Bond stirred not shaken

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Ken Nicol: The top-liner of a low-key Saturday Kenilworth meeting was a modest MR 88 over 1600m, but the race itself produced a finish of high drama as the overdue Commander Bond got up on the line to just deny another perennial placer in the form of luckless Earth Hour.

Stable companion to the eventual winner Black Belt set a fair gallop with 52kg, but the field was compact and every horse was in with a chance turning for home. Then MJ Byleveld made what appeared to be an inspired move as he sent Earth Hour into the lead just after the 400m pole and poached a lead of a couple of lengths.

Coming to the final 100m he seemed certain to score a long overdue second career win. He was flat to the boards though and Richard Fourie produced the stalking Commander Bond wider out to snag the leader on the line and win by a desperately close short head.

Result: 1 Commander Bond (7), 2 Earth Hour (8), 3 Gyre (4), 4 Black Belt (9)

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