Peter/Kennedy duo hard to beat
PUBLISHED: September 6, 2019
Vistula should come into her own this season being by Ideal World, whose progeny continually improve. She ended last season with three easy wins…
The Turffontein Standside meeting tomorrow is low key but there is a good class Pinnacles Stakes race over 1400m where Vistula looks hard to beat for the Paul Peter-Warren Kennedy combination.
This four-year-old filly should come into her own this season being by Ideal World, whose progeny continually improve. She ended last season with three easy wins when stepped up from sprints to 1400m and 1600m and she then ran a creditable fifth in the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes over 1600m at Hollywoodbets Greyville where she was quietly fancied. She is drawn in pole tomorrow. Schippers is 1,5kg well in with Vistula, being merit rated two points higher than her and being a five-year-old. However, this is the first time she is going beyond sprints and she has a tricky draw of five in the seven horse field. She is by Var out of a Grade 3-winning sprinter by Count Dubois called Fair Rosalind, so there is a stamina question mark too, although Fair Rosalind has produced a horse by Argonaut who won up to 1800m. Afrostar is the stable companion to Vistula and also has some class. She has been crying out for the step back up to this trip, over which she is unbeaten in two starts. She has a good draw of two.
In the first leg of the Bipot Port Key looks promising and will relish the step up in trip to 2000m, although he has his second run after a long layoff and his first start out of the maidens. He can fight it out with the in form pair Gold Griffin and Kurt’s Approval.
In the first leg of the PA over 1000m Touch Of Fate is the one to beat from a nice high draw as he is coming to hand. Dancing Flame is a danger and Oratorio filly Orchid Express makes most appeal of the unraced horses.
In the first leg of the Pick 6 the first-timer Tigermil is by Where’s That Tiger out of a half-sister to Jet Master and wouldn’t have to be star to win it. The raced runners Live By Night and Pure Wisdom should finish on top of each other if there last run is anything to go by. Endangered and Bridge Of Spies should also be considered.
In the next leg over 2400m Maroon Bells, a long-striding sort who enjoys this galloping track, goes over a staying trip after staying on strongly last time over 2000m. He is drawn in pole and will take some beating. Poppycock relished the step up to this trip last time and just failed, despite it being only his third career start, so he must also be considered.
In the sixth race over 2000m Jacko Boy won easily last time over this trip and this progressive sort can handle an effective six point raise. Anagram won well in the maidens over 1600m last time and being by Byword out of SA Oaks winner Cyber Cento she should relish the step up in trip. Angelic Appeal, Ex’s ‘N Ohs and Emerald Bay can also be considered for the Jackpot and Pick 6.
In the eighth race over 1160m Fired Up has dropped to a competitive mark. His first run over 1400m suggested he would need further, but this does not appear to be the case and he could run on strongly here and be in the firing line. However, its wide open and Baron Rodney, Strikeitlikeamatch, Greasepaint, Tokyo Drift and Master Boulder can also be considered.
In the last race over 1160m State Trooper makes appeal from a high draw as a big, long-strider who is capable of running on strongly. He is unbeaten in one start over course and distance, although it is another wide open race where a few must be considered.
By David Thiselton
Captain Tatters can make it five
PUBLISHED: September 5, 2019
The early betting suggests that the Somerset runner-up has most to fear from Brett Crawford’s Langerman third Finding Camelot…
Captain Tatters has been installed 28-10 favourite to give Justin Snaith his fifth Sophomore Sprint win – and Richard Fourie his second – at Kenilworth on Saturday.
The early betting suggests that the Somerset runner-up has most to fear from Brett Crawford’s Langerman third Finding Camelot who is 3-1 second favourite while this colt’s stable companion King Of Gems and the Candice Bass-Robinson trained comfortable maiden winner Constable are both 5-1 chances.
Three Two Charlie and the Vaughan Marshall runner Ground Control (who was reported to have choked up when a disappointing favourite last time) are on 6-1 with the remaining four runners well into double figures. Snaith also has the favourite in four of the other seven races.
