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Pauline Herman took this great picture of Richard Fourie (far side) getting up in Tuesday’s first race on the Fairview poly on the Alan Greeff-trained Horsefly (Erupt)  (Photo: Pauline Herman)

Richard Fourie, after Tuesday’s poly meeting at Fairview, had 169 days left to ride 164 wins this season to reach a new record for a season of 335 wins.

The following was written after that meeting (he has added one more winner since then on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly):

If he keeps up his current rate of rides he will need to improve his strike rate from a current 20.75% to 23.20%.

Otherwise he will need to do even more travelling than he currently is to imcrease his riding rate from a current 4.183 rides per calendar day.

Today Fourie rode a treble on the Fairview poly and that followed his frustrating Monday at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth where he had to wait until the last race to ride a winner, despite having been on the favourite in four of his seven rides.

His winner on Monday came on a 14/1 shot, the Michelle Rix and Harold Crawford-trained War Chariot (Pomodoro), who was by far the longest shot he rode all day.

It just illustrates the up and downs of racing, because he had come into that meeting off a treble at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Saturday and a four-timer at Fairview on Friday.

He is now on 171 wins for the season achieved at a strike rate of 20.75%.

Hollywoodbets are rewarding anybody who breaks Anthony Delpech’s record of 334 wins in a season with a R1 million bonus.

Fourie’s chances of breaking the record were pooh-poohed by most analysts at the beginning of the season, but he is still in with a chance.

On the other hand Keagen de Melo had 167 wins at this stage last season, just four less than Fourie now has, and he finished on only 277.

It is hard to keep up the winners chiefly due to suspensions and injury or illness, but also due to flat periods which are probably caused by physical tiredness. De Melo was going at a strike rate of 21.36% at this time last season, but went through one spell towards the end of the season where he had just one win in 70 rides.

By the same token Fourie was only on 115 wins at this time last season and ended the season on 258.

His last 143 wins, which took place from this time last year until the end of the season, came at a strike rate of 23.56%. That is slightly higher than the strike rate he currently requires to break the record, presuming he keeps up the same rides per day rate.

Of course he did not travel nearly as much last season, so would have been fresher in the second half.

Nevertheless, the record chase is starting to bring intrigue to every meeting in which Fourie rides.

Fourie himself reckoned at the beginning of the season 300 wins would be a realistic target.

He will finish the season on 318 wins if he keeps up both his current rides per day rate and strike rate.