In a hard-fought finish, she
kept Buddy Maroun’s charge going to hold off favourite National
Currency to become the first woman rider to win two Grade 1 races in
But fate was to deal Mike Azzie’s National Assembly colt another blow as he failed to find what was necessary to overtake the five-year-old Al Nitak. It was the 11th win for the gutsy sprinter and the second Grade 1 victory for the Lisa and Al Nitak combination.
For Buddy Maroun it was another outstanding day for his 10-year-old star, Golden Loom, affectionately known as "Goofy" and the winner of the race two years ago, produced yet another magnificent performance to finish third just a whisker ahead of Mike Bass’s Laredo Gold.
The pace was made by Trance who skated a few lengths clear in the early stages tracked by Al Nitak on the inside rail and Golden Loom towards the centre of the course. National Currency was settled a little off the pace.
As they approached the 200-metre mark Trance began to tire and Al Nitak closed in to swoop past him and take the lead. Anthony Delpech had by this time turned up the wick on National Currency who was travelling smoothly and looking very much a winner as he closed in on Al Nitak and the two came together with less than 100 metres to go.
But while Delpech found nothing more to come from National Currency as he urged the colt to take the lead, Lisa was given the extra by the gelding with whom she has formed a very close bond and they went on to record the history-making performance.
It was a great day of racing with a huge crowd packing the Scottsville course to watch the country’s speed kings and queens in action.
The action started with the Allan Robertson Fillies Championship where the Silvino filly, Silver Arc, from the Port Elizabeth stable of Allan Greeff, caused a major upset by beating Main Emblem home at 33-1. The favoured runners, Jalberry, Philippa Johnson and Sabina Park, all failed to find a place and a huge number of exotic bet tickets were blown out.
The Gold Medallion also came close to producing a major upset when Golden Care looked set to win. But in an incredible finishing burst, coming from well out of contention and looking like he would never find a place, Geoff Woodruff’s Western Winter colt, Ice Cube, burned up the turf to get up and win.
The South African Fillies Sprint was the fourth Grade 1 event of the meeting and Mike Bass’s National Assembly filly, Enchantress, put paid to a few more exotic bet tickets when she pulled clear in the closing stages to win at 10-1 from Sunset Glow and Tara’s Touch.
Under a perfect, sunny African
sky, the Golden Horse Sprint meeting was a resounding success with
great racing thrilling the crowds who had free access to the course
and the Casino to enjoy themselves to the full.