“He doesn’t have to think about the money. I do,” New Zealand journeyman Brett Stevens said after losing the 1993 Australian Open quarterfinals to world No. 1 Pete Sampras.
Some owners of runners in the CTS Million Dollar over 1 400m at Kenilworth today might identify with Sampras and others with Stevens. But all the jockeys will be in the Stevens’, camp and they will be riding the horses. The winning jockey, depending on his percentage, will receive somewhere between $35 000 (R577 000) and $50 000 (R850 000), and even finishing in fourth place is worth around R130 000 to the jockey.
So the nerves might be a little frayed and none more so than those of Aldo Domeyer, who is aboard 1-1 favourite Silver Mountain.
She may have let her supporters down when she could only manage fifth place in the Cape Guineas behind Noah From Goa but Domeyer deserves some of the blame for the defeat, as he did get tight and threw away his draw advantage, but hopefully he has learned from that experience.
Once again she is beautifully placed at No. 5, but over 1 400m with 16 runners in the field, Domeyer will need to hold his position or he will be taken out of the race. However, this is a top-class filly and she deserves the chance to regain her reputation as the best three-year-old in the country.
Seven Plains is the obvious danger, but he just about sees out 1 400m and Anton Marcus has to jump from barrier No. 15.
There are two other Grade 1 races on the day and both look dominated by just a few runners. Same Jurisdiction will appreciate reverting to 1 600m in the Klawervlei Majorca Stakes and also has the benefit of jumping from No. 2 draw. She was 1.40 lengths behind Inara in the Paddock Stakes over 1 800m but should reverse the placings with everything in her favour.
Brazuca, drawn No. 1 in the Grade 1 Investec Derby over 2 000m, looks a worthy favourite, with his main challenge being Mike Azzie-trained Rabada. The son of Brave Tin Soldier ran 2.25 lengths behind Black Arthur in the Politician Stakes but is 5kg better off and with a Cape run under his belt is firmly expected to reverse the placings.