The Thunder Returns!

Craig Zackey’s confident performance in the saddle

With rain falling over Hollywoodbets Scottsville, the lightly raced Imilenzeyokududuma found the winner’s enclosure after a lengthy absence as he produced a sustained finish to bounce back to best and win the R90 000 non black-type Fever Tree Stakes under a delighted Craig Zackey.

A horse that promised plenty early on, and another fairytale outcome for Hollywood’s ‘Life After Racing’ initiative run by Nicole Wille, the 5yo gelding was having his fourth start for trainer Gareth van Zyl after transferring from Peter Muscutt last year.

Stripping a fit and happy horse, Imilenzeyokududuma (2-1) registered his first win in 448 days for the high-riding Hollywood Syndicate when he exploded on to the scene at the 250m marker and stayed on best to beat Narina Trogon (33-1) by 1,40 lengths in a time of 88,88 secs for the Capital City 1500m.

Imilenzeyokududuma storms home under Craig Zackey – third placed Gr1 winner Royal Victory (Calvin Habib) sneaks into the pic (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The Gr1 Betway Summer Cup hero Royal Victory (9-2) had no luck in running, but ran a credible race to finish third a half length back.

Formagear (7-2) looked dangerous late, and completed the quartet.

Craig Zackey said that the winner had given him a good feel on the way to post and that the class was clearly there.

“He won well, despite hanging late. He’s a lovely horse,” he added.

When asked about the conditions, he said the visibility was fine but that the kickback of mud was not ideal.

“It’s a pity that this track hardly takes any rain,” he observed.

Muddied! Craig Zackey smiles for the camera after the feature win as interviewer Deez Dayanand looks on (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Imilenzeyokududuma was bred by Ridgemont Highlands and is a son of late champion Dynasty (Fort Wood) out of the three-time winning High Chaparral mare Chevauchee.

A R400 000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale graduate, he has won 5 races with 7 places from 16 starts and stakes of R493 100.

Imilenzeyokududuma is named after Hollywoodbets brand ambassador Jerry Sikhosana, an Orlando Pirates legend who scored the winning goal in the 1995 African Cup of Champions Clubs Final. Sikhosana’s nickname during his playing career was ‘Legs Of Thunder’, hence the Xhosa translation Imilenzeyokududuma.

The Hollywoodbets Punters’ Challenge again provided a thrilling finish with player Ashen finding the first 7 winners on the card and going into the final race with his hopes and dreams riding on the back of Papa C.

At the 200m it was anybody’s race, but Kobeli Lihaba just couldn’t get Papa C to Chase Maujean and the free-striding and very game Safe Space, and a length was the difference between the ecstacy and agony for Ashen and a big payday.

Ashen did not exercise the option to wager a minimum of R50 on the programmatically generated betslip, so didn’t double his potential payout, but was still in line to win a sizeable R860 000 for his free entry.

But that’s racing!

Don’t miss your chance to enter the Hollywoodbets Punters’ Challenge on all local racemeetings, as well as Hong Kong and Singapore fixtures.

The next KZN racemeeting is at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Wednesday 21 February.

Enjoy the feature replay: