Hatt reluctantly retires
PUBLISHED: February 9, 2015
Glen Hatt is to retire. The operation he had in July to replace the cartilage in his right wrist hasn’t worked and he now faces a further op.
He said: “I have no choice now but to go for a fusion which is the last case scenario. I have been told that it means losing a lot of the movement in my wrist and hand so I won’t be able to ride. The whole reason for having the first op was to avoid the fusion but it wasn’t a success.
“In a way it has come as a surprise and, while I have obviously thought about the future, I don’t yet know what I will do. I don’t think I will train – it’s not my cup of tea.”
Hatt,50, calculates that he rode some 2 300 winners and the tally includes J & B Mets on Bunter Barlow (2001) and River Jetez (2010), and three Queen’s Plates on Wainui (1989) and Winter Solstice (2005 and 2006).
He said: “I had so much to look forward to with Futura and the others in Brett Crawford’s yard, as well as my great relationship with Brett. Things were going so well but I’m not complaining. I’ve had a great time and I wouldn’t have done anything else. Indeed, if I were to come back in another life, I would be a jockey again!”
Timely boost for Van Reenen
PUBLISHED: February 9, 2015
Riaan van Reenen is optimistic that Saturday’s Kenilworth success with the ex Dean Kannemeyer- trained Black Belvedere will enable him to attract patronage and return to his glory days.
The Philippi trainer said: “I normally have a stable of 24 but I am now down to 11 and the yard is a mere shadow of what it used to be.
“A lot of people have promised to help me and some have already come to the party. I said to Lionel Adams ‘Please, I need horses’ and he bought this filly out of Dean’s yard. It shows the faith he has in me and he has been rewarded at the first attempt.
“Before this I was very despondent because, if you haven’t got the stock, you can’t produce the goods. You work hard but you don’t get results. This win shows that I just need a bit of support and I will be back to myself.”
The win was also a change of luck for Morne Winnar who had ridden only two previous winners this term. It was the fourth for Van Reenen, 43, who has a string of Graded races to his credit including the Final Fling three times, the Victress, Cape Summer Stayers, Winter Derby and Winter Classic.
Greg Ennion pulled off a remarkable feat in sending out Rhona Beck’s Monsoon Magic (Greg Cheyne’s 80th winner of the season) to win for the second time in her last three starts because the three-year-old filly has loose bone chips in both fetlock joints.
Ennion said: “She chipped the joints in her first start in October. We put her legs in ice for 40 minutes twice a day and she lives on a type of aspirin that is legal. She will have to be operated on but I would like to keep her going until after the Fillies Winter Series.
“Had it not been for the chips I would have stuck my neck out and run her in the Cape Fillies Guineas and the Paddock Stakes. She will go for next year’s Paddock Stakes.”
Grant Behr went to hospital for x-rays yesterday but he is confident that he will be cleared to resume at Kenilworth on Wednesday when he has four rides for Dean Kannemeyer and one for Eric Sands. He was hurt on the way to the start on Steady Beluga in the Macsteel Maiden.
He said: “She stopped dead at the road, reared up twice and smashed me in the face with her head.”
AP McCoy announces retirement
PUBLISHED: February 9, 2015
Tony (AP) McCoy admitted yesterday that he does not know exactly when he will call it a day this season.
The 19-times champion jumps jockey announced at Newbury on Saturday that he will retire at some point this season, but he still plans to ride at the Cheltenham Festival and in the Grand National ahead of the final day of the jumps season at Sandown on April 25.
He told Sky Sports News: “I want to hopefully be able to ride at the Cheltenhams and the Aintrees – the big Festivals – and then take a view.
“I’m not looking forward to it but I haven’t set any specific day or any specific date. I will just take it as it comes and see how it happens.
“I want to ride in the Grand National and I want to ride in a lot of those bigger races that are left in the season so I honestly don’t know when the day will come.
“It could be the last day of the season, it could be beforehand, it’s not something that I’ve set a specific day or date on.”
Barring injury McCoy will be crowned champion jockey for an unbelievable 20th successive year after riding his 200th winner of the season on Mr Mole at Newbury shortly before he announced his retirement.
Upsets in Triple Crown pointers
PUBLISHED: February 9, 2015
Johan Janse van Vuuren won the Gr 3 Tony Ruffel Stakes over 1450m at Turffontein on Saturday with his lesser fancied 22/1 shot Belong To Me, but his stable star Unparalleled nevertheless put in an excellent preparation for the forthcoming SASCOC Triple Crown classic events which begin with the Gr 2 Betting World Gauteng Guineas on February 28.
Earlier, the Weiho Marwing-trained Australian-bred filly Sensible Lover ended the unbeaten run of the Ormond Ferraris-trained Lazer Star in the Gr 3 Three Troikas Stakes over 1450m, although she was receiving plenty of weight from the latter.
