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  • Writer's pictureCrawford Racing

Zapatillas – Heart And Sole!

South Africa’s second leading sire of last season, Varsfontein’s Master Of My Fate continued his dream start to the new term on Saturday.

(Zapatillas on the inside rail with Luyolo Mxothwa aboard, Image Bay Media)

The handsome son of Jet Master sired his 14th overall stakes winner courtesy of the Brett Crawford-trained Zapatillas – an impressive victor in the R85 000 Listed Sophomore Sprint at Kenilworth.

The 1200m contest marked the first stakes success for the Philippi-based Brett Crawford and his Royal Aces-sponsored jockey, Luyola Mxothwa. The new combination enjoyed a double on the day after Futura’s son Future Prince won the third on debut, also in the Pam Isdell silks. Young Craig Bantam then rounded off a happy afternoon for the Crawford Racing team, with Miss Smarty Pants winning the ninth race.

(Miss Smarty Pants in her 3rd win in Cape Town and 7th win of her career, Image Bay Mendia)

With racing conducted under sunny skies, but on a track classed as heavy and showing a penetrometer reading of 34, the ten races proved tough going for some, with a variety of horses failing to act on the ground. But the clearly talented Zapatillas – seemingly the Spanish word for a slipper or sneaker – was not one of those. And he benefitted from a really very brave ride by Mxothwa. After being bumped by Xavion at the jump, Zapatillas was a couple of lengths off the action which was led by his stablemate Masked Vigilante early on. At the 300m, Anton Marcus unleashed Safe Return as Zapatillas looked to be under pressure to even run a drum. But Mxothwa and his talented steed had other ideas and the duo started unwinding. As they arrived at the first wave, Safe Return was hanging in and the gap down his inside was narrowing fast. As Marcus switched crop hands to his left to straighten Safe Return, Mxothwa switched Zapatillas in and at the 100m he caused Fifty River to be tightened for galloping room as he surged down the inside rail.

Tellytrack presenter Grant Knowles correctly observed that few jockeys have ever passed Superman down the inside. But Crawford’s new rider had taken up the challenge and come out smiling – Zapatillas(4-1) getting the verdict by 0,30 lengths in a time of 78,11 secs. After an accomplished SA Champions Season, Safe Return (5-1) was not disgraced in defeat and will be back for more.

Captain’s Knot (16-1) was the first of the Snaith trio home in third. Mxothwa conceded that things had not gone his way. “We were squeezed at the jump and played chase the whole race – and it got tight late,” he quipped. Brett Crawford complimented his team and said that his jockey had astutely bided his time early. The trainer also complimented the winning partnership of Gaynor Rupert’s Drakenstein Stud, Ravi Naidoo, who watched the race from New York, and the clearly lucky owner Pamela Isdell, whose flashy purple and white flag seem to know where the winner’s enclosure in. The partnership apparently purchase three horses every year.

John Freeman was instrumental in this very clever buy and congratulated the partnership. The veteran also rightly grabbed the opportunity to trump another stakes success for his stallion Master Of My Fate.

A son of Master Of My Fate (Jet Master), the Varsfontein Stud-bred winner is out of the five-time winning Mogok mare, Moggytwoshoes. The winner was a R260 000 National Yearling Sale purchase and took his stakes bank to R87 325 with his two wins in two starts. On breeding he should easily get the mile and on today’s showing of overcoming of all the odds, he looks a very promising sort in the making. Roll on summer!

[Original Article]

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