Dream Start For Alan & Bling (Nelson Mandela Bay Racing)
Trainer Alan Greeff and jockey S’manga “Bling” Khumalo could not have started the new South African racing season any better.
They combined in spectacular fashion at the very first meeting on Monday when they won four of the eight races at the Fairview Polytrack.
“This (Fairview) is my happy place and it is great to be back,” Khumalo said.
He also gave the thumbs up to the Polytrack that was in fine fettle.
Greeff said it was good to have Khumalo riding at Fairview again.
“And there were a few nice wins for him today,” the trainer summed up the proceedings with a smile.
One of the Greeff-winners was Inherit The Rain. The five-year-old gelding came with his usual strong late run to beat the favourite Global Drummer in an exciting finish in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1200m.
It was a very fast race from the word go and Khumalo said afterwards he was worried at one stage if he would be able to stay in touch with the leaders.
“But when I got stuck into him he stepped it up,” Khumalo said.
Khumalo was impressed by Bold Resolve. The five-year-old gelding won a Classified Stakes over 1300m.
“It was another race with a fast pace but my patience paid off. I had to urge him to finish off his race though.”
Bragging rights for winning the first race of the season went to trainer Sharon Kotzen and jockey Luyolo Mxothwa.
The filly Miss Rose was a facile winner and Mxothwa was very happy to get on the scoreboard first.
Trainers Zietsman Oosthuizen, Juan Nel and Duncan McKenzie also opened their account for the season with a winner each.
The Fairview action will return to the Turf Track on Friday with two Listed races, the East Cape Paddock Stakes and the Memorial Mile.
The legendary jockey Pieré Strydom will then make a welcome return to Fairview and will be in action for the Justin Snaith stable in the Listed events.
Khumalo will also be back to try and follow up on his fine performance on the poly.
The first race is at 11:40.
Picture: S’Manga Khumalo and Alan Greeff had a fine day together on 6he Fairview poly on the opening day of the season today. (Pauline Herman Photography).