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– Written by Mark van Deventer

Event 1: Winter Feature Racing Season 

Ultra consistent and durable, Vercingetorix gelding, RASCALLION produced a sustained stretch run to win the Variety Club Mile (G3) at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on a windswept Saturday afternoon. 

The fierce head wind played to the strengths of the long striding, Vaughan Marshall trained six-year-old gelding, who sat a perfect trip on the rail before using his big action down the whole length of the 600m straight to get ahead within close site of the finishing post.  

16/1 chance, PORT LOUIS and long- time leader MONTIEN (who bore the brunt of the gale force and probably just needed his first run back after 70 days off track) were a length back with FUTURE PRINCE rounding out the quartet in a tight finish, where the first five were covered by just over a length and a tail. 

RASCALLION has now won five of 25 starts and has also placed 13 times. Bred out of the Jet Master mare, Sofala by Dr Veronique Kritzinger, he has competed at the highest level over a range of distances on left and right-handed tracks – he always gives it a full go.  Despite a suspensory injury necessitating a long layoff, the courageous RASCALLION has won GR2’s and GR3’s and placed in GR1 races, most recently just a creditable effor to run second in the World Sports Betting Cape Town Met, behindDouble Superlative over 2000m. 

He was adroitly handled by Morne Winnaar, a tough, underrated jock, who substituted for Bernard Fayd’Herbe after he badly tweaked his neck in an earlier riding mishap. RASCALLION started well-supported at 28/10. 

The Sweet Chestnut Stakes (Listed) (F&M) over 1400m fell to PRINCESS IZZY. The Master of my Fate filly ex Destiny Dancer is conditioned by Brett Crawford and owned by Suzette Viljoen. The 7/1 shot received a perfect stalk and pounce trip to stay on and beat deep closers, Enemy Territory (also trained by Crawford) and My Flower Fate, who completely blew the start so did credibly to recover and hit the board in third  

Favoured, KYALAMI GIRL failed to last home and tired to be fourth after trying hard on the stand side rail. 

PRINCESS IZZY was bred at Varsfontein Stud. The three-year-old is now a winner of three races from nine starts, including five places and seemed to relish cutting back in distance after recently going 1800m. Jockey, Luyolo Mxothwa gave her a perfect steer.  

As a closing aside, the race PRINCESS IZZY won is named to honour, Sweet Chestnut a freaky-good filly from the early 80’s. Trainer Mike Bass remembers she was physically “built like a dragster” and won more than a dozen contests. 

She was at her brilliant best over the short cuts with her career ending as a four-year-old after she won the Jack Stubbs, beating older champion speedball, Horatius. Her owner, Georgina Rogers, believed she had little more to prove. At three, she had stretched out to win the Fillies Guineas on class alone. She was an absolute champ! 

– Images by Chase Liebenberg