Six to go for the 5000 in SA
PUBLISHED: April 20, 2015
Piere “Striker” Strydom is now just six winners away from riding 5000 winners in South Africa.
The eight race meeting on the Vaal sand tomorrow offers him one or two good chances of creeping closer to this magical milestone.
It was erroneously reported in the Racegoer last week that the great jockey’s 5000th career winner had occurred when Act Of War won the Cape Guineas on December and that he was now 26 away from 5000 in SA but of course he didn’t ride Act Of War in that race and 5000 career winners was actually achieved on November 22 in the Selangor Cup.
Strydom had said at the time of the much publicised and celebrated 5000 career milestone that he had been hoping to reach it at a meeting on the Highveld, where he has been based since the late 1980s.
What better compensation for his legion of Highveld fans could there be than for him to achieve the 5000 winners in South Africa milestone at the Champions Day meeting at Turffontein on Saturday, which is undoubtedly Johannesburg’s biggest racemeeting these days as it features five Gr 1 events and four Gr 2s.
Strydom has five rides tomorrow and all of them have chances. The Listed Highveld Sand Challenge over 1600m is one of two feature races on tomorrow’s card and Strydom is aboard a live wire in Tap Tap Makhatini. He is out at the weights with the top two and has a tough task on form with Tommy Gun, but this horse has never quite fulfilled his promise and showed signs that he could still do so when winning the Listed Riverside Handicap over 1450m last time out, although he did have a much better draw of 2 than his 9 draw tomorrow.
Tommy Gun has the race to himself on paper and should be too good here despite a wide draw, as this is the consistent sort’s likely best course and distance these days.
The three-year-old All The Bids is joint topweight and has the same merit rating as Tommy Gun. An indication of how highly he is thought of is that he has been entered in the Vodacom Durban July. He has a wide draw but is effective over this trip and stays further, so will be staying on strongly and is a big danger.
In the Listed Queen Of The Sand over 1600m, Strydom has a chance on Julie Doolittle, who should enjoy the step up on trip. On paper she has a tough task with the best weighted horse Royal Trip, but on the form of their last meeting she could possibly beat her as she is 3kg better off for a 2,5 length beating. However, Royal Trip is an improving three-year-old drawn three, while Julie Doolittle is drawn 14. On the other hand Julie Doolittle has far more experience of the Vaal sand than Royal Trip’s jockey MJ Byleveld.
The well-bred Bang Sue loves the Vaal sand and is another one with a fine chance here.
In race 3, a Pinnacle Stakes event over 1200m, Strydom’s mount Across The Ice is joint best in at the weights and well drawn in barrier 2 over his favourite course and distance. This evergreen eight-year-old has six wins, four seconds and a third in 13 starts over this course and distance and his recent 0,75 length second over 1000m on the sand to one of the highest rated sprinters in the country, Trip Tease, proved that he has not lost his zest for the game. His style, in which he shows early pace and then says on resolutely means he will be hard to beat from this low draw, especially with a rider who knows him so well aboard. However, on the downside this will be his second run after a rest and he will have his work cut out if one or two others find their best form.
The Pinnacle Stakes races usually favour female runners these days and the Lucky Houdalakis-trained Listed Sandy Beach Stakes winner over course and distance, Sarasota, is duly the joint-best weighted horse. This will be the first time she has raced over course and distance since her win in the Sandy Beach last August and interestingly Strydom rode her in that race. Across The Ice ran in a different race over course and distance on the same day and his time, carrying 4kg more than Sarasota, was slightly slower than hers, although he was reported to have made a breathing noise.
However, although Across The Ice now carries 7kg more than Sarasota, his last run suggests that he has benefitted from the rest and he is still the one to side with. Anger beat Across The Ice by 6,3 lengths in that meeting last August, but he was receiving 7,5kg. He is an in and out sort and it’s difficult to predict how he will do, so he is one to watch carefully in the preliminaries.
On pedigree Strydom’s mount in the 5th race over 1000m Manx Park doesn’t really appeal as a sort who will enjoy the Vaal sand, but on running style he does as he has plenty of early speed. However, on the downside he is drawn on the wrong side, in barrier two, according to trends.
The in form Mogok’s Desire looks the one to beat on form and has landed a fair draw of seven. Others to consider are Lonelyarethebrave, Captain Sam, who is having his third run on the Highveld, Eusebius and Salute The Sun. Strydom’s mount in the last race over 1200m, Blackberry Wine, will be suited to the sand on pedigree and is well drawn, so is tipped to beat Lady Casey and Usisi.
