Horses / Horse News

Piere Strydom
6 minute read
29 Nov 2014
9:41 am

Thanks for 5,000 memories!

Piere Strydom

Sometime ago my goal to ride 5,000 winners seemed out of reach. I finally achieved that target last week in Cape Town. In the build-up I’ve had quite an entourage following me around to the racecourse – from family to friends to photographers.

FILE PICTURE: Triple Crown winner Louis the King

Many people hoped I would crack the final winner on the Highveld and most were trying to make it a special moment for me. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it done quicker.

In hindsight I have to say it was probably the right moment to ride No 5,000.

It was a big day in Cape Town, I did it for Markus and Ingrid Jooste who were both on course, and produced the winner on a good horse named Act Of War.

It was an emotional day and it meant so much me that such a fuss was made, not only in the final achievement, but over the past few months.

I didn’t put myself under pressure because I didn’t give myself a time limit. But as the countdown started I think it finally all got to me.

I would like to thank the public for all the support and everybody who was involved in making last

Saturday a very special day. It is something I will always cherish.

For the record, rumours I will now stop riding are absolute nonsense. I have reset my goals and am now aiming for 5072 winners.

That will ensure I have ridden 5,000 winners in South Africa. The other 72 were ridden overseas.

Life goes on, and today sees the running of the R2-million Sansui Summer Cup, one of the most prestigious races in the country and definitely the most important in Gauteng.

The size of the field can sometimes be a problem because it introduces the luck factor. With 19 runners one could end up further back off the pace than you want to be.

I’m riding the favourite, Louis The King. He ran on very strongly in the Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile over a distance too short off a very wide draw.

This time he has a decent draw. While the race is quite competitive, he is one of the main contenders.

A horse who finished quite close to us last time, also off a bad draw, is No Worries, but I expect my horse to make more improvement.

The two horses I think I have to beat are As You Like and Bouclette Top.

Both have finished close up to Louis The King in the past in numerous runs and are quite well handicapped in this race. They both also have good draws.

Because it’s such a huge field I would suggest taking Louis The King and two of the other three for the Place Accumulator, and put all four in the Pick 6.

Going back to Race 1, I’m riding Finchatton. I think it is too short and he is held on form.

General Misty is by far of the best of the raced horses but watch the betting for any money for the unraced horses.

Once again Race 2 contains a host of unraced horses but of those who have run, Shirley’s Time and Kalanchoe have the best form.

Race 3 is the opening leg of the Place Accumulator and is another very competitive race.

The horses I like – in order – are Lazer Star, African Dream, Rainy Day, Virgo’s Babe, Pej and Tzigane. Choose three or four of those.

I’m riding Goldie Coast. I’m not sure whether she will enjoy 1160m and I think she is held on form.

Race 4 is another competitive event but it looks a case of the young brigade against the more established horses and I’m going to lean towards the younger set.

I will go with Precursor and Trip To Heaven and will add in Flyfirstclass who is at a good price.

For the Pick 6 add in Showmetheway, Normanz, Chekilli and Kingston Boy.

I ride One Man’s Dream. He’s not well handicapped in this field and I’m not sure he has the class, but my trainer thinks he will go close and I hope to be surprised.

Race 5 comprises some quality fillies but I will banker Smart Call in the PA as she is well drawn and was beaten by Majmu, arguably the best three-year-old filly in the country.

She could possibly be a Pick 6 banker as well but as these are young fillies who can improve, you can include some of the other fancied runners and they are Bilateral, Banbury, Ataab and Zrinski.

I’m riding Harry’s Son in Race 6. He definitely has the best form in the race and if you feel that travelling twice from Durban and back won’t affect him, make him a banker.

As I am not convinced the travelling will not adversely affect him I would include Jayyed in both Exotics, the reason being that Jayyed now has a better draw than when they last met, and will also be more effective over this distance.

If you want to more back up then include Front Rank, who won very well last time, and Siren’s Call.

In Race 8 there are some horses with decent form but I just think Carry On Alice has the best form in the race. She was super impressive last time and has No 1 draw. I will banker her in all bets.

Race 9 is quite a difficult race but you could quite easily consider the field for the Pick 6. The horses with the best form are Baracah, Henry Higgins and Sky Rise and those are my PA runners.

Others to consider for the Pick 6 are Taarish, Savage Wind and Kingston Mines. However, take whatever else you may like as most of these runners have a chance.

Race 10 is another competitive event with Eurakilon and Sabadell the obvious choices.

However, I think there is more value with Rushmore River. His last race was in the Victory Moon Stakes. it was run at a fast pace and as he had a bad draw the jockey had to rush him up and had him closer than he wanted to.

He will be better suited to this race and with a good draw, I make him my value bet of the day.

Race 11 is also competitive and my three are Thatho Magestique, Commodore Al and the horse who could possibly make the best improvement, Deputy Judd. His only run on the turf was quite good and he has the benefit of No 1 draw.

He did win on the sand though.

For those who want to go a bit wider in the Jackpot add in Money Grubber and Go Gold.

Race 12 could be your get-out stakes. My first choice is Tamarind.

He is a nice, big horse. He’s only had two runs so you can expect quite a bit of improvement and is drawn No 4.

He is taken to beat El Bombero, who finished just behind him and is also drawn well. Kingkovsky was not far behind them on his debut and could also improve further. Take all three for the Jackpot.