Mr van Schalkwyk's double at the Vaal!
The very predominant black, pink and white colours were on show at the Vaal on Thursday. The silks belong to long time patron of the horse racing industry and particularly to the Pettigrew stable for many years. A very big well done to Mr Ian van Schalkwyk. The owner and stable combination celebrated a double on the day with two fillies, NICE MOVE and PRINCESS PHILIPPA (in partnership with Mr Anton Marx).
NICE MOVE was the first into the winners enclosure when winning her maiden victory, this coming after very consistent form, never running out of the money and seemed like the win may have been overdue. It seemed like the right type of field, a good draw and a familiar distance. There was also the addition of the blinkers for the first time and looked to have worked out well to keep the filly's mind on the job in the closing stages.
Young Philisande Mxoli partnered the well bred Visionaire filly to victory with a cool, calm and collected ride. At one stage it looked like the they might have battled for running room but Mxoli bided his time well and the filly was full of running. When it came to the closing stages both jockey and horse dug down to win a nice race by 0,50 lengths. The 4-year-old's next run will give the connections a good gauge as to how the filly progresses. If merit rated appropriately and can find the right type of races, hopefully she can remain competitive and earn a few more stakes.
PRINCESS PHILIPPA was next up and seemed like a banker in the exotics for a lot of folk following her on the day. Some opening prices of 5/2 in the market seemed quite generous considering her following and the current form she was bringing into the race. The stable were confident of an excellent run and this very game Silvano filly was able to oblige! Also a relatively lightly raced 4-year-old, but she has managed to notch up her third career victory and seems to be in a good space.
After a very good 2nd beyond a her talented stable companion last time out and a good win before that, she certainly stood out as the one to beat. Randall Simons partnered the filly again as he did in her penultimate and had the benefit of a good draw to just position the filly well and ask the question when the time was right. The filly was always travelling full of running. Simons then decided to pull the filly out towards the centre of the track where she began to get into full stride and chase down the leader. With about 100m to go she hit the front and only then started pulling clear, a much more convincing win the the 0,50 length margin suggests.
She seems to be getting better with experience and is also the type of filly that can remain competitive if rated correctly and finds the right type of races. She enjoys the 1400m distance, but maybe with the maturity she could step it up to the mile and open herself up to more suitable races. Another exciting filly to own that tries every time she comes to the races. The filly is also co-owned by another long time and enthusiastic patron of the stable, Mr Anton Marx!
The excellent win/place percentage for the stable's season so far continues to tick on. This is the 15th winner for the season to date and an exceptional place percentage of 84%! All this from 50 runners to date. These accomplishments can only be possible by each and every owner the stable has supporting it.
Thanks to the sponsor for their continued support - HOLLYWOODBETS.