Graded race success for Mercantour!
The Europa Point Man 'O War Sprint (Grade 3) on Saturday belonged to MERCANTOUR. This was the 3-year-old's first taste at Graded victory.
The Var gelding has always shown ability since his Juvenile campaign started, but seems to be flourishing now as a stronger and more experienced 3-year-old. He has been competing in some very strong field and has never disappointed connections. It's his last two victories that have been really eye catching and he has labelled himself as a sprinter to be taken seriously.
This latest win now makes the gelding a 5 time winner and many places from just 14 starts and now has black type to add to his name. The race was certainly his toughest test to date. He got a heavy penalty after his last win which brought him into the race shouldering top weight and needing to do things the hard way. Richard Fourie partnered him and the combination is two from two!
The style of running during the race was nearly identical to his previous win and it's evident that the horse and jockey combination get on very well. Mercantour has the ability to settle very well off the pace and bide his time, which sometimes seems difficult in a sprint, but the most impressive point is his turn of foot. Fourie did brilliantly to sit just off the speed and track the favourite. When it came to the closing stages, Fourie switched out for a run and looked to be going better than the favourite, which was the only competition, the rest of the field many lengths behind. Both horse and jockey dug down deep with a strong finish and ended up winning by 0,25 lengths.
With this win under his belt, he would will continue to climb in the merit ratings and things will only get tougher for him, but he is classy and improving with age and experience. It will continue to be exciting to see how his career progresses throughout the rest of the season. Another very big congratulations to Mr Vicky Veeramootoo. The success is well deserved and the stable continues to value the support,.
The latest stats now indicate 35 winners for the season to date, but more impressive is the win percentage of 19%, the highest in the country and also one of the highest win/place percentages at a staggering 68%!
The stable also appreciates and values the ongoing support from HOLLYWOODBETS!