The promising Montien should make a bold bid at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Monday (Picture: Wayne Marks).
Montien To Make Bold Bid At Kenilworth On Monday
World Pool, Integrated Customer Experience and Engaged Younger Audience Key to Wagering Growth
Oisin Murphy Returns From 14-month Ban With Victory In First Ride
The three-time champion jockey Oisin Murphy was having his first ride since November 2021 having been suspended for breaking Covid rules and failing two breathalysers
“I’m quite fit and I really enjoyed that. Even the banter in the weighing room, I have really missed that.”
Racing ‘a sardine in a swimming pool full of sharks’ as illegal betting grows
Unlawful wagering expanding at almost twice the rate of its legal counterpart, with the sport’s Citibet headache compounding in recent years
“The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime puts the total illegal market annually at US$1.7 trillion. That’s not just racing – that’s everything from US college football to British darts – but it gives us perspective.
Horse-by-horse guide: Betfair Ascot Chase
At The Races Senior Form Analyst Jamie Lynch gives his verdict on every runner going for Grade 1 glory at Ascot on Saturday (race off at 17H35 SA Time)
Any and every bet involves calculating probabilities, in the context of odds, and Fakir D’Oudairies is a champion of probability, because of his predictability and practicality. However, this race is about more than the balance of probability, due to the spectre of SHISHKIN, who once stood head and shoulders above all of his Ascot rivals, and introduces the incalculable question of whether he’s still got it or not, itself a matter of estimation and therefore percentages, but there’s enough juice in his price to keep the faith.
Jamaican Music – Much Loved Horse Was Associated With Controversy For Years
This season 50 years ago a grey colt was burning up the Kenilworth turf, first winning the Grade 3 Western Province Colts Nursery in January 1973 and following up by winning the Grade 1 Cape Of Good Hope Nursery Futurity over 1200m by 1,5 lengths.
The Controversial 1974 Durban July – Did He Jump?
The disappointment in commentator Ernie Duffield’s voice was almost palpable as he called home the winner of the 1974 Durban July.
The first horse past the post was the second favourite Jamaican Music, one of the most popular greys to ever race in South Africa, but he was riderless having lost jockey Tom Rattley about 350m into the race.
“It’s Sea Patrol and Riboville – Sea Patrol and Riboville,” repeated Duffield continually down the straight, as he waited expectantly but ultimately forlornly for the big guns, including Yataghan and Elevation, to arrive on the scene.
They never did, although for the owners of the favourite Elevation, Dennis and Peggy Mosenthal, it turned out a great day as their second string, Riboville, overtook and then ran away from Sea Patrol to win by over four lengths. He gave them their first July winner after nearly a quarter of a century of trying.
It remains the biggest margin of victory in July history.
It was one of the biggest July shocks of all time as Riboville had started 20-1 and second placed Sea Patrol, ridden by 15-year-old apprentice Dave Byrnes, was 33-1.
The betting public didn’t take kindly to the result and it wasn’t long before rumours and conspiracy theories spread, one of them claiming that Rattley, who at the time of the writing of this article in 2007 was living in New Zealand, had deliberately jumped off.
Fueled by years of innuendo and pub talk, the Rattley conspiracy theory snowballed.
However, veteran jockey and now trainer Garth Puller, who was riding Bon Vista, said in the 2007 article that he would stake his life and reputation that it was a genuine fall.
“Shortly after the jump Jamaican Music clipped the heels of a horse in front of him and pecked. This is like a catapult to the rider as the bit pulls the rein like an elastic.
“I was directly behind Jamaican Music and Tom went over the side of his neck. Normally in this circumstance you would just fall off and roll away but if you’re on the July favourite you try and cling on and from my angle he looked to be clinging on to the rein.
“However, it would be like hanging onto the side of a bus and he had no chance of getting back up. Luckily Jamaican Music had not reached the rail yet and Tom fell to the left so the horses behind him were able to avoid him.”
Michael Roberts, who was on the horse drawn next to Jamaican Music, Kings Palace, and was right alongside him when Rattley fell, also regarded the conspiracy theory as nonsense.
Roberts recalled the horse pecking and then remembered Rattley clinging onto the stirrup leather – the strap that holds the stirrup iron – and making a desperate attempt to climb back into the saddle. “It would have been a miracle had he managed to get back up. I can vouch for it. I remember it like it was yesterday”.
Puller added “The best stuntman in the world would not throw himself in front of a field of thoroughbred hooves at full pace. It would be suicide to anybody trying it. The conspiracy theory is a joke and the most far-fetched story on earth”.
