Girls rule at Ascot
PUBLISHED: August 14, 2018
“We’ve had some good girls riding over the years and I don’t think our success surprises anybody, it’s quite normal,”…
Hayley Turner believes a second Shergar Cup win for the Girls team in four years proves female jockeys do not need a weight allowance to be competitive in Britain.
Turner, Josephine Gordon and Hollie Doyle got the better of Great Britain and Ireland, Europe and the Rest of the World at Ascot on Saturday, just as she, Sammy Jo Bell and Emma-Jayne Wilson did in 2015.
“We’ve had some good girls riding over the years and I don’t think our success surprises anybody, it’s quite normal,” said the jockey, who also won the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle for the top-scoring individual rider at the meeting.
Turner, 35, has ridden in France, where the introduction of a weight allowance – now 1.5kg on the Flat – last year to help women jockeys was a key reason why she returned to riding, having retired in the autumn of 2015 before returning the following year to mix race-riding with her media work.
Pointing to the evidence of the Shergar Cup, she said: “It shows we don’t need an allowance over here. The allowance in France has certainly increased the number of girls riding, but I don’t think it’s something that needs to be brought in over here. We can compete on level terms.”
Turner was speaking little more than a month after the launch of British racing’s first Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, one of the aims of which was to support and promote opportunities for female jockeys and assess whether further action was needed to ensure they are given fair and equal opportunities compared to male counterparts.
Turner was making her 12th appearance at the Shergar Cup and is a big fan of the unique event.
“It was amazing, such a fun day,” she said. “They put on such a good show every year and I’m lucky to be involved.”
Noah is a ‘goa’
PUBLISHED: August 14, 2018
From the moment Noah From Goa took charge, it became increasingly clear they would be hard-pressed to run him down in the home straight…
South African Group 1 winner Noah From Goa atoned from his defeat on debut by scoring a resounding all-the-way victory that was a truer reflection of his potential in the $125,000 Better Than Ever 2010 Stakes, a Kranji Stakes A race over 1800m on Sunday.
The 2015 Cape Guineas winner was launched over a similar Kranji Stakes A race, but over 1200m at his Singapore debut five weeks ago. Donning blinkers on that day, the Tiger Ridge six-year-old was like a fish out of water, not to mention he got galloped into and returned with cuts to his near-fore.
A first-up defeat from a much-hyped galloper is always hard to grapple with, but trainer Ricardo le Grange copped it on the chin, and to his credit, did not dwell on it, confident in his horse’s ability to bounce back.
The South African handler did away with the headgear second-up, and also stretched the chestnut out to a more suitable trip. Chuck in a rousing barrier trial win (August 2) in between, and the machine was ready to rumble.
That he did in brilliant fashion on Sunday, under the guidance of Nooresh Juglall. The Mauritian jockey, who was also aboard at his first Kranji outing, did not hold back when he noticed the other seven runners’ reluctance to go forward.
From the moment Noah From Goa took charge, it became increasingly clear they would be hard-pressed to run him down in the home straight.
A delighted Le Grange could breathe better after such a scintillating performance from possibly the best-credentialled horse he was given since he took over Patrick Shaw at the end of 2016.
“Like I said, I learned a lot from the horse. After his first run, I’ve gone back and done things that worked the right way for him,” he said.
“I’ve put this first run behind and it’s great the horse has won today. To do this at his second run after a lengthy break while giving weight to his rivals, it was a really decent effort.
“I’ve got a few people to thank now. First of all, big thanks to Mike de Kock who sent me such a good horse to train.
“It’s also a great honour to train for Mary Slack and her daughter Jessica. They are famous owners and top breeders back home.
“I would also like to thank Nooresh who rode a cracker. He allowed the horse to dictate and that went in our favour.
“I also have to thank his track rider Ayie who rides him every day. Ayie’s a proper rider and you need someone like him to ride a quirky horse like Noah From Goa.”
