Greg Cheyne, heading for his best season in terms of races won, rides two favourites and three second favourites from eight rides when Cape Town racing reverts to Durbanville on Saturday.
The early betting suggests that his best prospect is the Andre Nel-trained Tostada who has opened a warm 11-10 favourite for the Racing Association Maiden (race two) but Our Prized Jewel also heads the market in the Hospitality & Venue Booking Handicap. The Brett Crawford-trained 2-1 shot was impressive when odds-on for her debut and is bred in the purple, being a half-sister to both Cape Fillies Guineas winner Silver Mountain and SA Nursery scorer Cloth Of Cloud.
Cheyne is on the 127-winner mark at the moment and his present strike rate suggests he will top last season’s 160 winner total. Three times before he has bettered 150 winners.
Also doing well is Grant van Niekerk who is lying fifth on the Hong Kong log with 31 winners, the same number he achieved in the whole of last season. But, being Van Niekerk, he has also had interference problems and has had five suspensions since September. These have cost him nearly R400 000 in fines alone.
He told the Racing Post’s Graham Cunningham: “Racing here is quick – you are always trying to find the best position – so occasionally you are going to find a bit of trouble. I just have to make sure it doesn’t happen as often and do my best to stay out of the boardroom!”
By Michael Clower