Muzi Yeni, who drew a blank at Kenilworth yesterday, is 17-10 favourite to go one better in the jockeys’ championship after finishing second to Lyle Hewitson in the past two seasons – beaten by 34 winners in 2017/18 but by only four last term.
Fourie is second favourite at 22-10 with Warren Kennedy and the 2014/15 champion Gavin Lerena both on 9-2. Anton Marcus, who gained the first of his four championships at the turn of the century, is on 15-2 with the in-form Greg Cheyne (four winners at Fairview on Monday) a 15-1 shot.
Current champion Sean Tarry disputes 15-10 favouritism with Mike de Kock for the trainers’ title. De Kock was champion eight times between 1998/99 and 2012/13 while Tarry is bidding for title number five after topping the log in four of the last five seasons. Snaith, twice champion, is 4-1 third favourite.
The well bred Black Knap was the star of the show at Kenilworth yesterday, winning the 1 800m maiden by a staggering 9 ¼ lengths. He started favourite at 12-10 on the strength of his promising first run and M.J. Byleveld sent him clear a furlong and a half from home. From that point on he went further and further away and his rider, looking back shortly before the line, was left wishing he had brought his binoculars.
Byleveld said: “My biggest problem was stopping him when we went down to the start. First time out he only got going late and had it been a mile I think he would probably have won that day. This was a fantastic win and I don’t think he is going to stop here.”
Vaughan Marshall added: “Black Knap is following in the footsteps of his brother Tap O’Noth (2017 Cape Guineas) and he has done everything we have asked of him. He is backward, green and still has a lot to learn but he was very impressive and I think Alec and Gillian Foster have got something on their hands here. I am sure there is more to come.”
By Michael Clower
Kennedy on a quest for championship
PUBLISHED: September 5, 2019
Warren Kennedy eyes the jockey championship saying that it was a mixture of improved riding and better support which had enabled him to climb the ladder…
Warren Kennedy decided towards the end of last season to chase the South African Jockey’s championship this term and he has made a fine start in this quest.
Kennedy said it was a mixture of improved riding and better support which had enabled him to climb the ladder.
He added, “Getting rides in bigger races gives you more responsibility and if you ride well you get better support.”
This snowball effect has elevated many a jockey from journeymen into the top echelon and is the reason why it is so crucial to seize the opportunities which come your way.
Kennedy did just that last season and made the breakthrough.
He now has the continued support of Gareth and Gavin van Zyl and others in KZN, of the increasingly prominent yard of Paul Peter and others in Gauteng, and of a number of trainers in Cape Town.
His other advantage is his light weight. His official riding weight is 51kg.
By the close of play on Tuesday he was in second place on the national log on 23 winners at a strike rate of 13,21, five winners behind leader Muzi Yeni.
When a jockey’s first name is dropped by the racing media and public it is often the sign of making it into the big time.
Latterly both reporters and punters have been saying “Kennedy is up” as it is now taken for granted that this is a bonus.
This is as opposed to such statements in the past as “Warren Kennedy, who has been in good form, is aboard.”
Kennedy can be expected nowadays to get the best out of a horse and fully deserves his prominent position.
It is all about knowing your opposition in a race and accordingly finding a good position in the running for your mount.
He has become an expert in this regard.
The public pay most attention to the finish but the horse will often do this for a jockey if positioned well throughout the earlier part of the race.
Kennedy’s statistics have also risen dramatically.
One had to go to the second page of the NHRA’s national jockeys log to find his name in 28th place in the 2014/2015 season with 39 winners at a strike rate of 6,2%.
In the 2015/2016 season he rode 67 winners at a strike rate of 8,8% for 17th place on the log.
In the 2016/2017 season he rode 84 winners at a strike rate of 11,9% for 17th place.
In the 2017/2018 season he rode 79 winners at a strike rate of 10,6% for 14th pace.
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. He also had three Grade 2 successes, including a classic race triumph on the Mike de Kock-trained Nafaayes in the Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineeas, as well as a Grade 3 win and three Non-Black Type feature race victories. He also had a momentous day at the Vaal on July 4, riding six winners in a meeting which had only eight races available to professional jockeys.
