The King Returns

TAB Listed Aquanaut Handicap

Even Piere Strydom can make errors of form judgement. The multiple champion veteran considered the 6yo Crimson King his ‘worst ride’ on the Turffontein Saturday card. But the 6yo gelding had other ideas and he arrived in a winning mood.

The Brett Crawford-trained Crimson King is no slouch and somehow reserves his best efforts for the bigger occasions.

Piere Strydom produces the magic as Crimson King stays on best to beat Red Maple (obscured) under Serino Moodley (Pic – JC Photos)

Prior to his victory in Saturday’s R200 000 TAB Listed Aquanaut Handicap, his last visit to the winner’s enclosure was in the SplashOut Gr3 2200 – also known as the ‘Consolation July’. Two years prior to that he scored a Gr3 feature victory in the dead of the Cape winter.

But he can run when in the mood, and he rose to the occasion under a beautifully judged display of Piere Strydom patience in the 2400m handicap.

With the filly Indian Ocean ensuring a solid gallop for 2100m, the stage was set for Crimson King (25-2) to put his best foot forward and he arrived in style to beat the consistent Silvano filly Red Maple (7-1) by a half length in a time of 153,06 secs.

Alec Laird’s Rule Book (16-1) loomed up menacingly and stayed on well for third, a further 1,10 lengths back.

The favourite Prime Example was at the rear for much of the journey, but made up some ground to finish 6 lengths off the winner, and sadly out of the money for his supporters.

Crimson King was yet another winner on the day to be bred by Ridgemont and was the second leg of a feature double for the Hollywoodbets-sponsored Brett Crawford Racing team.

He is by the farm’s late icon Dynasty (Fort Wood) and is out of the three-time winning Mogok mare, Cup Of Rubies, a half-sister to 2007 Durban July winner Hunting Tower.

A R200 000 graduate of the 2019 BSA KZN Yearling Sale, Crimson King has won 4 races with 11 places from his 33 starts for stakes of R609 625.

Piere Strydom ended the day with two winners, after the fancied Silent War couldn’t catch his pacemaking stablemate Scallywag in the eighth race.