Positive thinking infuses racing opener at Ngong

By Windsor Lass

All those attending the Ngong opener last Sunday were treated to a fine ambiance of encouraging members from all walks of life.

Next up is the Kenyatta Day Cup when public enterprise is of primary concern, plus added prize money on a larger scale, from Brookside sponsorship. Last weekend, Divine Prince and Eucalyptus, both fancied to strike, were withdrawn under veterinary certificate, changing the landscape of jackpots.

Punters were eagerly watching satelite TV between races as Epsom Derby hero, Workforce (Ryan More, 16-1), provided trainer Sir Michael Stoute, with his first ever winner of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He edged out Japanese raider, Nakayama Festa, in a stirring short-head photo-finish at Longchamp. Work Force’s owner, Khalid Abdullah, was enjoying a quartet of successes in the race, having had Rainbow Quest, Dancing Brave, and, Rail Link, as previous successful visitors to the magnificent Paris Showpiece.

The closing stages of the race were absorbing, but Stewards had to call an enquiry for some drama behind where the Aga Khan’s, Sarafina was interefered with by Midas Touch, pushing it to run outside into third spot.

His Behkabad had nowhere to go except fourth. It could have been much nearer. Nineteen runners are bound to cause a jam, but it was the favourite, Planteur who had to be demoted to last from seventh.

Prize money reaches all those up to 10th. Fame and Glory was hampered by Planteur, enough to almost cause Johnny Murtagh a fall.