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Thursday’s ten race card at Kenilworth did not prove a friendly one for punters. Just one favourite arrived, with several hot fancies failing to impress.

The day started off in ominous fashion for favourite backers when 100-1 shot Passion Dance provided one of the shocks of the year when breaking her maiden over 1000 metres. The daughter of Ideal World, dropping back from a mile to 1000m, had previously failed to get within lengths of placed horses in her previous four starts.

One of the brighter spots on Thursday’s card came when the well related Milden Spell romped home to break by three lengths going away.
The son of Trippi is out of G3 Poinsettia Stakes winner Milden Magic, who is best known as the granddam of Triple Crown winner and Sorrento Stud sire Louis The King.

Trainer Justin Snaith did a great job in bringing Milden Spell back to win after an 11 month layoff, and the former champion trainer said after the emphatic win, “He has a very poor knee and the vets advised us to put him down. I could not bring myself to do this, and he has been hiding with my polo ponies! Well down to (owner) Nic Jonnsson for being so patient.”

Punters again suffered misfortune in the fourth race, when the well backed favourite Afdeek lost a shoe and had to race unshod on his front feet. The Australian bred got very worked up at the start which may well have cost the Mike de Kock trained 3yo his chance in the 1400m race.

Glen Kotzen, who saddles three runners in Saturday’s G1 World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas, also enjoyed a memorable afternoon on Thursday. Kotzen sent out Opera Royal and Tripple Explosion to win races seventh and eight respectively, with the former stamping himself a potential G1 Investec Cape Derby runner with a one length score over older rivals.

The Cape Derby of 2010 went the way of Bravura, and the latter’s full-brother, and bookmakers friend, William The Brave got off the mark at the 10th time of asking when successful over 1800 metres.

Much vaunted KZN visitor Billy Silver was all the rage for the ninth race, a MR 80 handicap over 1200m, but the son of Silvano could only finish a 3.2 length fifth to Nasty Harry.

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