Thursday, 11 March 2021 20:28


Bernie 10 March 21

It feels as though we are just coming up for a quick breather when taking a look at this weekend’s race cards, following a flurry of big features and Grade One racing.


by Gary Lemke, supplied by

It feels as though we are just coming up for a quick breather when taking a look at this weekend’s race cards, following a flurry of big features and Grade One racing.

Still, there is some important stuff to tackle, with Turffontein staging the Derby and Oaks Trials (both listed races) over 2000m on Saturday. This is a pointer to both those three-year-old staying races looming.

For both the Derby and Oaks Trials the winner is staring at us from off the race card pages. But, I urge caution. The colts and geldings’ race has attracted 11 runners and the fillies equivalent nine runners, but the highest merit rating of any horse across both races is only 88. There are three-year-olds that are lightly raced and could show plenty of improvement, while others might be ambitious entries.

I don’t have a strong feel for either race, so I’ve been using the process of elimination to whittle the contenders down. I’m not a big fan of young horses (and these three-year-olds fit into that category) wearing blinkers so early in their careers. And while it has become a lot more popular – some trainers routinely fit it – I also think twice when looking at a young horse fitted with a tongue tie. It might suggest there’s a breathing problem, which hinders a horse more the longer the distance.

So, I might be well off the mark here, but that’s racing. Everyone’s an expert after the horses cross the finish line.

But, in narrowing the fields down, simply based on the above, I’m left with six horses in the Derby Trial: Pamushana’s Pride, Invincible Warrior, Bold Resolve, Earl, Ushuaia and Midnight Caller. Of those Sean Tarry has three (four in the field in total) and you’d expect that jockey Lyle Hewitson had the choice of rides. Not that jockeys always get it right, but he’s on Invincible Warrior. Pamushana’s Pride looks to have a lot of heart, so needs to be considered too.

Similarly, the Oaks field is narrowed down to six horses: Ideal Jet, Traveling Wilbury, Astral Plane, Keeping The Peace, Queen Bomi and Ayraam. The two daughters of Dynasty, Travelling Wilbury and Ayraam will keep improving and will relish this distance.

There’s a Grade 2 on the card, the Senor Santa Stakes over 1160m and this looks really competitive. Ten of the 14 runners have merit ratings of 114 or higher and the lowest is a 102. There’s proper speed in this race. Keep an eye out on Mount Pleasant who has been really disappointing in his last two starts over a mile. It might well be that he bounces back to his best with a big run over a sprint. There also should be a piece of paper separating True To Life and Chimichuri Run, although the speed in the race seems to be on the outside which would favour True To Life.

Last week we were spot on with saying Malmoos would be hard to oppose in the SA Classic at Turffontein. We even suggested that 13-10, available at the time, was a generous price. Imagine the surprise when he drifted out to start at 51-20 as Catch Twentytwo was backed to beat him. Malmoos still came home like an odds-on shot though, rewarding those who had continued to back him through the betting drift.

In the Western Cape you know that winter is coming when racing switches from Kenilworth to Durbanville. The “country corse” is actually a delightfully intimate place to go racing and improvements to the track in recent times has made the racing fairer than it used to be. Not long ago, if your horse wasn’t a front runner and it wasn’t drawn in the first five gates from the fence you could virtually draw a line through its chances.

Now, with the track being flattened out and the turn being made wider, an inside draw is still an advantage, but others have winning chances as well. Now too a horse is able to come off the pace, whereas previously it was a front-runner’s playground.

Still, with racing reverting to Durbanville this weekend, the inside draws will probably still be the more favourable, while those who like to race handy should be given preference when you’re studying the race card.

Bass Racing had a good say at the office last week with three winners and they are sponsored by GG Gaming. They don’t appear to have any standout winners on the card, but Bernie (race 2), Swazi Queen (race 3), On Your Marks (race 4), Master Of Power (race 6) and Golden Dah (race 8) might be their best runners on the card for the stable.

Thursday, 11 March 2021 15:28

The Beast joins WSB as brand ambassador

Beast TW1

Tendai Mtawarira or “The Beast”, a globally renowned household name to all rugby fans is known for his powerful, yet passionate approach to the game of rugby.

The Springbok prop joins the WSB team and will be working with them to showcase their continued support of sport in SA.

“Fans can look forward to seeing lots of great content from the partnership,” says Ryno Du Plessis, Head of Marketing at World Sports Betting.

“Television advertising, our ‘Best Bets’ campaign, rugby insights, public appearances and more are already on the agenda…”

Mtawarira made his debut for South Africa against Wales on 14 June 2008 and today, with 117 caps behind him, he is the most capped prop in South African history and the third most-capped Springbok of all time. Internationally, he is the17th most capped forward and the 5th most capped prop of all time. He is also a 2019 Rugby World Cup Winner.

On and off the field, Mtawarira earns the well-recognised respect every professional athlete strives for and sports a “never back down” attitude.

With this said, World Sports Betting’s partnership with the sporting legend, Mtawarira is an ideal match as he joins the brand as their official ambassador and face of rugby.

