Jockey Challenge teams finalised
PUBLISHED: October 17, 2019
Muzi Yeni will captain the South African team while Gavin Lerena, Warren Kennedy, Greg Cheyne, Callan Murray and S’manga Khumalo are the other riders…
The teams for this year’s World Sports Betting International Jockey Challenge supported by Sun International and Air Mauritius, have been finalised.
Muzi Yeni will captain the South African team while Gavin Lerena, Warren Kennedy, Greg Cheyne, Callan Murray and S’manga Khumalo are the other riders to wear the green and gold silks.
The International Team will be captained by Rab Havlin (Scotland), with Paul Hanagan, Martin Dwyer, Hayley Turner (England), Andrea Atzeni (Italy) and Nooresh Juglall (Mauritius) his wingmen and -woman.
Muzi Yeni is a regular on the South African team competing in international jockey challenges. He is undoubtedly the most hard-working jockey in the country having saddled up 476 times since the start of the season in 1 August.
Gavin Lerena is no stranger to team racing, having represented SA in five International Jockey Challenges on home soil, winning the Longines International Jockey Challenge in 2015 in Hong Kong, and representing the Rest Of The World team at the Shergar Cup a few years back. He was SA champion jockey in the 2014-15 season.
Warren Kennedy currently leads the champion jockey log. Last season he broke through the 100 barrier mark, riding 139 winners at a strike rate of 12,2% and finished 7th on the log. Furthermore, he scored his first Grade 1 win, riding the Gavin van Zyl-trained Gabor to victory in the Thekwini Stakes over 1600m at Greyville on eLan Gold Cup day.
Greg Cheyne is well-travelled, having raced in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Korea and Macau. He boasts more than 100 international victories.
Callan Murray has proven that he has BMT – that’s big match temperament. Four months after being crowned Champion Apprentice for the 2015-16 season, he bagged a Grade 1 treble on Champions Day in 2018. He has also made his mark in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.
S’manga Khumalo was crowned South African champion jockey for the 2013-14 season. He repeated that feat in 2015-2016. He wrote his name in the history books in 2013 when becoming the first black jockey to win the prestigious Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July.
Rab Havlin was a member of Team UK at last year’s International Jockey Challenge in Singapore. He has ridden around 900 domestic winners, partnering more than 1000 winners worldwide – in countries like the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Singapore and South Africa.
Paul Hanagan has twice been crowned champion jockey on the Flat in Britain, riding 165 winners in 2011 to defend his title, having won his first title with 191 winners in 2010. Among his major wins are the British Champions Sprint Stakes Grade 1 with Muhaarar in 2015, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes Grade 1 with Taghrooda in 2014, the Grade 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere in France with Wootton Bassett in 2010 and the Grade 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen aboard Muarrab in 2016.
Martin Dwyer has recorded major wins worldwide, most notably aboard Phoenix Reach. They teamed up to win the Canadian International Stakes in 2003, the Hong Kong Vase in 2004 and the Dubai Sheema Classic in 2005. He has twice been the recipient of the Flat Ride of the Year award, in 2003 for winning the Jockey Club Cup with Persian Punch and in 2006 for his Vodafone Derby win upon Sir Percy.
Hayley Turner became the first woman to ride 100 United Kingdom Flat race winners during a calendar year in 2008. In fact, that year she was only one of five jockeys to ride in over 900 races in the UK. She currently has over 780 career wins. In 2011 Turner became the first female jockey to ride an outright Group 1 race winner in Britain, when partnering Dream Ahead in the Darley July Cup.
Andrea Atzeni won the St. Leger and Moyglare Stud Stakes in the same weekend in 2014, followed by the Dewhurst Stakes and his second successive Racing Post Trophy the following month. In 2015 he won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the Luca Cumani-trained Postponed and the St. Leger for a second successive year on Qatar Racing’s filly Simple Verse. He has won major races in France, Italy, Germany, UK, Republic of Ireland, UAE and Canada.
Nooresh Juglall honed his craft here in SA and won two champion apprentice jockey titles before spreading his wings to Singapore in 2014. He made an immediate impact, booting home his first winner, Majestic Moments, in his very first Kranji ride. The friendly Mauritian went on to ride a total of 217 winners in the city-state. Juglall enjoyed his best season in 2017 when he racked up 50 winners. He rode Twist Of Fate for trainer Joey Ramsden in this year’s Vodacom Durban July, finishing third, a mere 1.70 lengths behind Horse-of-the-Year Do It Again.
The World Sports Betting International Jockey Challenge supported by Sun International and Air Mauritius takes place at Turffontein on Saturday 16 November.
Marcus back in action
PUBLISHED: October 17, 2019
He said there had been “an improvement” in the mechanics of both his wrist and elbow and admitted fitness was the main obstacle he was facing…
Anton Marcus made his long awaited comeback to the racetrack in a barrier trial at Greyville yesterday and hoped to be back race riding within ten days.
Marcus underwent an operation on his wrist and elbow respectively.
Unfortunately, infection set in to two of the incisions after six weeks.’
Therefore, he had to go for a second operation to have it cleaned out.
He said, “I am hoping to be back race riding within ten days.”
