BATTLE FORCE SCORES GOLDEN HORSE SPRINT THRILLER
Trainer Paul Matchett, who has had such a wonderful season with his star Act Of War filly War Of Athena, enjoyed more success with the progeny of former Cape Guineas winner Act Of War when the latter’s three-year-old son Battle Force stormed home to land Sunday’s G1 Golden Horse Sprint (1200m) at Hollywoodbets Scotsville.
A good winner of his last start at the Vaal, the gelded Battle Force came into Sunday’s R500 000 sprint with just 52kgs on his back, and his light weight helpled the sophomore score a memorable win on one of South Africa’s top sprint races.
Battle Force, ridden by Craig Zackey for a first time, pulled a shoe on the way down to the start, which caused a delay to the running of Golden Horse Sprint. However, the farrier was unable to shod Battle Force, so that son of Act Of War raced unshod behind.
The field got off to a fair start, with the fancied Vars Vicky leading early on, with the likes of No Laying Up and Cartel Captain.
Zackey bought Battle Force to the front 400m from home, as a stampede of horses covered the Scottsville track, and the pair kept going well, to hold off a late charge from Eden Roc to win the R312 500 first prize by a neck, with Eden Roc’s fast finish just failing to get up. The Tarry trained Eden Roc finished a long neck clear of favourite MK’s Pride, with the latter finishing third.
Less than two lengths separated the first seven home!
A second G1 winner to have emerged from Act Of War’s first crop, the Summerhill Stud bred gelding claimed his first black type win in a time of 68.61.
Now a winner of six of his 12 starts, Battle Force was a R130 000 buy from the 2019 KZN Yearling Sale.
He is out of the Elusive City mare Mataaib, an unraced half-sister to the stakes wining Flash Dance from the family of Coventry Stakes winner CD Europe and smart filly Iveagh Gardens.
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