It was a day of mixed fortunes for Kabelo Matsunyane at Turffontein on Saturday with the young jockey winning the grade 3 Yellowwood Handicap on Gilded Butterfly but being slapped with a R7,000 fine for excessive use of the whip on Raiseahallelujah in the Java Stakes.
Still, it has been an excellent first three months of the season for the youngster who rode his first winner at the Vaal in June 2018. He has ridden 42 winners this term and is in fourth place in the national jockeys’ log. He led the table at the end of the first month of the new season.
Matsunyane has six booked rides at the Vaal on Tuesday and a couple of winners would pay off Saturday’s fine. He has good chances on Ready To Fly (third race) and Gallic Tribe in the sixth.
Richard Fourie has been the pilot of Ready To Fly in her five starts, but he’s not riding at the meeting so trainer Mike de Kock has given Matsunyane the ride on the R240,000 daughter of Gimmethegreenlight.
Ready To Fly raced in stronger company last time in a race won by Captain Peg. The three-year-old is back in calmer waters this time and may have most to fear from Gilda Gray, the mount of S’manga Khumalo.
Muzi Yeni also has a chance in getting in on the action in the closing stages as he rides Light Of Day who turned in a good post-maiden effort when fourth behind Fast Love.
Brett Crawford’s son, James, has done well with the stable’s raiding party on the highveld and Matsunyane was in the saddle when five-year-old Gallic Tribe scored at Turffontein. While the gelding got a six-point penalty for that win he has a bright chance of notching his fourth career win in Tuesday’s sixth race.
Gallic Tribe faces 10 rivals and they include Sean Tarry’s useful five-year-old, Paisley Park, who returns to the fray after a 27-week absence.
Punters need to check the market which will reveal if the son of Gimmethegreenlight is expected to make a winning return — he has been priced up at 13-2 in early betting.
Johan Janse van Vuuren had a day to remember at Turffontein on Saturday and he runs Tuscan Winter and Fast Love in this 1,400m contest.
Tuscan Winter is reunited with Gavin Lerena and the five-year-old’s fifth behind Anfield’s Rocket doesn’t seem bad form in view of that winners success in the grade 3 Graham Beck Stakes last Saturday.
Lerena will be on a high after his Charity Mile win on Bingwa and his mount, Thunderstone, has been priced up favourite for the seventh race.
Trained by Roy Magner, Thunderstone reverts to novice company after racing in feature races and the son of Soft Falling Rain may prove too smart for Drop Of Time and recent maiden winner, Whatyouwaitingfor.
Though Matsunyane has an each-way chance on DJ Junior in the opening event, it is a worry that the four-year-old has not raced since March. In the circumstances, it may be safer to row in with De Kock’s runner, World’s Best, who made a pleasing debut at Turffontein a month ago.
1st Race: (16) World’s Best (15) US Open (1) DJ Junior (13) Celtic Rush
2nd Race: (5) On The Guest List (4) Rosy Lemon (8) Cantfoolme (1) Brazilian Storm
3rd Race: (1) Ready To Fly (6) Gilda Gray (3) Light Of Day (4) Kayla’s Dream
4th Race: (1) Mike’s Chick (6) Lilliana (5) Magical Flight (4) Strike A Match
5th Race: (10) Alfaatik (7) The Brief (8) Fifth Of July (13) Banha Bridge
6th Race: (5) Gallic Tribe (1) Paisley Park (6) Tuscan Winter (2) Whafeef
7th Race: (1) Thunderstone (5) Drop Of Time (3) Whatyouwaitingfor (7) Guapo
8th Race: (2) Esqueville (3) South Boy (1) Twice The Storm (5) Corvette Captain