Van Rensburg brings Orpheus to life

PUBLISHED: 29 April 2019

Orpheus (Candiese Marnewick)

Marco van Rensburg is a journeyman jockey who seldom gets the opportunities of the higher profile riders. But give him a chance and he’s as good as any as he showed when giving the field the slip in The Sledgehammer (Listed) at Greyville yesterday.

Marco van Rensburg is a journeyman jockey who seldom gets the opportunities of the higher profile riders. But give him a chance and he’s as good as any as he showed when giving the field the slip in The Sledgehammer (Listed) at Greyville yesterday.

Orpheus (Candiese Marnewick)
Orpheus (Candiese Marnewick)

It was probably a plan discussed with Mike Azzie and perfectly executed by Van Rensburg as he took Orpheus to the front, extending his lead with every stride and was way out of reach come the home turn with the balance of the field bobbing like corks in his wake.

Roy Had Enough, a late entry after the race was originally abandoned because of a soggy Scottsville track last Sunday, threw out a belated challenge but Orpheus was home and hosed long before he got to the line, some seven lengths adrift.

Of the Vodacom Durban July contenders, Eyes Wide Open was admittedly underdone as Glen Kotzen alluded to before the race and I doubt if the poly track suited, while Silva’s Bullet never looked comfortable on the surface.

In the card opener, Mai Tai confirmed her barrier trial showing as Warren Kennedy drove Wayne Badenhorst’s filly home ahead of the slightly more experienced Another secret.

Anton Marcus picked up a seven-day holiday courtesy of the stipendiary stewards after being found guilty of interference last week, but he banged home a treble to keep bread on the table and himself in contention for the national jockey championship.

Master Jay was the first of his two winners for Glen Kotzen as Master Jay followed up on his recent victory, holding off a fast-finishing Knight Warrior in the second race.

The belated addition of blinkers brought out the best in favourite Spring Fling in the third to give Kotzen and Marcus a quick double. The blinkers were added on the advice of Marcus who was run out of what looked to be certain victory at Scottsville a fortnight back as Tripple Z arrived late on the scene.

Not to be outdone brother, Nathan Kotzen saddled two-year-old Kaydens Pride to a comfortable win in the fourth, celebrated by national log-leader Muzi Yeni adding to his three victories at Turffontein on Saturday. This win took him four clear of current champion Lyle Hewitson, now facing a 14-day suspension, and seven clear of Marcus who is also facing seven days on the side-lines.

By Andrew Harrison