Horses / Horse News

Nicci Garner
3 minute read
21 Feb 2016
4:23 pm

King Of Pain dictates

Nicci Garner

King Of Pain returns from the wilderness to win the CTS Chairman’s Cup over 3200m at Kenilworth on Saturday.

King of Pain at Kenilworth on Saturday, February 20, 2016.

With three of the six runners, the R250 000 CTS Chairman’s Cup (Grade 3) over 3200m at Kenilworth on Saturday was inevitably going to be a Joey Ramsden benefit – and so it proved with his runners finishing first, third and fourth.

However, his 11-20 favourite Coltrane, the mount of Anton Marcus, finished third with honours going to 8-1 chance King Of Pain, a six-year-old trying this long distance for the first time and carrying top weight of 60kg. King Of Pain had been battling since his Grade 1 win in the Gold Challenge at Clairwood in 2014 and was coming into this race off a poor 12th in the J&B Met.

Ramsden’s assistant Ricardo Sobotker explained afterwards the stable had fully expected King Of Pain to be in his element because he had finished second in the 2400m Winter Derby in 2013.

It must be said jockey Bernard Fayd’erbe “stole” the race, taking King Of Pain to the front and setting a pedestrian pace in the early stages, quickening it up at around halfway and then slowing it down again just before the horses’ heads turned for home.

“Going to the front was always my game plan in this race,” he said. “The last thing I wanted was Anton dictating up front on Coltrane. He’s too sharp with the pace. I thought, let me get in front and maybe I’ve got a chance to beat him. It worked. Six hundred metres out King Of Pain was going lovely. He was loafing and breathing so well, enjoying it. I came into the straight and brought him out (to the standside rail) for a run. When I asked him to quicken, it was like he had another two gears.

“Most credit must go to this horse. He’s a very special horse. HIs only problem is that he probably thinks more than me in a race. When he puts it together he’s a hard horse to beat. You saw that today, with that kind of weight over that distance. It was a very good win.”

When Coltrane looked set to challenge halfway down the straight, the handsome grey quickened away to win by 1.75 lengths. Three Balloons (11-2), who was second-last turning into the straight, ran on well late to snatch second from Coltrane with Gallica Rose (11-1) fourth.

Two other feature races were run at the meeting and both went the way of trainer Brett Crawford.

Marcus had a measure of compensation for Coltrane’s defeat in the Chairman’s Cup when he brought Cuvee Brut, the 18-10 favourite, with a strong late run from midfield to win the Vasco Prix Du Cape (Grade 3) over 1400m.

And Big Cat, an outsider at 25-1, made a winning debut for the Crawford stable after transferring from the Dennis Drier yard on 10 February in the Calulo Cape Mile over 1600m. He took the shortest route home against the inside rail and beat “valiant” stablemate Sail South (8-1) by a length with Sheer Trouble (16-1) third. Marcus finished only ninth on 33-10 favourite Night Trip.

Winning rider Juan Paul van der Merwe said: “He’s a handful. He’s such a big horse and I think he still needs further.

“We had a draw and Mr Crawford said to work on him a bit early on, to keep my position. When we got to the straight I gave him a few backhanders and he quickened up to win a good race.”

The Breeders Guineas was run over 1400m at Fairview on Friday and honours went to Justin Snaith-trained Cup Cake, scoring her third win in a row. Favourite in the race was well-backed favourite Kanara, but she could finish only fifth.

Despite a fancied runner winning the feature, the carryover Pick 6 was hard to catch and only 18% of the R716 318 pool was won.

A TAB Pick 6 carryover to Turffontein on Saturday was also lucrative to the holders of the 1.35 winning tickets. The bet paid R1 212 163.