“The partnership was an easy choice – Mtawarira never settles for average and neither do we,” comments Tannous.

World Sports Betting boasts a wide variety of global betting markets with thousands of betting opportunities on offer and has earned a reputation amongst punters as a betting platform that always strives to deliver the best odds for any given event.

“We are over the moon to be working with such a legend of SA Rugby. As a company, we are sports lovers by nature and I truly believe that our team and clients alike will be excited about this partnership. The Beast joins a host of other ambassadors and we can’t wait to see what the future holds”.

Speaking about his new role as a brand ambassador, Tendai says that he is excited to be aligning himself with such a strong brand. “World Sports Betting is a brand that people associate with integrity and their product offering is mind-blowing. My personal brand is very important to me and I am very proud to be stepping into this role as an ambassador for such a great company. I am blown away by their website, do yourself a favour and check it out.”

About World Sports Betting:

World Sports Betting is a sport, racing, numbers betting platform and casino and live game operator in South Africa offering a safe, legal and reliable gaming experience to its members.

With retail stores in KZN, Gauteng, Eastern and Western Cape, WSB holds gaming licenses in all 4 provinces.

South African citizens of the age of 18 and older are welcome to visit today and sign up to enjoy a massive R10, 000 First Deposit Match and instant access to a vast array of promotions.


Warren Tannous, Group CEO of World Sports Betting welcomes Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira to the World Sports Betting team.

Friday, 05 March 2021 09:48

Hard To Oppose Malmoos

Malmoos 4 March 21

Whenever you run your finger down the list of carded runners, you invariably stop for a closer look at anything trained by Mike de Kock and owned by Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum. 


by Gary Lemke, supplied by

Whenever you run your finger down the list of carded runners, you invariably stop for a closer look at anything trained by Mike de Kock and owned by Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum. The combination catches the attention, just as the blue and white silks do the race commentators.

Racing is a business at the sharp end of the game, not a mere hobby. The top owners and trainers are in it to win. They expect to win. There’s little room for sentiment in their decision-making.

So, while Catch Twentytwo looks a lively rival in Saturday’s SA Classic at Turffontein, it’s impossible to look beyond Malmoos who represents the powerful De Kock-Sheik Hamdan partnership in this second leg of the Triple Crown. They meet three weeks after Malmoos held on to win by a quarter-of-a-length after hitting the front a long way out.

Over the extra 200m this time there is no reason to suggest that Catch Twentytwo can’t turn the tables and that’s probably the reason why he’s 22-10 second favourite. Malmoos meanwhile, is “only” 13-10 favourite.

I say “only”, because I feel he should be around even money and that 13-10 is a good price.

He’s a winner of five of his six starts, with the only blemish being in the Cape Guineas. We touched on that in last week’s column when I advised against backing the winner of that race, Russian Rock, in the Derby. He started third favourite and ran unplaced.

Malmoos’ Cape form is better explained when he beat the talented Linebacker by half a length over 1600m in November. The latter won last week’s Cape Derby. The more we analyse the Cape Guineas race, the more we can draw a line through the form.

When Malmoos won the first leg of the Triple Crown, the Gauteng Guineas over 1600m, he started 47-20 favourite. That is the widest his odds have been in all six starts. His going into the gates odds have been: 5-10, 21-20, 19-20, 4-10, 14-10 and 47-20. And he’s won five times. He’s clearly one of De Kock’s better three-year-olds.

Now he goes 1800m and the slight worry might be that he races too handy and hits the front too early in the straight, inviting his challengers for a fight to the finish from a long way out. But, he’s proven he’s got heart and he’s proven he has got ability.

De Kock, being the master that he is, will have left some conditioning to work on in the past three weeks and I feel that Malmoos will again deliver, although Catch Twentytwo justifiably has his many followers. Still, the two should be the exacta, with Second Base completing the trifecta. It might not pay bombs, but rather stand in the queue holding a winning ticket than a 100-1 losing one.

The second leg of the (fillies) Triple Tiara looks at War Of Athena’s mercy given she won’t be renewing her rivalry with Anything Goes.

War Of Athena won the first leg, the Gauteng Fillies Guineas and never looked threatened and the extra 200m won’t be of any inconvenience. She’s 3-10 in the betting for a reason. De Kock has entered the Silvano filly Sparkling Water, who is merit rated 92 (War Of Athena is a 122) and who is some 15kg out at the weights with the favourite. Still, De Kock’s filly looks to have plenty of scope for improvement.

Sean Tarry sends out two runners and jockey Lyle Hewitson would have had the choice and he’s decided to ride the disappointing Caralluma, who has 13 lengths to find with War Of Athena on their previous run.

Cape racing is at Kenilworth and the advice is to follow trainer Candice Bass-Robinson throughout Saturday’s card. She has a number of races where she has winning chances, specifically Global Goddess (race 2), Benjamin (race 3), La Banquiere (race 4), Adios Amigos (race 6) and Greenlightflash (race 8).

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