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Bernard Fayd’Herbe (Hamish Niven Photography)

Top trainer Mike de Kock knows nothing beats experience in big races and he has booked 42-year-old Bernard Fayd’Herbe to partner Dave The King in Saturday’s Allied Steelrode On A Mission Charity Mile at Turffontein.
Best known for his partnership with champion Pocket Power, it’s fair to say Fayd’Herbe doesn’t have as busy a schedule as Frankie Dettori in the UK but he will be looking forward to partnering Dave The King for the first time.
When the barrier positions for the Charity Mile were announced, De Kock will have been happy that all of Dave The King, Safe Passage and Shoemaker drew in single figures.

Though Dave The King hadn’t raced since finishing third in the Champions Cup at Greyville in July, De Kock had to be disappointed with the four-year-old’s comeback run. He finished 13 lengths behind Tony Peter’s smart three-year-old, Main Defender.

Expect a much-improved effort from Dave The King at the weekend and a good showing would put him well in the mix for November’s Betway Summer Cup.

Bookmakers are taking no chances with Safe Passage in the Charity Mile quoting the five-year-old at 9-1. His comeback run when four lengths behind Atticus Finch was satisfactory and it could be significant that JP van der Merwe partners him rather than badly drawn Union Square.

Stablemate Humdinger is just about drawn in the nearby Rand Stadium so Safe Passage and Dave The King look the pick of De Kock’s quintet of runners.

One of the most interesting runners in the Charity Mile field is Cousin Casey and Sean Tarry will be delighted his new inmate has drawn stall two.

No jockey knows Cousin Casey better than Grant van Niekerk — he has ridden the colt in nine of his 13 races — and it’s an interesting call by Tarry to engage the Cape-based rider to partner the horse once again.

Cousin Casey’s unplaced run behind Charles Dickens in the Champions Challenge (beaten nine lengths) was too bad to be true and Tarry will be eager to land another big prize after Tail Of The Comet’s success last weekend.

Trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren will be dismayed his star performer Puerto Manzano has drawn wide and this will make life tough for jockey Gavin Lerena.

Lerena rode Bingwa to victory 12 months ago and — in contrast to Puerto Manzano — the defending champion has drawn in pole position. S’manga Khumalo has been booked for the six-year-old — only the second time he has ridden the gelding.

Highveld racegoers will be eager to see Durban July winner Winchester Mansion in the flesh, the grey heading the betting market at 11-2. The draw could have been kinder to Brett Crawford’s star, but Kabelo Matsunyane is certain to get the best out of his mount.

This is the one day of the year that charities mark in their diaries because each of the 21 attached to the final field will receive R20,000.

The charity paired with the winning horse will receive R100,000, the second horse R75,000 and the third horse R50,000. The racing industry really plays its part with charitable work at this time of the year.