Life keeps throwing you curve balls but you just have to keep going. With years of experience you learn to accept the bad times, which is not always easy, but you know the good times will come.
Unfortunately I just can’t get my career going at the moment with so many hiccups. Nine days ago at the Vaal I fell after my stirrup broke as we came out of the starting stalls. I felt more tender, if anything, and was not particularly concerned there was something more seriously wrong. I subsequently discovered I had picked up a fracture. It’s not all that serious but it’s more a fracture that supports the vertebrae and therefore I can actually do quite a bit in everyday life, but not jump around or do any contact sports.
I must add that this break is more precautionary because if something had to happen in the interim, it could have serious consequences. Obviously I have to heed the advice of the doctors. I should be back quite soon as nothing was displaced and the healing process shouldn’t take too long.
What amazed me about this incident was how easily I slid off the horse and came down. I’ve often lost my iron but got my foot back in without affecting the chances of the horse I’m riding. I only discovered later that my mount came out sideways and bumped against the edge of the starting stalls and that’s possibly the reason the iron snapped. So when I was looking to put my full weight into the irons there was nothing. I couldn’t correct myself and I had already gone too far down. All you can hope for at that stage is you don’t get trampled.
I’m hoping this is only a little hiccup in that a couple of trainers are looking to give me the majority of their rides and hopefully those plans will still come together.
I lost out on a couple of winners on Thursday which gives one an indication about the quality of those rides. So it’s not only the injury that gets to you but it’s like a stab in the heart when you have to watch them win.
The feature race today is the Greyville 1900 and I was meant to go down to Durban. I thought Fort Ember was worth going for as she is the best handicapped runner. She has a good draw and previously from wide draws she has had no luck. She has been a little in and out but Paul Peter did mention to me he has her a lot better right now. It is worth including her in all bets.
Racing is on the Inside track at Turffontein tomorrow. The first race is over 1000m around the turn and my first selection is Lion King who has good form and a good draw. The danger is obviously Coastal Torrent.
Race 2 is another Maiden Plate and this one looks very competitive. I’m leaning towards Festive Linngari to get the better of Candela. Both have good draws which is essential on this track. The race does not stop there so for the Place Accumulator add a couple more, maybe Heart Of Africa and Condor Gulch could be the two.
Race 3 is another Maiden Plate and here I’m leaning towards the younger generation who are represented by Casual Wear. She could be a banker in all bets. Her form is solid, she’s got good speed for this track and last time she ran it was in a feature race.
I was carded to ride her so this could be another winner I will miss out on.
Race 4 is over 2600m and as this is not a handicap the best-rated horses should come out on top. My selections are Ali Bon Dubai, Arte, Storm Warning and Dromedaris. For the PA pick the first three mentioned but for the Pick 6 go with all of them with possibly Notting Hill and Sess.
Race 5 is a Pinnacle Stakes and once again your highest rated horse should come out on top. That is Cascapedia but she clearly needed her last start and may still need another. She is probably running over a distance too short for her. Therefore my first choice is She’s A Giver who is the next best handicapped horse and now also has a good draw after a run of bad ones.
Her danger should be Unagi who has a good record over the course and distance. For the PA go with those two and for the Pick 6 add in Romany Prince.
Race 6 is quite tough as there are some up-and-coming horses trying to make their mark. My first selection, which is also based on reputation, is Buffalo Bill Cody. My concern is that he takes a while to get going and may not be best suited to this track. In his favour is that he is going over a longer distance which could benefit him quite a lot.
His dangers must be Alssakhra, Divine Odyssey and Mambo Symphony who showed an unbelievable turn of foot in his last start.
For the PA go with Buffalo Bill Cody and Alssakhra and for the Pick 6 go with all four. If you want to add more then put in Bush Pilot, Infamous Fox, Top Rank and Myoshi.
Race 7 is a fillies’ handicap, which could be difficult, but my first selection is Redberry Lane. She has a bad draw but has good gate speed and should overcome the obstacle. The dangers could be Varsity Girl and Kilauea, who is named after a volcano which is causing a lot of problems in Hawaii at the moment. Maybe we will see Kilauea erupt at Turffontein tomorrow.
For the PA go with all three and if you look past those for the Pick 6 then the field will apply.
Race 8 is another difficult fillies’ race to assess but my first choice is Best Kept Secret. Unfortunately I don’t know her that well but maybe the blinkers and the 1000m trip should be up her alley. Unfortunately she has a wide draw but she has been racing in features.
The danger could be Star Flyer who has also been running in features but only against two-year-olds.
Of the older established runners you would have to consider Memphis Belle, Amajory and quite a number of others who also have chances.
Put all four into the PA and for the Pick 6 add Opera, Modjadji and Flying Feather.