Belong To Me, a three-year-old colt by Antonius Pius, had a slight stamina doubt over the trip, but was fine value considering he finished just 3,25 lengths back to the champion Harry’s Son in the Gr 3 Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m on the standside track, albeit when receiving 2,5kg.
He disappointed in the lucrative R2 million Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes over 1400m at Kenilworth, but bounced back with a win over 1160m at Turffontein. The latter race gave Donavan Mansour the opportunity to get a feel of the speedy bay, who proved much more suited to the tight Inside track 1450m on Saturday than he was to the Standside 1400m.
Mansour rode a finely judged race again and his mount had enough in the tank late to just get the better of the persistent Australian-bred Mike de Kock-trained Redoute’s Choice colt Mutamakkin. The latter was backed in to 7/2 and was a touch disappointing, considering he was receiving 2kg from Belong To Me and 3,5kg from Unparalleled. However, he does have some stamina on his female side and will be better suited to further, so could still be a player in the Triple Crown events.
Unparalleled, a gelding by Lateral, was dropped out to last from a wide draw by Gavin Lerena, but finished powerfully to be beaten just 0,5 lengths. He will relish returning to the standside track 1600m of his facile Gr 2 Dingaans victory, in which he beat the Paul Lafferty-trained KZN raider Harry’s Son in testing conditions by 4,25 lengths. He will renew rivalry with Harry’s Son over the Dingaans course and distance in the Gauteng Guineas and the latter will be hoping for faster ground.
The Tony Ruffel did nothing to quash the overall opinion that this is not a vintage three-year-old male crop, although the unbeaten Investec Cape Derby winner Ertijaal, who is due to meet the like of Unparalleled and Harry’s Son in the R2 million Gr 1 SA Classic at the end of March, could still prove to be something special.
The three-year-old fillies crop, on the other hand, is unquestionably strong and Sensible Lover, who is by Good Journey, a Gr 1 mile winner at Woodbine in Canada, is the latest to put her hand up. She was officially receiving 7,5kg from the Toreador filly Lazer Star, but jockey Marco van Rensburg was reportedly riding 1,5kg overweight and it was also only the filly’s third career start.
The mighty De Kock-trained Majmu will square up to the exciting Gr 1 Thekwini winner, the Duncan Howells-trained Same Jurisdiction, in the Gr 2 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas and the Three Troikas one-two finishers should add to what should be a vintage field in that race. Sensible Lover will likely relish the Standside 1600m trip having rallied to just get the better of Lazer Star on Saturday. The Fillies Guineas will tell whether it was the trip or the weight that was the Lazer Star’s undoing.
Punters have nothing to fear
PUBLISHED: February 6, 2015
Fear Not can live up to her name in the Shumani Printers Maiden at Kenilworth tomorrow and she is expected to justify favouritism.
She might be the horse who broke Anthony Delpech’s leg but that wasn’t really her fault and her two runs have shouted promise.
“She was a bit unfortunate last time in that she lost ground at the start,” says Adam Marcus who has maintained all along that she will come into her own when she goes round the turn. “She is a big free-striding filly and I think she is above average.”
The Mike Bass-trained Vogue’s Wood, who has also shown potential in two starts, is the obvious danger and opened at 3-1 with Betting World yesterday. Fear Not was installed 12-10 favourite but that was snapped up inside the first hour and she is now even money.
Black Belvedere (5-1) also has good form although she has changed ownership and stables since her last run and new trainer Riaan van Reenen wants to see where he is with her – “She is working well but my feeling is that she wants quite a bit further. I think she will do well in the winter when the ground is softer.”
Marcus is also expecting a good run from 5-1 chance What Fun (backed from 5-1 to 7-2 yesterday) in the Macsteel Maiden 35 minutes later. “She showed massive improvement in her last race and she has shown more at home since,” he reports. “She is going to be right there although I’m not confident that she will beat Alzerra.”
Karl Neisius’s mount is 6-4 favourite despite suffering from seconditis. She has found one too good for her in each of her last five starts and normally it pays to bet against such horses. However Dean Kannemeyer is adamant that there is nothing ungenuine about her.
“She has got beaten fair and square in each race and it’s just that she takes a bit of time to quicken up,” he explains. “However she is holding her form and she will enjoy the 1 800m of this race.”
Captain Swarovski can be expected to improve on his debut fourth in the opening Signal Hill Maiden. However only one of the stable’s five Cape Town juvenile runners that have so far raced more than once has scored at the second attempt. Therefore it may pay to side with Schachar who ran a cracker on debut.
Joey Ramsden runs two newcomers including Tar Heel, a R425 000 Var half-brother to the Gauteng Fillies Guineas winner Go Indigo. “I haven’t done enough with them to know and neither has been to Kenilworth,” he says when asked if they are speedy sorts.
But he should win the following Steve Phelps Memorial with Sir Henry who might well have won last time had things gone more his way. And don’t forget Andrew Fortune who is sitting on a 43% strike rate. He has only two rides – Gauteng (10-1) and Henry Of York (5-1). Both make each way appeal.