The four-year-old gelding did not run badly when trained on the Highveld by Robbie Sage and won a Maiden Plate over 1 600m on the Turffontein inside track where he beat Gladiatore by 1.50 lengths. After that victory Red Special was rarely far behind the winner, but failed to find a place in his four subsequent starts.
He is by Kahal, and it is a well-established fact his progeny have an impressive record on the sand. So it was a good decision to send him to Kimberley, where he is trained by Stephanie Miller.
Gunter Wrogemann rode him regularly on the Highveld so it made sense for Miller to continue using him at Flamingo Park. Remarkably he went off at 14-1 for his debut appearance but won like an odds-on shot, beating Blue Eyed Boy, to whom he was conceding 8.5kg, by 8.25 lengths.
He was penalised by eight points, which is the maximum allowed on sand, so he could still have quite a way to go before the handicapper catches up to him. Last time he was drawn No 12 of 13 runners, but this time Wrogemann will jump from pole position. There will not be any 14-1 available about him today!
One has to have some respect for Rich Approval, who ran a cracker at Turffontein last time when a 4.40-length fifth behind Apple Crumble in a MR 71 Handicap over 1450m and gets the benefit of a 1.5kg claim.