Variety Club, South Africa’s reigning Horse of the Year, showed that he is indeed the best miler in the country when he demolished the R 1 million, Group 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate field in a devastating fashion, after surviving a false start.
Anton Marcus salutes as Variety Club wins the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate, picture Liesl King
Jockey Anton Marcus was very confident that the Joey Ramsden trained Variety Club had enough gate speed to overcome his wide draw in barrier 15 and the colt proved him correct. Pomodoro briefly held the lead, but within a few strides, Marcus had steered the colt across and into the lead.
From there it was a masterful display of dominance as Variety Club led the field into the home stride, swinging wide around the bend, as he is likes to do, before switching gears and putting daylight between himself and the chasing pack.
Behind him a desperate battle for second unfolded, as the rest of the field had long since come off the bit and oxygen was in short supply, as they tried to stay within a reasonable distance of the fast disappearing leader.
Variety Club strides clear, picture Liesl King
Variety Club was going so easily that Marcus had time to salute the crowd before crossing the line 2.25 lengths clear after easing down in the closing stages. Jackson finished the best of the rest in second, narrowly piping Pomodoro, who had to settle for third.
Starting 1/1 favourite, Variety Club stopped the clock in 1.37.83 on a good track with a slight headwind.
According to his connections, Variety Club will now head off on an overseas campaign, with an application having been made to the Dubai authorities to allow the colt to run on World Cup night.
Derek Brugman, racing manager for owners Mrs I Jooste and Mr M J Jooste said,: “We have sent a request to the Dubai Racing Carnival asking for special permission to go into quarantine so that he can run in either the Dubai Duty Free or the Mile.”
Variety Club gets a well deserved hug from Anton Marcus, picture Liesl King
Variety Club by Var(USA) out of the Secret Prospector(USA) mare La Massine, recorded his 12th victory from 17 starts, taking his earnings to R2 715 250.