Variety Club could head to Dubai after Plate win
Report: South Africa, Saturday
Kenilworth: L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+
VARIETY CLUB (Joey Ramsden/Anton Marcus) survived a false start scare to lead throughout South Africa’s premier mile race and his connections have made an application to the Dubai authorities to be allowed to run the Horse of the Year there in March.
Derek Brugman, racing manager for owners Markus and Ingrid 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.”
At the moment the import of South African horses into Dubai is banned unless they go via Europe and the European authorities will not allow them in there before the present two-year African Horse Sickness ban expires in May.
The 9-10 favourite backed out of the stalls a fraction of a second before the starter let the others go and a false start was declared. Variety Club then got a flier from his bad draw and made the rest.
Ramsden, stepson of former Yorkshire trainer Linda Ramsden, had won the historic race twice before and said: “Dubai looks a long shot at the moment but we can’t go anywhere else.”
Also on Saturday
Kenilworth: Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes (Grade 1) 1m 1f, turf, 3yo+ f/m
Beach Beauty (Dennis Dryer/Sean Cormack) made amends for last year’s defeat by striding clear over a furlong out to justify 6-4 favouritism by three and three-quarter lengths.
Cormack said: “It wasn’t easy from her wide draw but she has tremendous gate speed and I managed to slot her in. I gave her a breather and then, when I asked her, it was all over.”
Drier added: “I am impressed, over-impressed in fact. The J&B Met early next month is our main goal and the extra furlong won’t bother her at all. She was beaten less than two lengths when fifth to Igugu last year when the race didn’t go for her.”