Crofter Takes Windhoek July

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By Fifi Rhodes 1st Crofter 2nd Porto Venere 3rd Jimmy Cool 4th Deep Impact Close to 500 racing fans cheered in delight as outsider Crofter crossed the finish line to win the 2006 Windhoek July Richelieu Cup by a tiny margin, rounding off a memorable record-breaking relationship between Distell Namibia and the Namibia Horse Racing Association, the meet held in sunny weather at Windhoek’s Racecourse on Saturday. One of the most open races of the day, the Riche-lieu Cup turned into a thriller of a showdown, with many of the fancied horses playing a part in the 1 800-meter race. Crofter, who came third in the fifth race, did little more than was necessary to stake his authority over her rivals. Held back by jockey Riaan Swartbooi (Sawedood) early on as favourites Porto Venere and Deep Impact made their way, she jumped the line when given little rein and had the race won by a fraction of a margin. Porto Venere and Jimmy Cool had little between them after a protracted duel for second and third place. Deep Impact of Werner Eberenz who had 59 medals and eleven cups to his name over nine years and ran in a record of N$165 000 over this period, led the race up to the 1000 meter mark but found nothing in the closing but a beating by three horses. Jimmy Cool of Daniel Beukes has set in a huge fear among race enthusiasts but will surely redeem himself with stable mate Slight Rule, at a later stage. The owner of Crofter, Werner Eberenz, had a field day as most of his geldings crossed the line. Counter Balance won the Graduation race over 1 000 meters with Forty Love taking the C-Division followed by Deep Impact in third. The A-division saw some impressive action as Royal Secret and Slight Rule went wide for a long way where Jockey of the Day, Riaan Swartbooi, eventually took Royal Secret away. Crofter here stayed on gamely in the straight but lost some stamina to make her a little effective. In the other races over 1000 and 1800 meters respectively the young Dominici of Stolla van Wyk had two terrific runs. She hit the front early in both races to make her mark as a strong finisher.