Kennedy’s fortunes began swinging upward when joining the Gavin van Zyl operation at Summerveld a few years ago.
He was the sixth stable jockey used by Gavin but is the longest standing. He also automatically became stable jockey to Gareth van Zyl when the latter branched out on his own a couple of years ago.
Gavin said, “When Warren joined us he was prepared to work with me in becoming what I was looking for in a jockey. We were going to start from a point and make it a work in progress and iron out certain aspects. One of Warren’s strongest points is he doesn’t get offended even with criticism or on the occasions I have had to jock him off. He has never sulked and has been prepared to stick it out for the long haul and we have thus been able to build together. He has always had the talent. He was silverware but just needed polishing. It has been rewarding to see him grow in confidence as a rider.”
Kennedy’s daughter Jamie was born to wife Barbara on May 30 and this was undoubtedly the biggest highlight of a memorable year for the couple.
Warren concluded by saying he was thus seizing the opportunity to chase the championship now before Jamie was walking and talking and noticing his absence.
By David Thiselton
Peaceful Day gets the vote
PUBLISHED: September 4, 2019
Peaceful Day has everything going for him in the first. He had the third six lengths back when making all except the last 100m…
The Snaith powerhouse goes into battle with the favourite or joint favourite in four of the five maidens at Kenilworth today – but it could pay punters to be discerning rather than blindly following the lead of the bookmakers.
Peaceful Day has everything going for him in the first. A Drakenstein-bred Captain Al, he had the third six lengths back when making all except the last 100m to take a half-length second to Call Me Al on debut and the performance was even better than it looked because he lost a front shoe. He is bound to have come on from that and gets the vote but he has drifted from 22-10 to 7-2 as the money has come for Quintay.
The Adam Marcus runner, backed from 6-1 to 7-2, is the form horse on his first two runs but he was most disappointing when odds-on and upped a furlong last time. It is significant that he is dropped back in trip and he rates a massive danger. Alaskan Night had a very promising first run and should also come into calculations.
The Justin Snaith-Richard Fourie combination can follow up in race two with Phil’s Dancer, a 50-1 shot when fourth to Calypso Beat on debut but 18-10 favourite here. Stable companion Cyber Blossom is the pick on form but Fourie has not got where he is today by going for the wrong one.
Veratrum has already been backed to make it three in a row for the huge stable in the Tabonline.co.za Maiden but Lasata is preferred despite the no-no warning signs – she is drawn wide (normally a disaster over this 1 400m) and she has had too many chances already.
But her talented in-form rider is good value for his 1.5kg, her running is consistently good and at 33-10 there is a bit of value about her. That said, Veratrum did not have a clear run last time so his form is better than it looks. His stable companion Imperial Rage also has claims despite being off since mid-May.
The Brett Crawford-trained Khopesh opened favourite for the 1 800m maiden (race four) but weight of money has taken Black Knap to the head of the market and this colt can give Vaughan Marshall a quick double. M.J. Byleveld’s mount lost a fair bit of ground at the start on debut in what looked a good maiden and he will know more about it this time.
Snaith’s Halliberry is a worthy favourite in the finale – her last two runs are probably better than any of the others have achieved – but Mayfern’s most recent outing is better than it might appear and she is taken to win.
By Michael Clower
Image: RED EIGHT at the Vaughan Marshall yard all set for race six at Kenilworth today.
Image Credit: Vaughan Marshall
Therecanbeonlyone has scope and substance
PUBLISHED: September 4, 2019
The best bet could be Therecanbeonlyone in the third race, a MR 70 Handicap over 2600m, although there are some negatives to her chances…
The Turffontein Inside track stages an eight race meeting tomorrow where there look to be one or two opportunities for punters.
The best bet could be Therecanbeonlyone in the third race, a MR 70 Handicap over 2600m, although there are some negatives to her chances. On official merit ratings she is 2,5kg under sufferance which is reduced to 1,5kg by having claiming apprentice Kabelo Matsunyane aboard. The latter has a 1,5kg claim but rides at 0,5kg overweight. The Twice Over filly would also prefer a more galloping track as she does take a while to get going. On the plus side she has plenty of scope, being a filly of some substance, and she looks to be an out and out stayer. She also has a featherweight of 51kg to carry. Perfect Light could be a threat as she is a year older and looks likely to relish the step up in trip being by Jam Alley out of Sadler’s Wells mare Painter’s Dream, who won over this course and distance.
