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The Citizen (KZN) - - Front Page - Piere Stry­dom

Course man­ager has Gaut­eng tracks in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion.

The last time I did this col­umn was be­fore I left for Mau­ri­tius in May last year. Since then I have been pretty oc­cu­pied and my life has turned around quite a bit.

The Mau­ri­tius trip was quite en­joy­able at the be­gin­ning but then things changed. Ac­cu­sa­tions come quick and I started to re­alise that maybe that stay­ing on the is­land was not a good idea. How­ever, I wanted to fin­ish the con­tract but that cost me dearly be­cause when I was ac­cused of an “un­pro­fes­sional ride” when one of my mounts suf­fered in­ter­fer­ence. With that tight track and all the bustling for po­si­tion, it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble for a race to turn out the way you think. I landed a sixweek sus­pen­sion and sadly, I left

Mau­ri­tius with a sour taste.

In spite of every­thing it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence and I would rec­om­mend any jockey to have a stint there to get some knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence they wouldn’t pick up in South Africa.

Af­ter serv­ing my sus­pen­sion I came back rid­ing, got into the swing of things and un­for­tu­nately while rid­ing at a meet­ing at Ke­nil­worth in De­cem­ber, I broke my fin­ger and that forced me back on the side­lines again.

But now I’m back, fit and rar­ing to go and like Roger Fed­erer, thoughts of re­tire­ment are hope­fully still a cou­ple of years away.

To­day we are rac­ing on the In­side track at Turf­fontein so re­mem­ber the draws are quite im­por­tant. The course man­ager has been do­ing a great job and all the cour­ses in Joburg are in top con­di­tion.

Race 1 is a Maiden Plate for fil­lies and mares over 1600m and the main run­ners who need to be in­cluded in Tri­fec­tas and Quar­tets are Flower Sea­son, Dou­ble Hearts and Fire­works. They have the high­est merit rat­ings and should be in­volved in the fin­ish.

But the horse they may all have to beat is Fairy God­mother. She went down five lengths in her only start and surely should show more im­prove­ment. The fact she drew bet­ting sup­port on de­but should be a good in­di­ca­tion that she has some abil­ity.

In Race 2 my first choice is Golden Tune, and he could be a hard horse to beat. His only dan­ger is Gen­eral Jack­son who is drawn No 1 and he did fin­ish in front of the Golden Tune the only time they met.

I’m rid­ing Fast Draw who is held on pre­vi­ous runs by Golden Tune and we have a wide draw which is a dis­ad­van­tage.

Race 3 is the first leg of the Place Ac­cu­mu­la­tor and as this is quite an open race, I sug­gest you in­clude as many as pos­si­ble. My first fan­cies are Binky and Fierce Fighter as they are four-year-olds run­ning over a marathon trip and could have more stamina right now. Their dan­gers are Nu­mer­i­cal and Grey Flyer.

Race 4 is a Pin­na­cle Stakes over 1800m where Sun­shine Silk is the best hand­i­capped run­ner. She only has 50.5kg to carry and is drawn at pole po­si­tion, which also has to be a huge ad­van­tage. She is a pos­si­ble banker in all bets but if you want to add any more into the Pick 6 con­sider Seville Or­ange and Di­vine Odyssey.

Race 5 is another Pin­na­cle Stake in which Re­turn flight is the best-weighted run­ner. She is a banker in all bets as in my opin­ion In The Dance is a lit­tle bit sus­pect over 1600m. But the fact this is an easy 1600m has to make her a def­i­nite dan­ger.

Race 6 is another Pin­na­cle Stakes and the high­est merit rated horse should come out on top. But I’m lead­ing to­wards Tierra Del Fuego who could be still on the up and there­fore does not have the high­est merit rat­ing.

You can in­clude as many as you want in the Pick 6 but my roughie is Cap­tain Aldo who can be in­cluded in the Place Ac­cu­mu­la­tor as he likes this course, and a good draw surely has to help him quite a bit. I rode him last time over a dis­tance way too short and there is a lot of value in him.

Race 7 is a hand­i­cap and as it is over 1000m on the In­side track, the draw plays quite a big part. Luck­ily for me, I’m rid­ing Donny G who is drawn No 1 so he must be in­cluded in all bets. As he is seven years old in­clude Ocean City in the PA. For the Pick 6 in­clude Sil­ver Master and Gem­cut­ter.

Race 8 is another hand­i­cap with the three main con­tenders be­ing Rocky Path, Tough Choice and Our Man In Ha­vana. For the PA pick two of those men­tioned. For the Pick 6 also con­sider African Ad­ven­ture and Master Supreme

Race 9 is a Maiden Plate for fil­lies and mares a with the main con­tenders be­ing Fay­rooz, Smok­ing Hot and Var­quera. As they are maid­ens it could be wise to put all three in the PA. If you look past them for the Pick 6 you might need a lot more horses.

Best Bets

Race 2: No 1 Golden Tune Race 5: No 1 Re­turn Flight Value Bet

Race 6: No 3 Cap­tain Aldo

Muzi Yeni was un­for­tu­nately not avail­able to com­pile to­day’s col­umn so Piere Stry­dom kindly agreed to step in for this week­end to fill the gap. Muzi will be back next Satur­day.

JC Pho­to­graph­ics Pic­ture:

BANKER. Re­turn Flight is well hand­i­capped and is Piere Stry­dom’s best bet on to­day’s Turf­fontein card.

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