He quipped, “But it all depends on how I pull up from all of these barrier trials.”
He said there had been “an improvement” in the mechanics of both his wrist and elbow and admitted fitness was the main obstacle he was facing.
He concluded, “It is nice to be back.”
By David Thiselton
KZN trainers gearing up
PUBLISHED: October 17, 2019
He is bullish about the chances of Blackball in Sunday’s Listed Michaelmas Handicap over 1900m. This Black Minnaloushe gelding last ran on June 8 in the KZN
KZN trainers Gavin van Zyl, Frank Robinson, Robbie Hill, Paul Lafferty and Tony Rivalland are gearing up for big races around the country.
Van Zyl has the most big race firepower in KZN at present.
He is bullish about the chances of Blackball in Sunday’s Listed Michaelmas Handicap over 1900m.
This Black Minnaloushe gelding last ran on June 8 in the KZN Winter Challenge 2000 at Greyville and was most unlucky.
He had to be snatched up when squeezed out on the rail just before the 300m mark and then after rallying back he had nowhere to go in the closing stages so had to be eased. Even then Blackball finished only 1,25 lengths behind the winner, The Sultan’s Bazaar, in sixth place.
The 105 merit rated five-year-old is potentially well handicapped on Sunday, as he might well have won that race, and he jumps from pole under national log leading-jockey Warren Kennedy.
Van Zyl’s four-year-old Pathfork gelding Marchingontogether will be raiding for the Grade 2 Peermont Emperor’s Palace Charity Mile on November 2. He will then being staying at Joe Soma’s yard ahead of his main target, the Gauteng Summer Cup.
Van Zyl said this four-year-old by Marchfield, who finished third in the Grade 1 SA Derby last year, had improved with gelding.
He said, “He is much calmer and more manageable now. He won his last start (over the too sharp 1400m at Scottsville) well.”
Van Zyl’s crack filly Gabor, who was named Equus Champion two-year-old filly last season, is down in Cape Town being taken care of by Dean Kannemeyer. Her chief target is the Grade 1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas on December 14. Van Zyl’s carefully laid out program will have her making her seasonal reappearance just 17 days before the Guineas in a Conditions Plate for fillies and mares on November 27 over 1400m at Kenilworth.
After the Guineas she might be targeted at the Grade 1 Majorca Stakes on Sun Met day.
Van Zyl’s promising Duke Of Marmalade filly Dancing Feather, who has won both of her last two starts by over four lengths, will be aimed at next year’s Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic and the SA Oaks, both at Turffontein.
Frank Robinson was happy with the comeback run of Roy Had Enough in a strong Pinnacle Stakes event over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday which was won by Soqrat. Roy Had Enough, an Australian-bred five-year-old entire by Pierro, stayed on from a handy position for a five length fourth.
Robinson said, “He needed it, he was very flat.”
He is staying up in Johannesburg and will now go for either the Charity Mile or the Victory Moon Stakes.
Robinson expected either one of those races to put him “spot on” for the Summer Cup.
His filly Roy’s Riviera might also go for the Charity Mile. However, she will more likely go for the Grade 3 Yellowwood Handicap over 1800m on the same day. He said she did not need as much racing as Roy Had Enough to reach her peak. He thought she would be a big runner if managing to get into the Summer Cup with a light weight. However, she would otherwise go for the Grade 2 Ipi Tombe Challenge over 1600m on the same day.
Robbie Hill said his five-year-old filly Camphoratus, who was named KZN Champion older filly/mare and KZN Champion Middle Distance horse last season, would raid for the Charity Mile, where she would not be at her peak, and then stay in Johannesburg for her chief target, the Summer Cup. He said she had badly needed her recent comeback run in KZN. She will be taken care of by Geoff Woodruff in the lead up to the Summer Cup.
Paul Lafferty is targeting Dark Moon Rising at the Summer Cup and believed he would definitely get in to the race.
He is excited about his three-year-old Australian-bred Zoffany colt Share Holder. He attained a hoof injury lasts season and was still feeling it in his last start when second over 1200m at Greyville. He will be back to his best once the hoof has fully gown out. Lafferty said Piere Strydom had got off after that last run and said, “This is a top horse,” so wherever he goes this season winning big races will be his aim.
Tony Rivalland would like to run recent winner Tristful in the Charity Mile but was not sure the talented four-year-old Trippi gelding would make the cut. He also has the six-year-old Kahal gelding Wynkelder entered and pointed out that although he was last season’s KZN Champion Sprinter he ran an excellent close up third in the KZN Breeders Million Mile.
By David Thiselton
Miss J writes a new story for Gadsby
PUBLISHED: October 17, 2019
Towards the end of last year, the highly-strung Miss J, who had previously shown in leading up to her maiden win that she did have ability…
Horses that have a history of being reluctant to leave the starting gate are not likely to attract much in the way of attention, let alone monetary support, but when they do manage to get it together the exotic bet bomb explodes.
Towards the end of last year, the highly-strung Miss J, who had previously shown in leading up to her maiden win that she did have ability, had become a reluctant starter and Paul and Beth Gadsby were left with the puzzle of breaking the habit.
