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Craig Bantam got the best out of the Andries Steyn-trained 20/1 shot Wylie Jack in a 1000m event last week at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth (Picture: Wayne Marks) 

Turf Talk-sponsored jockey Craig Bantam has deservedly been getting better support lately and hopefully he can build on the five winners he has had to date this season.

Craig said, “Things are picking up and I have been getting a few chances.”

In fact in the last two Cape Town meetings he has had twelve rides.

This included riding the top class Justin Snaith-trained Without Question in  the Gr 2 Cape Merchants on Sunday.

Over too sharp a trip the The United States gelding ran only 3,90 lengths back.

Craig said, “It was his second run from a break and he ran a very good race.”

He is obviously hopeful of keeping the ride but admitted it was unlikely.

The one Snaith horse he has become associated with is “the miracle horse” Rule Of Thumb, who has four pins in  one of his lower legs.

Craig has ridden him four times this season and won on him three times.

Another trainer who has been giving him support is Andries Steyn.

Craig drives to the latter’s private farm to ride work.

Having ridden a number of places for the Steyn yard he was glad to reward them for their support by riding Wylie Jack (Wylie Hall) to victory in a 1000m contest a week ago.

He said he felt he had a place chance on the 20/1 shot and elaborated, “I definitely thought I had a chance to run in the money. When I rode him that good I said ok defnitely I can now win this race and I was just waiting on the split.”

Craig had relaxed his mount at the back of the field and he consequently had a ton in hand as they reached the business end.

The split did happen and he burst through like a hot knife through butter and won by a comfortable 1,75 lengths.

Craig is hardworking in  the morning and rides for Gareth van Zyl as well as the Snaiths and Piet Botha, Shane Humby, Greg Ennion.

He said, “I am just keeping my head down and working hard and hopefully I can ride a big winner this season or something. Rule Of Thumb is progressing nicely and I hope they keep me on the horse.”

Craig looks up to Richard Fourie  and admitted, “I enjoy watching him ride.”

The increased number of rides Craig is getting is helping his confidence and he concluded, “I definitely feel much better as a rider, I feel I have improved.”