Paterfamilias out of action
PUBLISHED: April 20, 2015
Paterfamilias is noticeable by his absence from the list of 11 declared for the President’s Champions Challenge at Turffontein on Saturday.
Mike Bass has been preparing the five-year-old to take on the likes of Louis The King and Majmu, and sent him to Johannesburg early to romp home over eight lengths clear in last month’s Turffontein prep.
Bass said: “He was out for a long time with a tendon (as a three-year-old) and unfortunately he showed heat in the same one after I worked him recently. He is going to be out of action for some time.”
The Milnerton trainer, who had his 80th winner of the season with Diamond at Durbanville on Saturday, will run his dual Grade 1 winner Inara in the KRA Fillies Guineas at Greyville on May 2. She is also in the colts’ race but has a much better draw (3) against her own sex.
Bass said: “I am trying to prep her for the Woolavington 2000 on May 30.”
Joey Ramsden’s task of choosing between the Winter Guineas and the KRA Guineas for Act Of War has not been made much easier by the bad draws. His Cape Guineas winner is drawn widest of all in the 23-entry Kenilworth race and 16 out of 28 at Greyville. He will consult Markus Jooste’s racing manager Derek Brugman before deciding which is the lesser of the two evils.
But last season’s Rising Sun Gold Challenge winner King Of Pain is over his recent Johannesburg setback and starts off his Durban campaign in the Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes on May 2. “He only bruised the bulb of his foot and he is 100% again,” said Ramsden.
Domeyer steals the show
PUBLISHED: April 20, 2015
Aldo Domeyer stole the show at Durbanville on Saturday, returning from a seven-week absence to land a 230-1 double from only three rides.
He claimed that the fractured disc gave him no problems “once I warmed up” and there was certainly no sign of it as he brought 20-1 chance Waiting For Rain from last to first in the straight of the Soccer 3 Handicap to give Piet Steyn, 57 tomorrow, reason to celebrate early.
The 2013 Met-winning jockey was really back in the groove by the time it came to the last and his determination enabled the Paddy Kruyer-trained Beulah to make light of joint top weight.
Richard Fourie also served notice that he is back in business with a vengeance by riding his first winner for four weeks when making all on hitherto perpetual bridesmaid Breathless Bertie in the Rugby 5 Maiden.
“It’s been a while but it feels like a whole lot longer,” grinned the jockey who would now be chasing the title had his season not been repeatedly ripped apart by the after-effects of that horror fall last June.
Fourie was intrigued to hear that Mike Stewart intends to run the headstrong Breathless Bertie on the Fairview polytrack later in the year and said: “He is a nice type of horse for that. By the time the others straighten up he will be gone!”
Andrew Fortune, Domeyer’s father, believes that Prince Of Thieves, is going to be a prolific scorer even though the odds-on shot only just scrambled home against Schachar in the first – and he blamed himself for making things look difficult.
He explained: “I made a mistake in that, after we went quite hard to the corner, I probably slowed him down a bit too much and Grant van Niekerk went straight past me at the 400m mark.
“Did I panic? For a second because I could see this was going to be a bunfight. But I think he is a smart horse and he is going to win four or five races.”
Joey Ramsden, watching from the sales, was also inclined to blame the tactics and said: “Prince Of Thieves made heavy weather of it but he wants holding up.”
Fortune was interviewed by the stipes about the interference he caused when slowing his mount and was suspended for seven days. Van Niekerk was given the same for the same offence on Supreme Star in the last.
BLOB The Girish Goomany name saga has taken a new twist with the Mauritian saying that he asked the NHA to change his first name to Lovekushsingh when issuing his jockey’s licence. The NHA is prepared to change it back to Girish but Goomany said: “I wanted Lovekushsingh because it’s the first in my passport. But either name will do – I really don’t mind!”
Delight for first time owner
PUBLISHED: April 20, 2015
Yesterday’s Greyville meeting saw some quality thoroughbreds turning out ahead of the much anticipated Champions Season and there was controversy to match.
However, in amongst the equine nobility a “cheapie” provided one of the stories of the day.
Passionate racing fan Shashin Govender experienced the joy of having a winner with his first ever runner. Govender took a chance by buying the Tiger Ridge filly Charter’s Creek for an affordable price of just R6,000 at the recent Mike Holmes Bloodstock Shongweni horses-in-training sale, and the filly, who is out of a Western Winter mare and is a half-sister to the fair sort Piano Man, won her first race for both him and the Dennis Bosch yard when getting up to win a Maiden Plate for fillies and mares over 1400m on the polytrack under Sean Veale at odds of 55/1.
