Don’t Google the phrase ‘white horse’ and its symbolism – you’ll just get confused.
Basically, the appearance of a pale pony could mean anything. There are obvious references to purity, innocence and spirituality, but it seems heavy drugs like heroin and cocaine are equally associated with the words ‘white horse’.
You’ll also find reference to foam-flecked waves in the ocean, a Taylor Swift song about a
beastly boyfriend, and carved equine figures on English chalk hillsides.
And that’s not to mention the First Horseman of the Apocalypse, who gallops a vicious white steed on his mission of death and destruction.
Perhaps even more relevant, however, and closer to home, there’s a beautiful white horse competing at Turffontein on Saturday and he has a good chance of winning.
The runner in question is After The Rain, who was this week described as “the most popular horse in KZN” and “the prettiest horse in racing” in media previews of the Allied Steelrode-Onamission Charity Mile, one of the most popular race meetings on the calendar.
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Officially designated a “grey”, After The Rain is one of the most Omo-rinsed thoroughbreds you are likely to see, and though a few punters are averse to backing greys, trainer Gareth van Zyl’s five-year-old has proved that superstition to be silly by registering five wins and seven places from his 13 starts.
Summerveld-based Van Zyl brought the son of Master Of My Fate up north at the beginning of the month for the Joburg Spring Challenge. He showed no ill-effects of the long trip by giving well-regarded favourite William Robertson a big scare, going down by just 0.25 lengths on the Big T’s Inside track.
That was over 1450m and the connections are confident After The Rain will easily handle the extra 150m of the Standside circuit in Saturday’s R800,000 Grade 2 contest.
Of course, it won’t be easy for the raider from the coast as the Charity Mile field is packed with top-class animals – as is usual for racing’s biggest philanthropic event of the year.
Topping the bookmakers’ boards is Mike de Kock-trained Safe Passage, who was third in the 2022 Durban July and who won last season’s Dingaans and Gauteng Guineas over this very track and trip. One small
doubt about him is that he hasn’t galloped in anger since the July and is prepping for the Summer Cup, so he might be short of a run.
There are plenty of other runners with lively chances, which will keep the big invited crowd guessing.
Ones to include in all bets are Puerto Manzano, MK’s Pride and Pyromaniac, and a smart outsider in the party is Indlamu.
Race 7: 11 After The Rain, 16 Indlamu, 3 Safe Passage 4 Puerto Manzano Passage,
2-1 Safe Passage
7-1 After The Rain
8-1 MK’s Pride
14-1 Puerto Manzano, Bingwa, Hoedspruit
20-1 Red Saxon
25-1 Irish Tractor, Litigation
33-1 Homely Girl, Forever Mine, Indlamu