3-2 CHARLIE LED IN BY ROD MATTHEYSE
Ken Nicol: Candice Bass-Robinson has made a quiet start to the new season, but bounced back to form at the perfect time when Three Two Charlie won the Listed Sophomore Sprint at Kenilworth in fine style.
Sent off at 6-1 in what looked an open affair, the What A Winter gelding sat in midfield a few lengths off the early pace set by Finding Camelot.
Many had chances coming to the final 200m, but Greg Cheyne’s mount quickened impressively and surged clear to win unextended by a length and a half, and is clearly one to follow.
“He’s a really nice horse, and needed his last run after being gelded, which has improved him quite a bit. There’s a lot more still to come” said an understandably elated Bass-Robinson.
“A lovely type, but still feels quite soft. He really quickened well for such a big horse” commented Cheyne.
Indeed it was the recently crowned PE champion jockey’s day , as the other standout performances both came from Brett Crawford trained and Ridgemont Highlands bred Jackson three-year-old fillies which he rode.
Flame Tree made her debut in Race 3 over 1400m, and despite being allowed to go off at 7-1 the half sister to recent eLan Gold Cup winner Dynasty’s Blossom didn’t disappoint.
She was visibly cruising just off the pace turning for home, and won far, far easier than the length and three three quarters margin would suggest.
“A bit unexpected. I thought she would need a run, but she wasn’t green at all” said Crawford, while Cheyne admitted he had been “proven totally wrong”.
Then in the closing Race 8 Pretty Young Thing made light work of downing a competitive looking FM75 field.
Despite top weight the lightly raced filly had the race sewn up a full 300m out, and Crawford confirmed she is heading for bigger things.
“She did everything exceptionally well today, and we’ll be looking at the Grade 2 Western Cape Fillies Championship over 1400m at the end of October” was his verdict.
Another to follow is Belgarion. He made light of a 224 day rest to get the better of classy three-year-old Silver Operator in a thrilling finish to the MR96 over 1600m.