Jack Milner
2 minute read
22 Sep 2014
12:24 pm

Delpech takes on Everest at Vaal

Jack Milner

It is rare for jockey Anthony Delpech to make an appearance at a Monday meeting at the Vaal so, when he does, one tends to assume he has come up from KwaZulu-Natal for a specific purpose.

GOOD RIDE. Everest will be ridden by Anthony Delpech in Race 8 at the Vaal today.

It usually involves a Mike de Kock-trained runner and he will be riding three horses for that yard – Wild Dancer in Race 1, Celtic Legend in Race 7 and Mackdesi in Race 9. However, it is also quite rare for Delpech to make it through to the last race of an upcountry meeting as he tends to be rushing off to the airport early to catch his flight home.

Among his other rides is Everest in Race 8 for St John Gray and, whatever the fate of his other mounts, this younger brother to Norgay could be the pick of former national champion’s engagements for the day.

The four-year-old son of Sarge contests a MR 90 Handicap over the straight 1600m turf course and is one of three runners from the Gray stable. In his third start the grey colt won his only start over the course and distance, so he has already demonstrated that he can handle the course. But later in his career Everest started to perform best over a little further.

He was touched off by Ilitshe in the Listed Derby Trial over 2000 at Turffontein before winning over the same distance at the Vaal next time out. Gray took him to Durban where he faced the best three-year-olds in the land in the Grade 1 Daily News 2000, finishing unplaced, but just four lengths behind Horse Of The Year Legislate.

He then went on to contest the KwaZulu-Natal Breeders 1900 (Non-Black Type) at Clairwood and, ridden by Anton Marcus, scored a facile 2.25-length victory over Spin A Coin.

He has been rested since then but that could be in his favour as he could return fresh and enjoy the slightly shorter trip.

The danger could be stablemate Form Up, who was a very easy winner of his last race over 1450m on the Turffontein inside track, although against a much weaker field. He ran away from the opposition to beat Dontstopmenow by 4.50 lengths and received a 3kg penalty for that victory. However, he comes in with just 53.5kg on his back and is carded to be ridden by Weichong Marwing.

Rocco’s Luck was narrowly beaten by Jet Avenger last time over this course and distance and the De Kock runner franked the form with a second victory, this time over Norgay, at Turffontein on Saturday.

Dominic Zaki has his yard in excellent form and Gavin Lerena is riding at the top of his game, so the combination cannot be ignored.