Richard Fourie’s lead in jockey championship race looks unassailable

Magical 334 target now firmly in sight.

Stories about Richard Fourie attempting to win his first SA jockeys’ championship and the goal of breaking Anthony Delpech’s record of 334 winners in a season appear almost every day in racing publications but looking at the numbers, the first part of the job is done and dusted.

At the time of writing Fourie had ridden 251 winners and was 106 wins clear of Muzi Yeni in second spot.

With just three-and-a-half months left of the 2023/24 season the following mob will now have accept Fourie has the championship in the bag. He is at the point that he can almost stop riding and no one could catch him.

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So, it is now all about the numbers – and the magical 334 and the R1-million pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Bookmakers are taking no chances, and it comes as no surprise that the betting on Tuesday’s Fairview card on the Polytrack has him riding six favourites, one second favourite and one third favourite.

History tells us that he is unlikely to ride eight winners but if he did, that would not come as much of a surprise either. Fourie and Alan Greeff are in hot form and it is worth noting that 80 of his wins this season have come in the Eastern Cape.

Greeff already has a number of juvenile winners this season so he will by now have a good line on the strength of his juveniles. As a result, it could be worth watching filly Fire Alarm in Race 1, a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1200m.

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The signs are all there that the daughter of Fire Away is ready to win on debut as stable jockey Fourie was aboard Can’t Say No last time and that filly ran a cracker in her second start. She chased home a good sprinter in Global State and is clearly ready to win, but Fourie ha chosen to ride Fire Alarm.

Outer Dimension was not disgraced on her local debut and will be smarter this time around and can go close to winning Race 2, a Maiden Plate over 1600m. She will like this longer distance and has a decent draw.

There is also every reason to believe Crystal Maiden, who represents the Fourie-Greeff combination, will not be out of the first three and could win Race 3, a Maiden Plate over 1900m. The Flower Alley filly has been very consistent without winning and did run well with blinkers fitted last time out.

On The Guest List has been very costly to follow and is badly drawn in Race 4 but is another who ran well in blinkers last time but has yet to win on the Polytrack. Grazinginthegrass won six-in-a-row earlier in his career but has tasted defeat in his last three starts. There were excuses for some of those defeats but he is back on his favourite surface and is weighted to win Race 5, a Pinnacle Stakes over 1900m.

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Canford Cliffs filly Concerto could be getting better the further she goes but she did quicken nicely when winning over 1400m on the turf last time out and could follow up back on the Polytrack.

Fourie has plenty opportunities and it will be interesting to see how many winners he will come away with.

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