Ten months down the line all efforts looked to have come to naught as Missy Jay missed the jump on her first run back, finishing a distant last of the nine runners.
It was a different story at Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday. Sherman Brown, who rode Missy J at her previous start, got her out on terms and although last into the straight she was always travelling in her recently equipped earmuffs as Starlight set a respectable gallop. At the business end, Starlight had done her dash as veteran Ginger Biscuit took over but Missy J came from last to fetch her and get up close home. Paying R40 on the tote, she did plenty of damage in the exotics.
More was to follow as the Pick 6 ship, already holed below the waterline for many hopefuls, took another torpedo with Stuart Randolph taking the shortest way home on Karen and Greg Anthony’s mare Zadora paying R13 on the ‘nanny’. Another outsider, Touch Of Magic, looked to have the race in the bag before Zadora loomed up on her inside for the seventh win of her career.
Silent Crusade gave Mark Dixon a welcome winner last Sunday and She’s A Dream will have added to his satisfaction after an extended period in the doldrums with a virus affecting his yard.
She’s A Dream has always been there and thereabouts but the 0.5kg overweight in the Durban Convention Handicap proved no handicap as she finished too strongly for the consistent Gary Rich-trained Connect Me.
Royal Kitty, 4-10 favourite, pushed out a life-boat for the 61 ticket holders left in the Pick 6 with a bloodless victory in the seventh. Alyson Wright’s filly always looked a cut above some modest opposition and duly obliged under replacement rider who travelled into the straight under a double handful. Giving out an inch of rein, Royal Kitty simply lengthened her stride and put the race to bed a long way out.
Donovan Dillon, successful on Kingston Rock for Brett Crawford in the third, rounded off the day on Sovereign Soldier for Wendy Whitehead. Sitting patiently in midfield, Dillon had to work hard to get his mount’s nose in front as apprentice Gates took full advantage of his 1.5kg claim.
By Andrew Harrison
Vaal Thursday Tips and Race Previews
PUBLISHED: October 17, 2019
Vaal Thursday October 17 Tips and Race Previews by David Thiselton…
Vaal Thursday Tips and Race Previews by David Thiselton
Preview: LORD GRANTHAM (1) was not disgraced last time behind a good sort and has a chance here. GOLDEN DUKE (5) has pace and should have come on from his first two runs so has a fine chance for the prolific combination of Paul Peter and Charles Ndlovu. URBAN OASIS (11) can earn here over a suitable trip. (David Thiselton 1-5-11-2-3)
Preview: TIGERMIL (2) made a good debut and is the one to beat here. MADAME PATRICE (3) is knocking on the door and should go close again. MALTEZA (4) has some pace and might enjoy the step down in trip. (David Thiselton 2-3-4)
Preview: PASSIONATE LAD (10) made a fair debut and could improve. FOR FRANCE (7) ran on quite well on debut after jumping from a wide draw around the turn over this trip and he can earn with expected improvement. MABELLA (12) is by boom sire Vercingetorix out of a Not For Sale mare Minwa, who was unplaced in her only start, and she won’t have to be a star to go close here. THE RUSSIAN SAILOR (1) is a long time maiden but has shown enough to earn here. BOLD OVER (11) has Mosia aboard so could improve. (David Thiselton 10-7-12-1-11)
Preview: SERAPHINA (6) has caught the eye before and improved with blinkers over the too sharp 1000m so she could go close here if able to overcome a tough draw. FLOWER OF SCOTLAND (5) is the form horse in this uninspiring event considering his good draw. SUPER FINE (1) has shown ability too and has a fair draw. (David Thiselton 6-5-1)
Preview: CRIME SCENE (8) made a fair debut and followed up with a fair third over this course and distance last week, albeit from a better draw. HOPE FOR MILLIONS (1) has a tricky draw but has a good rider aboard and on best form can go close. PUCKER UP (2) should be involved if reproducing her last run. (David Thiselton 8-1-2)
Preview: ARNICA MONTANA (6) disappointed at Greyville last time at odds of 1/5 but was left with a bit much to do and can make amends from a more handy position. WHIPPING BOY (8) has run two fair races since gelding and can improve further. ICE LORD (5) showed a fair action in a barrier trial and could be a factor here. (David Thiselton 6-8-5)
Preview: AL RAGNAR (9) charged late with first-time blinkers on over 1800m in his second start and only just failed so he looks the one to beat in this uninspiring field. PETERSHAM (6) was 3,45 lengths behind him there and then ran another fair front-running race over 1800m so he is interesting stepped up in trip. LEFT HOOK (2) was only three lengths back in his only start over this trip so he could do well from a good draw with the blinkers off. (David Thiselton 9-6-2)
Preview: RIQAABY (13) is drawn in pole and should improve over this trip having not been disgraced over 1450m. FLAGSHIP FUND (6) by Jackson has been knocking on the door over 1600m and should handle the step up in trip considering Jackson’s father Dynasty produced a filly by this mare who won the Listed East Cape Oaks. GIMME A ROCK STAR stayed on when stepped up to 1600m last time despite a slow start and she can improve again over this trip. (David Thiselton (13-6-10)