Kennedy Targets 300 Winners And A Trainers Title For His Highveld Yard
Warren Kennedy passed the 200-winner mark for the season on Tuesday at Turffontein Inside, but said he would not be taking his foot off the pedal.
He said, “I am aiming for 300, but my main goal for the season is to help Paul Peter win the Trainers Championship.”
On his long term future he said his riding license applications had been sent to both Hong Kong and Japan, so he will be waiting on those.
Kennedy said he did not have many big race highlights to look back on this season and it had chiefly been a season about accumulating winners.
However, he is associated with the like of Big Burn (Elusive Fort), Sprinkles (Elusive Fort), River Queraress (Querari), Heavens Girl (Soft Falling Rain), Shangani (Soft Falling Rain) and Maharanee (Flower Alley), not to mention the rides he will pick up due to his champion-elect status.
He is sure to have plenty of big race opportunities.
Maharanee runs tomorrow in the first race.
He said, “She surprised everyone on debut, they weren’t so confident. She is classy and will go over a bit of ground.”
She showed speed on debut to lead from start to finish and was still running strongly at the end, despite being green.
He expects her to win tomorrow despite being up against the boys and carrying a 3kg penalty.
He also said River Queraress would go over ground and expected her to be targeted at all of the big juvenile races from sprints up to a mile.
He admitted Shangani had a bit to do to get into the Hollywoodbets Durban July after his disappointing effort last time when dropped back to 2000m for the Grade 2 Colorado King Stakes. However, he will surely be a king pin in the Gold Cup.
He has no other July options at present.
Kennedy travels an average of 4088 air kilometres per week.
On Monday morning he is able to spend an hour or two with his kids before going to the KZN racemeeting.
He can then spend another hour with them upon getting home.
He usually has an 8 a.m. flight on Tuesday for the Highveld meeting.
He catches the 19h10 flight back to Durban and gets home at about 21h00.
Wednesday is either racing in KZN or an off day.
It is back to Johannesburg on Thursday.
He then spends the night there so he can catch a flight to Gqberha in the morning as there are no flights from Durban to Gqberha.
After the Fairview meeting he flies back to Johannesburg and stays there overnight in readiness for the regular Highveld Saturday meeting.
After that meeting it is back to Durban and he then rides in the regular KZN Sunday meeting.
His guv’nor at Summerveld Gavin van Zyl was fortunately a jockey himself and knows exactly how much it takes out of a person to chase a championship so does not expect Warren to work his horses in the morning.
Therefore, Warren seldom makes it to the training tracks in either KZN or the Highveld.
However, he is highly professional and last night, for example. switched his flight to the morning because his meeting with owner Laurence Wernars went on for longer than expected.
Wernars has a lot of horses with Paul Peter.
Keagan de Melo is Wernar’s first choice rider but is easy going and does not interfere with Paul Peter’s decision to put Warren on his horses.
Kennedy is at present 69 winners clear of second-placed Richard Fourie on the national log .
Oddly enough he is not leading the championship in his home province of KZN.
He is on 51 winners in KZN for second place, eleven behind De Melo.
He is the leading jockey on the Highveld and his 104 winners are 34 clear of second-placed Gavin Lerena.
He is in second place in the Eastern Cape on 45 winners, 17 behind the leader Greg Cheyne.
Warren’s personal highest for a season is 209 winners when landing his first championship in the 2019/2020 season.
Picture: Kennedy returns after scoring his 200th winner of the season on the Paul Peter-trained filly Willow Lane (Willow Magic) at Turffontein Inside yesterday (JC Photos).