Dave Mollett
4 minute read
22 Mar 2017
11:10 am

Enaad’s new challenge

Dave Mollett

Jooste-owned colt priced up for Epsom Derby.

ISLAND CHALLENGE. Champion stayer Enaad, pictured, and Parachute Man could clash in the Grade 1 Maiden Cup at Champ de Mar.

For racing-mad fans in Mauritius, it’s a block­buster not to be missed.

South Africa’s cham­pion stayer Enaad v Mau­ritius champion Parachute Man.

This intriguing clash is likely to take place in the Grade 1 Maiden Cup at Champ de Mars racecourse in September.

Enaad is one of 130 recent ar­rivals in the holiday island from South Africa. He’ll join the Gujad­hur team and – if he rediscovers his best form – could well pose a real threat to Ricky Maingard’s champion.

Enaad was given a peach of a ride by S’manga Khumalo to win last season’s Grade 2 Durban Gold Cup and the performance earned him the Champion Stayer award at the Equus awards.

Ricky Maingard, who trained the legendary Wolf Power, was disappointed that quarantine problems prevented him from running Parachute Man in the Sun Met. Despite the presence of Legal Eagle and Whisky Baron, he was convinced the son of High Chaparral – also the sire of Enaad – would be competitive in the Cape’s most famous race.

I’ve been lucky enough to know Ricky since he took out his train­ing licence back in 1975 and – when checking the Mauritius card – al­ways give close scrutiny to his runners.

He saddled Parachute Man to a popular win in last year’s Maid­en Cup where he beat two well-known South African performers in Bulsara and Bouclette Top.

South African horses who are new arrivals in his yard from South Africa include My Boy Wil­lie and Jama while Jean-Michel Henry will be taking delivery of Qatar Springs and Midnite Zone.

Qatar Springs won six races in the care of trainer Gavin Van Zyl and Midnite Zone notched up three wins for trainer-of-the-mo­ment, Brett Crawford.

Beat The Retreat, a former in­mate of Alistair Gordon’s stable who ran second in the Grade 3 Godolphin Barb, and Act Of Loy­alty are two others likely to make their presence felt on the island.

The new Mauritius season kicks off this Saturday with the running of the Duchess Of York Cup and I expect many South Af­rican punters will be delighted to bet on the racing there rather than some small meeting in Aus­tralia.

The main reason is that South African jockeys often sign con­tracts to ride there for the season – some, like Johnny Geroudis who was as popular there as Frankie Dettori in the UK, stay longer. However, it’s not all beach and golf and some riders – including Bran­don Lerena – have left early to re­turn to SA racing.

It occurred to me that – due to the illness of Alistair Cohen – Tel­lytrack might be stuck for a com­mentator for Saturday’s opening meeting. Nico Kritsiotis informs me he’ll be calling the meeting which presumably means Craig or Sheldon Peters will be at Turf­fontein.

Yes, all systems go for the kick-off of the Mauritius season and – come September – it might just be worthwhile to make the three-and-a-half hour flight to see Enaad and Parachute Man clash in the Maiden Cup.

***

UK bookies quote Markus Jooste’s three year-old, Giant’s Treasure, as a 40-1 chance for the Investec Derby on Saturday 3 June.

The inclusion of the son of Shamardal in betting on the Ep­som classic is the result of the colt’s facile debut win on the ta­peta at Wolverhampton last week.

Now it’s a huge chasm from a small race at a midlands track to taking on the cream of Europe’s three year-old, but the Richard Hannon inmate was mighty im­pressive as he strode away leaving his rivals trailing in his wake.

I expect Markus is excited at the prospect of just having a run­ner in a race sponsored by his close friend, Bernard Kantor.

The Steinhoff boss – involved in more purchases in Australia recently – ticked off another of his racing goals when The Conglom­erate won last year’s Vodacom Durban July.

But even a place in the Derby would trump that achievement and – on pedigree – there’s every reason to believe Giant’s Treasure will stay the 2400m trip.

Of course, the intriguing ques­tion is this: will Markus’ retained jockey, Anton Marcus, fly over to take the ride?

For one of SA’s most talented horsemen who has tasted inter­national success in Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai, it would put the cherry on top of an outstand­ing career.