Hewitson crowned Champion Jockey
PUBLISHED: August 14, 2018
Therefore, at tonight’s Equus Awards, Hewitson will become the first to receive the national champion jockey trophy while still an apprentice since Gerald Turner…
Lyle Hewitson burst to prominence soon after joining the apprentice ranks in March 2016 but few would have envisaged him being crowned national champion jockey in just his second full season as a professional rider.
He becomes the first since the great Michael Roberts to win the national jockeys championship while still an apprentice. Roberts achieved the feat in the 1972-73 season although he attained his full jockey’s license in June of 1973.
Therefore, at tonight’s Equus Awards, Hewitson will become the first to receive the national champion jockey trophy while still an apprentice since Gerald Turner did so in the 1960s. Hewitson is currently recovering from a knee injury but the good news is he will not require surgery and expects to be back in the saddle in about four weeks time.
He said yesterday, “There is quite a bit of bone bruising and there is a hairline fracture and a strained ligament, but it will heal by itself. I will make sure I am 100% before coming back.”
He is receiving physiotherapy as well as sitting in an oxygen chamber and receiving Tecar heat therapy in order to speed up the healing.
He expects to be able to ride in the Jockeys International in Singapore on September 25. He will be team South African together with Muzi Yeni and Aldo Domeyer and will be taking on Team Australia, Team UK and Team Asia.
Hewitson said the reality of being champion jockey had not really sunk in yet but admitted, “When going down to the start and hearing the commentator saying ‘Lyle Hewiston, the champion jockey elect’, it caused goose bumps. It is also great knowing there is still more to work on.”
Hewitson said he had never had the championships in mind at the beginning of the season but his goal had rather been to ride a Grade 1 winner. He had appeared booked for second place in the championship before the reigning champion and runaway leader Anthony Delpech’s horror season-ending fall at Turffontein in the SA Classic on April 7. Hewitson had at that stage ridden 105 winners and was 31 behind Delpech and was eight ahead of third-placed Muzi Yeni. He hit the front on May 13 when riding a double at Greyville and looked a certainty for the title as he was by now 28 clear of Yeni. However, there looked to be a chance he would become probably the first champion jockey in history to have never won a Grade 1, a tag he would not have wanted.
That all changed about a month later, also at Greyville, when bringing home the Brett Crawford-trained Undercover Agent in the Rising Sun Gold Challenge. His feeling was not one of relief but rather that “the floodgates can now open.” He duly scored a second Grade 1 winner on Vodacom Durban July day on Redberry Lane in the Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes. He ranked this his ride of the season and recalled, “I had done well on her. She is such an honest filly and it was also for Sean Tarry who has done so much for me. I went in feeling it would be hard to beat Snowdance but Redberry Lane is a good frontrunner and I felt maybe if I stole a couple of lengths we had a chance. It didn’t unfold that way as she didn’t quite have the gatespeed of Snowdance and others and we ended up fifth in the running, so I had to go to Plan B. I just punched away in the straight and she dug down deep and got her head down. It was very satisfying that things did not go our way but we adapted and it worked out, a fantastic feeling.”
Doing it on July day made it all the more special as a lot of friends had been watching.
His ride on Undercover Agent was also memorable as this horse has a tendency to be strong in the running and despite the crawling early pace he managed to settle him after 150 metres. The big three-year-old colt consequently found enough extra to power all the way to the line.
Hewitson spoke about the vital skill of being able to settle a strong horse, “You have to trust the horse to come back to you without fighting the horse. It is all about feel and it is probably something which comes naturally, it becomes second nature.”
Hewitson said the cherry on the top of his season would have been to score a third Grade 1 on Return Flight. She had always been his ride but he was sidelined when she won the Thekwini on the last day of the season.
He named Return Flight, the ever-improving Chimichuri Run, Celtic Sea, Saturday’s impressive debut winner In The Dance, his favourite horse, Africa Rising, and Lord Silverio as some of the horses to follow from the Tarry yard this season.
