Grant van Niekerk takes over from Aldo Domeyer as the jockey to display his Hong Kong talents at Kenilworth on Saturday and he rides in all but one of the eight races.
He has two mounts apiece for Justin Snaith and Candice Bass-Robinson and one each for Eric Sands, Piet Steyn and Mike Stewart. But his hand is nothing like as strong as Aldo Domeyer’s last Saturday, let alone the veritable bonanza that last season’s Cape champion appeared to have at yesterday’s abandoned meeting.
Van Niekerk did well in his first Hong Kong season, riding 31 winners from 422 rides, finishing ninth on the log and building a reputation with many of the local trainers.
Kenilworth was hit with 17mm of rain during Monday night and, although the course was passed fit after horses were galloped on it, further downpours saw racing called off following an 11.00am track inspection. No more than three millimetres is forecast between now and Saturday’s meeting so that should go ahead.
Justin Snaith is a runaway winner of the Western Cape trainers’ championship with 132 winners and stakes of R15.4 million, nearly R7 million in front of Mrs Bass-Robinson (73 winners) and Brett Crawford (82). Sabine Plattner is the leading owner.
Snaith’s first jockey Richard Fourie heads the Western Cape log with 106 winners and Domeyer, despite spending so long in Hong Kong, is second with 60, six in front of Bernard Fayd’Herbe. Greg Cheyne is the highest Western Cape-based jockey on the national log in fifth with a personal best of 160 boosted by a fabulous five-timer at Fairview on Monday.
By Michael Clower