at Kenilworth yesterday.

Trinity House made a bold attempt to lead from the start but Karl Neisius on Varsfontei­n’s homebred Western Winter filly loomed up a furlong out and picked off the leader close home to score by three parts of a length.

Neisius, winning this for the fifth time in ten years, said: “She hit a bit of a flat spot and I wondered for a moment if Trinity House might keep going. But once I got to the leader I knew I had it.”

Bass will now try to repeat last year’s Klawervlei Majorca win and the gallant Trinity House will take her on again before going for easier pickings in the Prix du Cap.

Justin Snaith went four winners clear of Mike de Kock at the top of the national log when Cap Alright gave him his 70th success of the season in the Southeaste­r Sprint. M.J. Byleveld drove the 9-1 chance clear over a furlong out to hold Copper Parade and score for Etienne Braun, Paul Loomes and Veronica Foulkes who bred the Captain Al gelding.

Snaith said: “We are having a great season but I couldn’t get a jockey for this one. Richard Fourie was to ride him originally and, when he pulled out, Felix Coetzee was already booked. I put Alec Forbes down only to find he couldn’t ride either. Luckily M.J. was available and he is a natural lightweigh­t.”

The time of 62.51 sec was incredibly fast and, according the Sporting Post’s record times, beat the previous best over 1 100m here by more than 1.7 seconds.

The Bass-trained Delago Deluxe also clocked a fast time, only 0.6 sec outside the course 1 000m record, when going clear two furlongs out under Anton Marcus in the Need For Speed Sprint.

The champion jockey donned the same Ingrid Jooste colours to make all on Ashanti Gold in the Steenberg Handicap with Joey Ramsden full of praise for “a very clever ride.”

With so much achieved in his long career, Dennis Drier’s New Year ambitions might be thought to be pretty exalted but not a bit of it. After Besugo led 150m out in the Graham Beck Wines Maiden, Drier declared: “To start the New Year like this, what more could I ask for?”

The answer came 35 min- utes later when Alec Forbes comfortabl­y doubled up on Miss Ipanema in the novice plate in the same Knut Haug colours and for good measure the same trainer-owner-jockey combinatio­n also landed the odds in the last with Bambina Stripes.

Byleveld was in double form, powering home on Kirsten Rausing’s Northern Conquest in the Dancers Daughter Handicap and Vaughan Marshall is now considerin­g the Winter Guineas.

 ??  ?? COVENANT (No 2), with Karl Neisius up, made it two Graham Beck Memorial Sceptre Stakes in row at Kenilworth yesterday when she glided past Trinity House.
COVENANT (No 2), with Karl Neisius up, made it two Graham Beck Memorial Sceptre Stakes in row at Kenilworth yesterday when she glided past Trinity House.

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