Jockey Dave Cave was on Castaway and recalled speaking to Tom Rattley on the way to the start.
“It was Tom’s first ride in the big race,” said Cave, “and I warned him on the way to the start that in the July there is a mad rush for the first 400m and then the horses come across at the first turn at the Drill Hall. I told him you have to make up your mind to be up there or ease back. I think what happened in the race was that he panicked when he saw the horses coming across as he thought he was going to lose his position and instead of easing back on Jamaican Music he rushed him up onto the heels of the horses in front of him. These horses were in turn easing back as the ones on the outside came across. The result was that he clipped the heels of the horse in front of him. I was right alongside Jamaican Music on his outside and saw it all as it happened. Jamaican Music actually pecked twice and Tom went down the second time. I think after the first peck Tom lost control of his mount and then Jamaican Music rushed forward and clipped heels again.”
Stipendiary Steward Barry Patterson said he had seen the incident across field from his position in the observation tower at the 600m mark.
“Rattley actually appeared to be running alongside his mount in an attempt to vault himself back into the saddle,” said Patterson. “It was clear that it was a legitimate fall.”
Stipendiary Steward Ernie Rodrigues was in the tower closest to the incident near the Drill Hall and also said that there was no question that it was a legitimate fall.
For Jamaican Music’s now late trainer Ralph Rixon, who was still living in the Cape at the time the article was written, it was the most disappointing day of his career.
“We watched the African Mirror film of the race at the bioscope,” said Rixon. “It was quite clear that Jamaican Music stumbled. It happened so quickly. When the horse was coming back up the jockey was still going down and he knocked him off. He was then hanging onto the side of the horse trying to get back on.”
Over the years other mumblings surfaced revolving around the George Azzie stable jockey, the late Martie Schoeman, riding second-string Riboville, and winning whilst the late Roy Curling rode the favourite, Elevation, and finished fourth.
However, Curling’s son, Ray, quickly put that rumour to bed although revealing at the same time that the result had come as no great surprise to the Azzie yard,.
“Martie Schoeman had been fired by Azzie earlier in the season,” said Ray.
“However the two patched things up about ten days before the July. In the meantime my father had ridden Elevation to win the Grade II Johannesburg Champion Stakes and finish second in the Grade I Clairwood Champion Stakes, so Martie was only given the spare ride on Riboville.”
“In the build up to the July Elevation went ‘over the top’ in his training whilst Riboville began working like a bomb and improved by lengths.”
For Rixon the nightmare was erased when Jamaican Music won the 1976 July at odds of 8-1. “I was very confident that year,” said Rixon.
“Jamaican Music always came from near the back and then flew up but he always got there in time. With Bert Abercrombie up, a jockey who also liked to ride that way, I knew he would win.
“The owner decided to retire him to stud immediately but I think he still had a year’s racing in him and was a certainty for the Gold Cup as he stayed all day.”
It was an immensely popular result for the grey had won many new fans after the 1974 July due to his quite astonishing intelligence.
It had not escaped the notice of many, including the press, that after losing Rattley, Jamaican Music had run as if being guided by a top professional jockey.
“He worked his way through the field very cleverly without causing any interference,” confirmed Rixon. “Whenever a gap appeared he surged through it and would then sit and wait. Even when they came into the straight he sat behind the leader for a while before running away in the last furlong.”
“He was a horse who knew what to do from the first day he raced. He had wonderful temperament and never put a foot wrong. He was just a champion.”
Turffontein Saturday moved to Standside track
Please note, Saturday’s Turffontein Inside Track meeting has been moved to the Turffontein Standside Track.
The Turffontein Inside Track is waterlogged after further overnight rain was received.
The Turffontein Standside Track is currently soft but after gallops it was unanimous that it is currently raceable.
Unfortunately, there is further rain forecast throughout the day and night and this could still impact the meeting but further comms will follow on Saturday morning.
Distance changes as follow:
Other distances remain as is as do race times remain as is.
Yard-Arm shortened to 8/10 after putting up a scintillating work out at the July Gallops in 2004 and remains the shortest-priced favourite in July history (sahorseracing.com).
NB Please wait a few seconds for fields to appear.
Sea Cottage (nearest) is the shortest priced July winner in history at 11/10 when deadheating with Jollify in 1967.
The shortest price in July history has been the 8/10 about Yard-Arm in the 2004 July, but he could only manage 9th place in the race won by 8-1 shot Greys Inn, whose saddle cloth bore the South African flag as he was no. 10 and the race marked the tenth anniversary of democracy.