Ken Nicol: Candice Bass-Robinson finished 1-2 in the main event at Durbanville on Saturday, as What A Winner and Bernie fought out the MR84 over 1000m.
Well supported What A Winner(2-1) moved into the lead at the 200, but was quickly challenged by outsider Bernie(13-1).
Bernie looked likely to get the better of his namesake ‘Bernie’ Fayd’Herbe on What A Winner with 100m to go, but the crack heavyweight coaxed a little more out of his mount to prevail by a neck in an exciting finish.
The intense nature of the duel was reflected in the fact that both Fayd’Herbe and Sandile Mbhele received R1000 fines for whip abuse.
Justin Snaith went one better in the last, filling the first three positions in the FM74 over 1250m.
Alsflamingbeauty(15-1) took top spot, followed by Spirit Festival (9-1) and Hurricane Silva(44-1) in something of an all round jolt for the exotics.
The other six races were all maidens.
Perhaps the most noteworthy performance was Vaughan Marshall’s juvenile Jackson colt Winter Jack(27-4), who won well in open company over 1000m, and should get much further.
“He’s shown us some good work, and will win a few more” said Marshall.
Runner up and favourite Rio Querari(13-10) could be counted a little unlucky not to have got closer, as he was caught out wide on the bend, and ran on well late.
Another to win in good style was Lip Service, who quickened well after only seeing daylight late in the Fillies Maiden over 1400m.
“We weren’t going to run her, but she took her race well a week ago so we left her in” said Joey Ramsden’s long serving assistant Ricky Sobotker.
The opening two Maiden Juvenile Plates also produced horses to follow in Kamadeva and Sanskrift.
Sanskrift is related to Graded winners Santa Clara and new stallion Horizon, and Candice Bass-Robinson described her as “an exciting filly”.