NATIONAL PARK wins Graham Beck
Mike Moon: Visitor from Port Elizabeth National Park obliterated a top field of three-year-olds in the Grade 3 1400m Graham Beck Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.
Winning jockey Ryan Munger said afterwards that trainer Yvette Bremner “doesn’t bring horses to Joburg for mahala” and she has indeed raided successfully up-country before. So punters should have paid her charge rather more attention and not let him start at odds of 22-1.
Chimichuri Run and Alyaasaat – from the top Ranjesfontein stables of Sean Tarry and Mike de Kock – were joint 17-10 favourites and many a pundit saw it as a match race between these two titans.
Before the race, Bremner stable representative Carl Hewitson said on Tellytrack that National Park was well thought of in Eastern Cape and they wanted to test his capabilities against highly rated Highveld runners. But even the connections could hardly have expected such a comprehensive victory.
The winning margin was 5.80 lengths and Munger was standing in the irons and waving as he crossed the line.
Alyaasaat might have an excuse as he was a little slowly away, but Chimichuri Run had the run of the race and finished second, a full three lengths clear of third-placed In Cahoots (28-1), who ran on from near the tail of the field – along with Alyaasaat, who got up for fourth.
The companion-piece race, the Grade 3 Princess Charlene Starling Stakes for three-year-old fillies and mares, also produced an upset – in the form of Ronnie’s Candy at 20-1.
Owned, bred and trained by St John Gray and ridden by visiting jockey Corne Orffer, Ronnie’s Candy added more black type to a record already graced by the SA Fillies Nursery of 2017.
Coming off a four-month rest following her fourth place in the Golden Slipper on Durban July day, Ronnie’s Candy showed no sign of rustiness and raced away from her rivals in the final 300m and cruised in 2.20 lengths clear of Nafaayes (10-1) and Ghaalla (6-1).
Favourite Isle De France (2-1), so impressive in her debut win three weeks ago, never looked dangerous. She might have been upset by an incident at the start when Afrostar reared in the stalls, injured herself and had to be scratched. Isle De France had to be taken out of the machine and reloaded.