The meeting starts off with a MR 68 Handicap over 1000m and Snow In Seattle is selected to follow up on his last win. He is drawn widest of all but it is a small eight horse field so he can be dropped out and make up the ground. Last time he finished powerfully over 1160m to win and although he is three points higher in the merit ratings he doesn’t face an inspiring field. Hot August is drawn well in two and is 1,5kg better off with Snow In Seattle for a 0,75 length beating so has a fine chance with Chase Maujean staying aboard. Lithuanian’s Dream is capable of blitzing a field so will be dangerous if bouncing out and getting to the front on this tight track.
In the first leg of the PA over 1600m two fillies who have improved with blinkers, Seneca Falls and Full Force, face each other and there shouldn’t be much in it. Seneca Falls has more handicap experience and a better draw so gets the vote. Full Force had caught the eye as one with scope for improvement early on in her career. She went to the front over this trip last time with the first time blinkers on and has a similarly wide draw here. She won easily that day so has a shout of following up if able to get to the front again.
In the first leg of the Jackpot over 2600m Snorting Bull has always struck as a useful stayer in the making. Last time he produced his usual strong finish but it came a touch too late and he just failed, although the winner Indy Ice was finishing just as strongly and was a deserved winner. He does have a good turn of foot so this track might be ideal because in long straights he can hit the front too soon. He usually loses ground at the start but in this small field will not have a lot of ground to make up in the straight. Before Noon has plenty of resolve and will be a tough nut to crack. He goes for a hattrick and is drawn in pole over a trip he should relish. However, he has been racing in KZN so there is the change in altitude to consider and Johannesburg racing is also a touch stronger. Fact looks to be a useful stayer and comes from the Weiho Marwing yard, who are particularly good with stayers. He is drawn well in two and has scope for further improvement, especially considering he is out of a Silvano mare.
In the second leg of the Jackpot over 1450m the Mike de Kock-trained Vercingetorix filly Tallinn could be well handicapped off an 83 considering the recent across the board ten point raise for all horses. Under the old figures she would have been running off a 73, which would have been a particularly low mark for an August debut-winning three-year-old to have. She won well on debut over 1200m and should relish the step up in trip. Kapama just failed last time from a wide draw over 1400m and now has a plum draw of three. She was 0,50 lengths behind No More Words in that race and is now half-a-kilogram better off. No More Words has another wide draw to overcome, but was flying at the finish in that last race. Similar hold up tactics will see her going close, although on the Inside track it is going to be tougher to make up the leeway.
In the sixth race over 1450m, Western Oasis could follow up on his easy maiden win over 1400m as he does not face an inspiring field. However, he does have a tricky draw so it won’t be easy. Armstrong could be a big threat if able to overcome his wide draw of eleven. He will be ridden by Chase Maujean who is particularly good when hold up tactics are employed, as they should be here. This horse moved up well over 1400m last time from a similarly wide draw. Of the well drawn horses, Melchizedek is starting to show some of the potential he always looked to have and this distances looks ideal.
The last leg of the Jackpot is an uninspiring race and the seemingly moderate Wijdaan could be good enough to win it from a fair draw over a suitable trip. Midnight Lights has useful 1000m form in the context of this race but as she is by Gimmethegreenlight out of a Captain Al sprinter the wide draw over a step up in trip to 1450m is a concern. Notquitethereyet had her best run over this course and distance and has a plum draw of two so has a chance too.
In the last race the hard-knocking Segontium gets a good opportunity over an ideal trip although it will depend on whether he can overcome his wide draw. He will likely go to the front, which he has proven capable of doing before. The biggest threat looks to be The Riddler, who was a touch unlucky over 1600m last time, and is now well drawn over an equally suitable trip.
By David Thiselton