Ken Nicol: Perennial bridesmaid Surcharge benefitted from finally pulling a decent draw and ran on strongly to win the R2 million Grade 1 Daily News 2000 at Greyville on Saturday.
Runner up to a different horse in all three legs of the Gauteng triple crown, Surcharge was partnered by Gunter Wrogemann, who replaced regular pilot Piere Strydom after his unfortunate injury.
Rank outsider Alssakhra set a rather pedestrian gallop, with Warrior’s Rest and Pack Leader up handy.
Favourite Do It Again was perfectly positioned on the rail a few lengths off them along with White River.
Do It Again and White River assumed prominence halfway up the straight, but their challenges never looked totally convincing, and wider out Surcharge began to unwind a withering challenge from off the pace along with fellow Gauteng raider Majestic Mambo, who came from stone last.
Stuart Pettigrew’s Gimmethegreenlight colt always looked to be going better though, and had three quarters of a length to spare at the line to score a well earned maiden Grade 1 win.
Many wrongly felt his stalking style of racing would not be a good fit for Greyville, and it was slightly surprising post race when it was made clear that he will not be taking his place in the forthcoming July.
Trainer Pettigrew said that “he will rest and will come out again next summer. He will be even better as a four-year -old, and is the best I have ever trained”.
Majestic Mambo underlined the quality of the Gauteng Classic form by finishing second, while Cape Guineas winner Tap O’Noth was only a length behind the winner in third.
Do It Again was a rather one paced fourth.