Pierre Strydom: belated birthday present
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Michael Clower 3:54PM 11 JUN 2016
Report: South Africa Saturday
Greyville: Rising Sun Gold Challenge (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3y0+
MAC DE LAGO (Weiho Marwing/Piere Strydom) justified some inspired market support – but only in the stewards’ room after being carried off a straight line and following an objection from his trainer for interference.
The four-year-old was backed to 9-2 from 13-2 but finished a short head behind 20-1 shot Trip To Heaven who led over halfway up the straight but, disastrously, hung into the path of the other horse in the closing stages.
A race review (stewards’ inquiry) was promptly called and Marwing, who lost the Durban July in not dissimilar circumstances two years ago, decided to reinforce the issue by lodging his own objection.
The result was a belated birthday present for six-time champion Piere Strydom who won this on Big City Life in 2010 and turned 50 three days ago.
Marwing said: “I thought the outcome was clear cut. This was a great prep for the July and I think Mac De Lago will spark from here.”
But the really significant pointer to South Africa’s greatest race came from third-placed French Navy. He drifted from 8-5 to 3-1 but made up a good four lengths in the straight in the manner of a horse likely to play a major role on July 2