Horses / Columnists

Piere Strydom
7 minute read
15 Feb 2014
9:41 am

Column is the only outlet

Piere Strydom

Sometimes I can get so frustrated by punters who always ask for information and often feel aggrieved when they’ve had a bet and it hasn’t gone their way.

I often tell them that if they were prepared to spend R5 to buy The Citizen on a Saturday morning they could save a lot of money. I have had so many positive reviews about this article but we also have so many disgruntled punters who lose their money and don’t stop complaining.

Last week, for example, I specifically mentioned Bouclette Top, who was 9-2 at that stage, was the horse to beat in the Tony Ruffel Stakes, despite the fact that I was riding 15-10 favourite Mercado who I said would struggle to get going on this track. I have ridden both horses and there is no comparison between their ability at this stage of their careers. It could change as they get older.

I have to state that I don’t know everything, but neither does anyone else. There are times when a horse runs below his true form a for a reason unbeknown to us. If you feel studying form is a waste of time then I would like to know what other method you use to find a winner. If it is just guesswork or gut instinct then you might as well go to a casino and play your lucky numbers.

Sometimes my information is so good that I’ve been accused of riding for my article. If I’m wrong then I’m reproached for trying to get a price on another horse in the race.

I’m not doing myself any favours by writing this article as there are some trainers who do not enjoy my straightforward opinion. But I feel it is my duty to give you, the punter, as much of the correct information as possible.

As I put my name to this article the only person I would be making a fool of by giving the wrong information is me.

I also want to categorically state that this article is the only information I pass on. I do not have a tipping line but I believe somebody is using my name to sell information. I strongly advise people not to use that line as it has nothing to do with me. I have handed the information over the NHA for investigation.


Racing is on the inside track at Turffontein today and without trying to sound like a broken record, we do need to remember the low draws are important. Race 1 is work riders’ race and Via Della Tigre has been priced up at 6-10. It is rather short to take a straight bet on so maybe find another runner and take some Exactas and Swingers.

In Race 2 the horse everyone has to beat is Gullwing. He won his last start but lost on an objection. As this will only be his third run he can make some improvement – and he has a good draw. Even though he looks the horse to beat he is odds-on and the price could be too short. It might be better to back Moon Lay Hidden, who should enjoy this track and has always had bad draws in the past, and Which Way, who finished in front of him and could make some improvement, for Places.

I initially looked at Race 3 and thought it was quite open. As it is a conditions race your higher rated horse should come to the fore. Horses I thought were in with a chance were Fort Bellini – he ran second to Captain Lars but is coming off a rest and has a bad draw, Glasswing – who could improve but beat a very weak field and Dashing Scarlet – who could also improve quite a lot but is filly who finished second against some average fillies.

I see the race as between Earl Of Derby and Tee Jay Ar. I would consider making Earl Of Derby a Place Accumulator banker but he is badly drawn. He’s run against much stronger than this field and he could improve, being a young horse.

Tee Jay Ar ran unplaced in his last start but that was on J&B Met day and the cream of the crop run at that meeting. He was also drawn No 2 and on the day the outside draws were more favourable. Unfortunately he raced in Cape Town not so long ago and that could affect his chances.

If you don’t want to bank on Earl Of Derby then add in Tee Jay Ar.

Race 4 is a moderate bunch of maidens and it will be wise to go as wide as possible. For the PA I’m going with Wellesley, Emirates Links and Prophet Of War. For the Pick 6 I would consider Jewel Of The Stage, Chevalier and even Bow ‘N Arrow as they don’t have much to beat.

In Race 5 I ride Tiger Play. We’re trying him over the distance but I’m not sure if he will stay. The track could be in his favour as he has speed. Unfortunately he just hasn’t finished close enough recently and horses who have finished close to him have poor form. At this stage I rate him as an outside chance. You could consider including him in the Pick 6 because if my top two fancies don’t come through, he could just possibly win this race.

The two horses I like are Belmonte and Radio Sioux. They have the strongest current form and they are the two PA horses.

Belmonte ran unplaced last time, although it was a heavy track, and I am concerned that he’s bled before. He is also held by Rodeo Sioux at the turnover in weights but as she is a filly I would include, Tiger Play, Sky Rise and Storm Warning in the Pick 6.

In Race 6 I will banker Zephira in the Place Accumulator. I know she has not won over the distance but last time she won on a heavy track over 200m shorter. I was very impressed at the speed she came past me.

For the Pick 6 I’m going include Serruria. She has won three of her last four starts. The concern is that she has been campaigning in KZN and at this time of the year the opposition is not that strong. She looks like she is really on the upgrade and for that reason I will include her, along with one of your hard knockers – Sky Pirate

In Race 7 I ride King’s Entourage. His form is not that good at the moment and I would look elsewhere for the winner.

This is quite a competitive race and for the PA I would consider The Barbadian as there is a huge turnover of weights with Flight Warning because of the claiming apprentice. I would also include Zanzibar Man and Henry Higgins. That will give you three different form lines and that should get you through.

For the Pick 6 I would include Rambo, even though he’s drawn wide, and Flight Warning who has a good draw and a light weight.

In Race 8 I ride Rheims. His form has not been that good except for his last run. The field is weak so he should be included in all bets. He is not a banker as I feel this track will not be in his favour. My first pick is Lord Windsor as he has run against much stronger opposition.

Unfortunately he ran poorly last time so we need to include other runners. My next fancy is Blake Carrington. He won with ease last time but the balance of the field was quite moderate. I would also consider Bodybuilder, even though I’m not convinced about him enjoying this fast track, although he could enjoy the extra distance. The Money Shot could also be considered as he ran well off a poor draw.

For the Pick 6 I would consider the field.

I ride Annia Galeria in Race 9. On some levels she has a chance, especially as she is drawn No1. Unfortunately she has no speed. This is 1000m race and she ran poorly on Tuesday night. One horse with good form is Stirling Leaves but she has a poor draw to overcome. For that reason I would consider banking Stain Remover as she ran third in her only start and can improve many lengths. She also has the advantage of No 3 draw.

The horse who finished just ahead of her last time is Latino Ice but she has had many runs so I don’t expect much improvement. She has the advantage of No 2 draw. For the Pick 6 those two should suffice as the rest of the fancied runners are drawn very badly. If the pair are not your fancies then you need to consider the field.