Striker writes for us
WELL WEIGHTED: FILLY IS BEST HANDICAPPED AND STABLEMATE HAS STAMINA DOUBTS
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.
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.
BANKER. Return Flight is well handicapped and is Piere Strydom’s best bet on today’s Turffontein card.