Jockey Evert Pheiffer does not often get the best of rides but when he does, he knows how to make good use of the opportunity.
On Saturday trainer Leon Erasmus gave Pheiffer the chance to ride Le Tigre in Race 6, a MR 80 Handicap over 1000m on the Turffontein Inside track and the 28-year-old made no mistake.
The three-year-old gelding was 1kg out with many of the other runners but had a good draw which was one of the reasons he was fancied by Piere Strydom in his column on Saturday morning.
Although Le Tigre (The Tiger in French) broke well he started hanging out from the o and proved a handful for his jockey.
However, despite finishing close to the outside fence and carrying out Fidelio some 150m from the line, Pheiffer managed to keep his mount going and held on to win by 0.50 lengths.
The Stipendiary Board called for a race review but after viewing the patrol films of the race they decided to take no further action.
“He started hanging from the start,” said Pheiffer. “I spent almost all the race trying to keep him straight.”
Le Tigre went o at 17-2.
Pilou, who ran in Race 7, always looked to be the stand-out bet on the card and he duly arrived without much fuss.
Ridden by S’manga Khumalo who made good use of his inside draw, the son of Western Winter got away quickly and was soon setting an easy gallop, two lengths ahead of his rivals in this Novice Handicap over 1600m.
Once in the straight Dan The Lad quickly moved up to challenge and even headed Pilou for a stride or two. The pair went well clear of the field and it was soon clear one of these two would win. But while Pilou was proven over the distance, there was nothing in Dan The Lad’s form to indicate he would see out 1600m and soon cried enough, leaving Sean Tarry’s charge clear of the opposition.
Pilou went on to win beat St Joseph by 3.50 lengths with Dan The Lad fading to finish another 0.50 lengths back in third.