Dave Mollett
3 minute read
28 Jun 2017
11:24 am

Get ready to salute Muzi Yeni

Dave Mollett

Massive Pick 6 and Quartet pools look attractive punting opportunities.

MUZI MAGIC. Ten Gun Salute won the Betting World 1900 under Muzi Yeni and the pair can make it a huge day for the connections in Saturday’s Vodacom Durban July.

When Barry Gibb of Bee Gees fame performed at Glastonbury festival in the UK last weekend, the crowd went wild. There could be the same reaction at Greyville on Saturday if Muzi Yeni becomes the second black jockey to win the Vodacom Durban July.

It’s four years since S’manga Khumalo partnered Heavy Metal to a historic win in SA’s most famous race and he could add another one on Sean Tarry’s talented three-year-old, Al Sahem.

However, I’ve been tipping Ten Gun Salute as a good Eachway bet for months and Muzi’s booking has increased my confidence in Duncan Howells’ Aussie import.

Over the years, Muzi, now 30 but still looking 20, has shown he can win if the horse is good enough. He’s also a case of havesaddle-will-travel and – although currently having a stint in Mauritius – has still ridden in more races this season (1295) than any other jockey in the country.

Muzi rode Ten Gun Salute in last year’s July finishing in midfield some three lengths behind The Conglomerate. Since then, Howells has clearly had Saturday’s race as the gelding’s longterm goal missing both the Cape and Highveld Autumn seasons.

Hence, as he proved in the Betting World 1900, he’s a fresh horse while many of his rivals – notably Al Sahem – have been running in big races both on the Highveld and in KwaZulu-Natal.

In the last 10 days, I’ve also started to try and put doubles together with another July prospect I believe has a huge Eachway chance – particularly with the tote paying six places.

Her name is Nightingale and goes to post with a lot in her favour – a record which shows she rarely runs a poor race, a good trainer, top jockey and favourable draw.

In recent weeks, Anthony Delpech’s name has been linked with both Black Arthur and Al Sahem, but he’s ended up on Nightingale and whether this is simply because of his tie-up with Mauritzfontein, I’m unsure.

Either way, Candice Bass-Robinson will be happy she’s got the same jockey who partnered the daughter of Silvano to victory in the Klawervlei Majorca Stakes on Sun Met Day.

If you’ve followed Brett Crawford this season you’ll be showing a healthy profit, yet the suspicion is that – wherever Edict Of Nantes finishes – Al Sahem will be in front of him. The Silvano colt has won three and been placed second three times in his last six races.

Now the dilemma – although it’s a nice one – facing punters, is which of the different bets you should go for on the big day.

A tilt at the Pick 6 with its huge pool is a must while many believe taking a big Quartet on days like this is the best way to make a big profit.

I’m going to recommend keeping some money aside for my favourite bet – the Exacta.

Two bets here which – taken 10 times boxed – will cost R180

1. Box Ten Gun Salute (No 9) with 5 (Krambambuli), 8 (It’s My Turn), 10 (Nightingale), 11 (Black Arthur), 12 (Edict Of Nantes), 13 (Al Sahem), 14 (Mr Winsome), 18 (Safe Harbour) and 19 (Horizon).

2. Box Nightingale (No 10) with 5 (Krambambuli), 8 (It’s My Turn), 9 (Ten Gun Salute), 11 (Black Arthur), 12 (Edict Of Nantes), 13 (Al Sahem), 14 (Mr Winsome), 18 (Safe Harbour) and 19 (Horizon).

Then try this four-horse Win – and mainly Place – Quartet on the other races:

Firstly, Ten Gun Salute (Race 7) with Whorly Whorly (Race 9), Star Express (Race 10) and Doosra (Race 11). Secondly, Nightingale (Race 7) with Whorly Whorly (Race 9), Star Express (Race 10) and Doosra (Race 11).

Early in the meeting, Trophy Wife rates a banker in the first leg of the Pick 6 and – although aware of Polyphonic’s defeat in the same race 12 months ago – Alec Laird’s filly, Green Top, looks another good mount for Muzi in the Grade 2 Golden Slipper.

If your pockets are empty by Race 12 then possibly Callan Murray on well-drawn Master ‘N Commander could get you out of jail at a big price.