The amazing Power Grid

 Jul 17 2017

If there was racing for disabled horses Power Grid would now be on the shortlist for next month’s Equus Awards.

The Andries Steyn-trained three-year-old throws out his off-hind at an unnatural angle and, when he gallops, the end of it swings loose as if it was broken at the fetlock joint – yet he took his score to three wins from nine starts when beating two class acts in the GA Mac Lachlan Incorporated Pinnacle Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday.

“Mike Barnard at Daytona rang me one day to say that, if I wanted him, I could have him,” Steyn related. “He was going to be put down and I got him almost from the grave.

 “Andrew Brand, Surina de Villiers and my wife Jennifer took on the ownership but when the physiotherapist first looked at his leg there was no muscle on it. She said one side was like cement and the other like jelly.

“Every time I took him to work at Durbanville the jockeys said he was leaning this way and that but one day Lucien Africa got on him and said ‘This thing can go.’

“I now never gallop the horse and that’s why he needs a run to come right but the moment the rains arrive he is a few lengths better.”

Anthony Andrews had the mount on Saturday and, after the first furlong, he went to the front. For a few anxious moments the 12-1 chance looked like throwing it away as Tevez and hot favourite Silicone Valley tried to come up his inner but Andrews quickly got him back on an even keel and the race was his, despite a stipes’ review.

“I thought I would give him a chance but they were going so slowly,” he related before adding drily: “I didn’t realise there would be two of them brave enough to come up the inside. But my horse would have won away.”

Andrews, who was given an official warning to take more care, has had a frustrating – and at times demoralising – season, often sitting in the weighing room wondering why trainers were not making more use of his talents. But seemingly things are about to change because he also won the previous race on Dalibhunga for Andre Nel.

“Anthony rode a superb race, doing exactly what I asked and sitting still on the horse,” said Sabine Plattner’s trainer. “He is now riding work for us. This was only his second race-ride for the stable and he has won on both of them. I will let him keep the rides.”

Victories for Dollar Tractor and Captain Courteous provided fitting tributes after Captain Al’s sad passing and Grant Knowles, who long promoted the horse in his Klawervlei PR role, said: “Captain Al was an absolute legend – and his name will reverberate for some time to come through the achievements of his offspring and their offspring.”

Michael Clower

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