Have you ever dropped your cell phone? If you haven’t then you’re either very careful or a fibber.
As jockeys we often get fined for petty things and recently Muzi Yeni won the race and dropped his reins after the post. He was given a fine. Every sport has its own idiosyncrasies and so does horse racing.
Often the racing public don’t know what we have to go through to do our job. I’m not here to cover for Muzi but every jockey has at some time dropped his rein or crop. What people may not realise is that we have to hold the reins and the problem occurs when you cross over your reins which results in your holding both reins in one hand.
That means the thickness of what you are holding has now doubled. What does not help us is that as jockeys we tend to have small hands which complicates matters even further. At the same time you have a horse moving at speed, which you need to encourage.
You find yourself in a position where things can so easily go wrong. We are supposed to be professionals, we have been riding for a number of years and we have to adapt but when one tries to encourage a horse who sometimes wants to go left, or right or duck behind other horses we are bound to find things getting muddled as we try our hardest to produce the goods.
Maybe if the jockey makes the same mistake on a regular basis it needs to be looked at differently but Yeni is particularly small which is an advantage in being a jockey but he has really small hands and that has to be a drawback.
After all this complaining hopefully I’m not the next one to make the same mistake!
NO 1 MOGOK MASTER AND
NO 2 FORT EMBER
NO 4 ROYAL HONOUR
Today we race on the Turffontein Inside track which is still very firm and fast.
Race 1 is for work riders and my selection is for Baby Bean who jumps from pole position. He has not raced for a couple of months so he is not a confident selection. A couple of horses have only had one run and they could improve quite a few lengths.
They are Copper Pot, Greek Honey and King’s Valour. There is an unraced horse in Pajama Party so keep an eye on the betting.
Race 2 is a Graduation Plate and your best handicapped horse is Mogok Master. On paper he looks to be a sure thing but he has not run for over a year and we cannot be 100% certain about his fitness.
His danger is Africa Rising who is also coming off a layoff and has just turned three. This time of the year is particularly tricky as a lot of the top horses are put away for the winter months to avoid the firm going in Gauteng. Some horses will still be short of their best as these races are just stepping stones towards bigger features where they will be at their peak. If you play the BiPot it might be wise to include a horse that is fit and well and Nephrite could be that horse.
In Race 3 Flying Fool should be a banker in the Place Accumulator. He has beaten Tapenzee by two lengths but as Tapenzee is lightly raced he could make more improvement. Those two could be good enough for the Place Accumulator.
The horse I tried to get the ride on is Bubbly Reply as he is drawn No 1 and running over a distance more suitable to him.
I ride Patric who has not run for a couple of months and has a bad draw. He could possibly place.
Race 4 sees another possible PA banker in Komeshans Flight. Unfortunately she has a bad draw so you should consider Tambalang. Those two should also get you through the Pick 6 as well but you could also consider Light House Lady.
I ride Miraflores. She ran during the week and finished last. I’m just hoping for a better run.
Race 5 looks tricky as there are some young horses who have recently won races. They could improve but past form has shown that it is quite difficult to win when just out of the maidens.
For the PA include those three – Dromedaris, Sharp Seattle and Shotgun Rider – and as back-up add in either Norgay, whose merit rating has dropped significantly, Dealer’s Charm or my mount, Just A Gigolo. As far as my mount is concerned he must have a chance but I am concerned as to whether he can stay the extra distance.
For the Pick 6 you could easily go with the field.
In Race 6 I have picked up the ride on Royal Honour. Last time I made him a banker and was very bullish about his chances as his run prior to that he beat Pyramus and Taegan’s Jet quite comfortably. Often I have tipped a horse and it runs poorly so I lose confidence in him but I’m going to give Royal Honour another chance and make him a banker in the PA and Pick 6. He is my best ride on the day!
If he does not produce the run of two starts back then you have to include New Fort.
There is another possible banker in Race 7 with Fort Ember. She won her last start coming off a long rest. The second-run-after-a-rest syndrome could be a concern. I rode her two starts back in a feature race where she ran against quite strong opposition. She still felt quite immature and could improve even more and that is why I make her a possible banker in all bets.
The danger could be Cambridge Choir but I rode her last time out and the going could still be too firm for her. Therefore consider Cape Marigold if you wish to go wider. I ride Featherfoot who has soundness issues so when the rain finally arrives she could be considered. She also has the worst of the draw but does have the ability to beat this field.
In Race 8 Red Pomegranate could be yet another PA banker. She won her last start, which was only her second outing. It’s not easy to win straight out of the maidens but she is lightly raced and could improve quite a bit.
If she does not improve her only danger is China Beach.
Race 9 could be a tricky race when you study form but my first choice is Laurel Cherry. Last time Anthony Delpech made an error of judgement because he thought the false rail was at the 450m when it was actually at the 700m and moved up far too early.
She could quite easily be a banker in all bets. If you don’t believe it affected her chances last time then you have to consider Miss Rambo, Cranberry Crush and my ride, Tobesuretobesure. If those are not in your play then you can make a case for the whole field.