Tommy Crowe, a newcomer to the game, was another owner who had his first winner when the Justin Snaith-trained Horse Chestnut colt Star Chestnut won a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1200m. He owns this horse in partnership with prominent owner Nick Jonsson.
Jonsson’s luck turned later when his classy Snaith-trained Jet Master gelding Ultimate Dollar was objected against by his fierce Cape Town rival St. Tropez after a ding dong tussle down the straight. St. Tropez, ridden by Anthony Delpech, has a history of hanging to the right and duly moved inward just past the 300m mark. Ultimate Dollar, ridden by Sean Cormack, moved slightly outward at the same time and the horses bumped. About 150m later Ultimate Dollar moved outward again and took up St. Tropez’ running. St. Tropez was moving forward to challenge at the time and the eventual winning margin was a short-head, so the stipendiary stewards decided to uphold the objection. However, many on course were of the opinion that the long-striding Ultimate Dollar, as a type that takes a while to wind up, would not have been overtaken had a straight course been maintained by both runners. Ultimate Dollar had to concede 3kg to St. Tropez and could be a huge runner in the Gr 1 Daily News 2000 on May 30 and could also be a contender in the Gr 2 KRA Guineas on May 2. Silvano gelding St Tropez could have a chance in both races too.
Snaith had further bad luck when his charge Ash Cloud, a former Gr 1 SA Oaks winner, got her foot caught over the parade ring rail that has been widened to prevent horses standing in the flower beds on the standside. Gold Circle have reacted by agreeing to look into a solution to this problem. That race, a handicap for fillies and mares over 1600m, was won in good style by the promising Glen Kotzen-trained Royal Air Force filly Cathy Specific. The Neil Bruss-trained Zante gave 6kg to Cathy Specific and only just failed to reach her, so is one to watch over further.
In the second race on the poly over 1200m first-season sire Tropical Empire had his first winner when the Chris Erasmus-trained Daiquiri won at odds of 35/1 under Billy Jacobson.
Hopefully no more seconditis for Breathless Bertie
PUBLISHED: April 17, 2015
Breathless Bertie should finally put his run of seconditis behind him at Durbanville tomorrow when he has pretty well everything going for him in the Rugby 5 Maiden.
The Mike Stewart-trained three-year-old invariably lives up to his name, rushing off in a hell of a hurry and running out of puff before the end. He has finished second in his last four starts and needs to win here to avoid being made an honorary member of the bookmakers’ benevolent fund.
To be fair, he would have won when he was odds-on last time had Sean Cormack’s saddle not slipped sideways shortly after the start. “He is quite genuine,” says Stewart. “The only thing I am worried about this time is that he and Hilaria could end up cutting each other’s throats. They both go hell for leather and you can’t tuck in Breathless. If this should happen I think Downton Abbey could have a chance.”
Fortunately for Breathless Bertie, Mohammed Allie is determined that Hilaria should be ridden with more restraint than usual. “If you try to hold her, she fights and then she will run out of steam,” he says. “She was used a bit too much in her last two runs, particularly the last one. But she will relax if her rider keeps his hands down on her and so Lucian Africa must sit with her on Saturday.”
The filly comes out best on merit ratings and her gate speed should make light of her poor draw. In fact she just might have a better chance if her jockey were to let her run. The Durbanville 1 000m is tailor-made for short-runners, horses with blinding speed who don’t last home on a normal course. Remember Isidingo?
Hilaria opened at 5-1 with Betting World yesterday, Breathless Bertie was 6-10 favourite and Downton Abbey an 8-1 shot.
Greg Cheyne’s mount started at 66-1 when beaten less than a neck by his stable companion last time. “That did surprise me,” says Stewart. “But I think he will get better and better as the winter comes.”
The other six are juveniles and, while they receive 5.5kg (equivalent to four lengths over this trip) less than they should under the weight-for-age scale, they are up against horses who were not good enough to win at two so they should not be ignored. Red Rex (7-1) has the best form and newcomer Barnstable (5-1) is the shortest priced.
Prince Of Thieves should confirm previous running with Schachar in the first and 2-1 chance Noisette makes marginally more appeal than 11-10 favourite Malachite Sunbird 35 minutes later. Matari, despite a near three-month absence, has the form to win race four at 5-2.