Jockey Gavin Lerena and trainer Paul Peter have enjoyed a remarkably profitable partnership this season, with an almost 30% wins-to-runs ratio and something approaching 90% of horses running into the prize money.
That’s from 74 riding engagements, so it’s a solid stat and one that punters are advised to keep front of mind. Champion jockey Warren Kennedy remains Peter’s No 1 retained rider, but his winning percentage for the yard is just over 18% – still excellent, of course, but less potent than Lerena’s.
On Thursday at Turffontein, Lerena teams up with Peter in three races. Which will be the winning one?
The clear choice is Race 6, in which Way Of The World is likely to start a short-priced favourite. The scratching of Mike de Kock’s impressive British import Good Queen Bess from the 1450m FM91 Handicap has removed the main obstacle to Way Of The World clinching a hat-trick, following her pair of facile wins over similar distances to this in December and March.
It would be her second hat-trick in quick time after she performed one in August and September 2020.
The only question marks for the four-year-old in this race are a hefty 61kg to carry and a wide draw.
However, she has been responsible for five of Lerena’s 22 term winners for Peter, so he knows precisely how to get the best out of the daughter of Var and should overcome the hindrances.
Lerena also does duty for the Peter team in Races 3 and 5, aboard Flying Bull and Reunion. Both are relatively unexposed three-year-olds who could make significant improvement and spring minor surprises.
Flying Bull has shown plenty of natural speed in his three outings and will enjoy the extra ground he gets in this Maiden Plate – a race in which the hapless Castle Corner tries to break a run of eight near misses in 10 outings.
Reunion, a one-time winner from four, is a blinkers-strike but the equipment will have to work a lot of magic for the gelding to get the better of red-hot Royal Wulff.
6 Look Yourself, 11 Route Sixty Six, 9 Pink Legacy, 12 Silvette
11 Partner In Crime, 3 Gandalph The Bay, 2 Daleef, 13 Secret Link
2 Flying Bull, 1 Castle Corner, 10 Willow’s Wish, 3 Curfew
3 Kissing Booth, 2 Cast The Dice, 7 Willow Lane, 10 Archer’s Girl
2 Royal Wulff, 4 Dark Tide, 3 Reunion, 6 Ballon D’Or
2 Way Of The World, 4 Freedom Seeker, 11 Golden Spoon, 9 Me Time
4 Entente, 1 So They Say, 4 Future Lady, 2 Southern Song
1,2,3,10 x 2,3,7,10 x 2,3 x 2 x 1,3,4,5 x 1,2,3,4,7,10 (R768)
2,3,11 x 1,2,3,10 x 2,3 x 2 x 2 x 4 x 1,4,10 (R72)