Hewitson grinded away when second choice in the yard to S’Manga Khumalo and when the latter was off injured, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands. He felt when Khumalo came back they were both getting an equal share of the rides and it was down to which rider Tarry regarded as more suitable for a specific horse.
Hewitson rode 185 winners in the season winners at a strike rate of 12,59%. He rode 99 winners on the Highveld, 57 in Port Elizabeth, 24 in KZN, three in the Western Cape and two in Kimberley. He felt the season could have been even better if the Tarry yard had not hit a two month dry spell.
On his long term goals he said, “It will be tough defending the title as I will have lost a couple of months, but I aim to ride more Group 1s and if an offer to ride overseas comes that would be high on the agenda.”
By David Thiselton
Smart Call retires to stud
PUBLISHED: August 14, 2018
Jessica Slack told the Racing Post: “We decided a while ago that we wanted to retire her to stud this year and breed her on Southern time…
The 2016 Met and Paddock Stakes winner Smart Call has been retired and will be covered by the Haydock Sprint Cup winner Kingman to Southern Hemisphere time.
Jessica Slack told the Racing Post: “We decided a while ago that we wanted to retire her to stud this year and breed her on Southern time so Sir Michael Stoute planned her campaign this year to fit in with that. She has been such a star and we are so proud of her.”
Considering the authoritative way she won the Met – beating Legal Eagle by three and a half lengths with Captain America another length away third – her overseas campaign was rather disappointing.
She won only once, in a Group 3 on the all-weather at Newcastle. To be fair, she was highly tried and widely travelled. Two of her first four races in Europe were in Group 1s and she visited Hong Kong, Ireland (twice) and France. She was also reported to have suffered lameness problems.
By Michael Clower
Happy Girl can make Domeyer smile
PUBLISHED: August 14, 2018
His mount Happy Girl is the highest rated in the 1 400m fillies maiden, she is drawn two and her form reads well. She beat all except the useful Valderrama…
Cape champion Aldo Domeyer can bounce back with a first-race winner at Durbanville today after being sidelined for much of the last fortnight.
His mount Happy Girl is the highest rated in the 1 400m fillies maiden, she is drawn two and her form reads well. She beat all except the useful Valderrama over the trip at Kenilworth last time and appeals at 19-10.
Her 74 rating suggests that she can beat 15-10 favourite Secret Path who has gone close over shorter on her two most recent outings and has to concede only 3kg. The weight-for-age scale puts the difference between a four-year-old and a three-year-old over this 1 400m at 8kg but Secret Path is only rated 61.
World Sports Betting has the wide-drawn Double Rosie and Lucille (who ran well 13 days ago) next in the market at 15-2 but don’t ignore 12-1 shot Troux Au Biches. She represents the currently inspired combination of Justin Snaith and Richard Fourie. She might not have made much impression on debut but she did lose a front shoe that day.
Whatever their fortunes here, the champion trainer and his jockey should win the Tabonline Maiden (race three) with Black Indy. This one was fancied over 1 400m here ten days ago, raced second but proved unable to quicken and was beaten into third behind favourite More Magic.
Black Indy is officially the best horse in the race and it is significant that he steps up in trip. He was 2-1 favourite yesterday and could have most to fear from 10-1 chance Cedar Man even though the betting suggests that 33-10 shots Hello Many (Domeyer) and Metropolitan have stronger claims.
Nasty Harry is 33-10 joint favourite with Domeyer’s mount Orakal for the TAB Telebet Handicap (race two) and gets the vote because he ran so well in a good Pinnacle on his most recent appearance. He disappointed when last tried over this 1 400m but that was 11 months ago.
Orakal was beaten only half a length on his last start despite being hampered. An interesting runner is 15-2 shot Ancestry who takes a big drop in class after running in all three legs of the Winter Series. A change of course could be just what the doctor ordered.
Stable companion Sparkeling Fire appeals in the Betting World Maiden. Royal Kiss is the 2-1 favourite but the Joey Ramsden filly stands out on both form and ratings. She looks good value at 28-10.
By Michael Clower