As you know, I broke my collar bone a few weeks ago and I was hoping to be back in time to ride Harry’s Son at Meydan on 26 March, which is Dubai World Cup night.
I believed it would be touch-and-go as to whether I made it back in time but after consultation with my doctors they have told me in no uncertain terms, “don’t even think about it”!
My clavicle has mended but I seem to have other problems around my shoulder area. As I have mentioned previously it was not a clean break but a compound fracture, which can cause more complications. I have been going for physio but unfortunately the mobility of my arm is still restricted.
For that reason I definitely cannot take part at the World Cup meeting and could be out for even longer than that which means I will miss out on some big local meetings like Classic Day on 2 April. Hopefully I can be back in time for some of the later features.
I would hate not to be at Champions Day on 30 April and have to watch Harry’s Son run in the Hong Kong Mile for a television in Joburg.
It was disappointing to learn I would miss out on the Dubai World Cup as I had just heard from part-owner Phil Georgiou that Harry’s Son has made the final field for the $6 Million Dubai Turf over 1800m. He initially was not in the race because his merit rating was too low but two horses from South America did not accept and that earned him a place in the line-up.
He has a difficult task to win but it would have been nice to be part of a World Cup event – win or lose!
Racing can be very tough and people can be fickle but it has been fantastic working with Paul Lafferty and his owners who have kept me in the picture every step of the way.
Today we race on the Inside track at Turffontein so the draw is an issue as all races are run around the turn. We have had quite a bit of rain so we need to look at fit horses. The training tracks are wet and many trainers have not been able to get in sufficient work.
Some trainers have the advantage of being able to use a treadmill and that can get their runners fit. Also the Polytrack will help keep horses housed at Randjesfontein trim and fit.
Race 1 is a Juvenile Plate and as there are a couple of unraced horses it is difficult to make a selection. As this is a very fast-run race it is an advantage to have run before and for that reason I make Approval Mode my selection with Silver King to chase him home.
The same applies in Race 2 which is a Juvenile Plate for fillies so I’m leaning towards Cyber Magic, Pool Party and Doplhinsplayground.
Race 3 is the first leg of the Place Accumulator and the banker has to be Mamdooha. She has only had one run in which she shortened in the betting and finished a close-up second. With experience and No 1 draw she looks a certainty in a moderate line-up.
For Swingers and Trifectas I like Just A Reminder and Captured Quality to follow her home. Race 4 is the first leg of the Pick 6 and here my first selection is KIlauea. She has the strongest form and is drawn well at No 2.
Unfortunately she is coming back from a six-month rest so her fitness is not guaranteed. For that reason I’m including Layla’s Charger who has the benefit of being drawn No 1.
For the Pick 6 consider Trip To India, Aldiara and La Manga.
Race 5 is a Plate race and the best handicapped runner should win. In that regard Captain America stands head and shoulders above the rest. Unfortunately he is running over a distance short of his best, has a wide draw and his fitness is questionable.
He needs to be included in all bets but for the reasons mentioned earlier we will put Shadow Ofhis Smile as back up in the PA. For the Pick 6 add in Afrikaburn and possibly Tiger’s Retreat.
Race 6 is a handicap and as it is a 1450m race the draw is vital. With fitness and draw in mind I’m leaning towards Imperial Gold, Canadian Mountie and Hyaku for the PA. They could also be good enough for the Pick 6 but if they are not your fancies you will probably need the whole field.
Race 7 is the Drum Star Handicap which is a tricky race as there are some nice horses taking part. The ones with fair draws and improvement to come are Romany Prince, Master Switch and Diesel Jet. Those are my three PA runners and possibly the Pick 6 as well. If you want you could also include Judicial, Easy Lover, Shea Devon and Earl Of Derby.
Race 8 is Maiden Plate and many of these have had plenty opportunities to win but are still battling to do so. For the PA I would look at Chinawhite, Secret Angel and New Delhi and for the Pick 6 consider Miss Wales and At Sunset.
Race 9 is Fillies Handicap which is very tricky but my value bet is in this race and that is Grand Epoque. She has a good draw this time and on current form has to be the one to beat.
For those who don’t like a banker in the last add in Green Crest and La Digue. For the Pick 6 if you want to go wider consider Bravo Mayo, but she has a shocking draw, and possibly Elen Lluydog.