S’Manga Khumalo infamously refused to ride William Robertson in the Gr 2 Topbet Mike O’Connor Jo’Burg Spring Challenge last year after he had felt amiss going down to the start and Muzi Yeni took over to win the race (pictured above). Khumalo gets a chance to make amends on the classy Corne Spies-trained Rafeef gelding over the same Turffontein Inside 1450m course and distance tomorrow in a Pinnacle Stakes event. (JC Photos).
William Robertson Can Be Toast Of Big T
Charl Pretorius (Business Day)
Last year’s Spring Challenge winner, William Robertson, returns to the inside track at Turffontein on Saturday for a Pinnacle Stakes event over 1,450m.
He is follwing the same preparation pattern for the grade 2 feature as he did in 2022.
Trainer Corné Spies said on Thursday: “He is fit and well, he has 62kg to shoulder which is never easy, but he has a good draw and this is a race we believe he can win.”
William Robertson (62kg) was beaten into second on September 10 last year by bottom weight Forever Mine (52kg).
If we were to see a similar result, the one that could trouble him this time is likely to be Tony Peter’s talented, Running Rifles, whose 50.5kg could make a telling difference.
(William Robertson is 2kg under sufferance with the best weighted Marigold Hotel, while Running Rifles is 4kg under sufferance plus Muzi Yeni carries 0,5kg overweight, but the latter could still be ahead of the handicapper such is the way he has taken to the Highveld. Gr 2 WSB Gauteng Guineas winner Eye Of The Prophet is 2,5kg under sufferance with Marigold Hotel but this is alleviated by the 1,5kg claim of Rachel Venniker).
Gavin Lerena is a significant jockey booking for Robyn Klaasen’s Tanganga in race 8 over 1,200m. Tanganga and Galla Vanting (race 9, 1,000m) are both due for competitive runs and present punters with a value double on the day.
1st Race: (1) Zoom Lady (3) Best Intentions (7) Chasing Happiness (6) Cocktail Girl
2nd Race: (4) Courageous (3) Shampimpi (1) Call To Glory (9) My Lady Soul
3rd Race: (6) Dungeons (5) Sage King (2) Moola Man (1) Wolffs World
4th Race: (1) William Robertson (9) Running Rifles (3) Eye Of The Prophet (8) Another Level
5th Race: (6) Arividicio (11) Emporium (5) Mo Jive (2) Global Impact
6th Race: (6) American Grayson (5) Rule Book (8) Over Two You (1) Battleground
8th Race: (6) Tanganga (3) Ampersand (2) Viva De Janeiro (4) Lulu’s Boy
9th Race: (4) Galla Vanting (1) Kalahari Blue (3) Ambrym (8) Iventrix
South Africa’s reigning champion jockey, Keagan De Melo, meets the media at Sha Tin on Tuesday (HKJC).
Keagan’s Astute Advice From Lyle Ahead of HK Debut On Sunday
Mark Worwood (South China Morning Post)
Lyle Hewitson tells Keagan de Melo to stay the course in Hong Kong, even if the going gets tough
De Melo’s assignments on opening day at Sha Tin are aboard Caspar Fownes-trained maiden Valhalla in the Class Five Kowloon Peak Handicap (1,200m), David Hall-prepared sprinter Speedstar in the Class Four Ma On Shan Handicap (1,400m) and Ricky Yiu Poon-fai-conditioned miler Prime Minister in Sunday’s card-closing Class Two Tai Mo Shan Handicap (1,400m).
Keagan de Melo is pictured below (second from left) before his first ever overseas ride in the November of 2012 in Abu Dhabi where he finished second in the Apprentice International on Arabian racehorses. We knew he was good back then as the reigning KZN Champion Apprentice who retained that title, but he has turned out even better!
Mike and Adam Azzie have big Cape Town ambitions.
Adam Azzie To Raid Cape Town With Long-term Plans Afoot
Flower Alley, Sire Of Equus HOY, Starts Season Well
Wilgerbosdrift’s resident sire Flower Alley has had a wonderful couple of weeks, with his daughter Princess Calla being named Equus Horse Of The Year as well as Cape Breeders Horse Of The Year, while on the racetrack his progeny have started the season well.
The G1 Travers Stakes winner produced six individual stakes winners of 13 races last season and he has already produced a stakes winner this season.
Last Friday his daughter Flower Of Saigon, a six-year-old mare trained by Glen Kotzen, became the first horse of the season to win a turf stakes race when waltzing home by 4,50 lengths in the Listed Betway Insurebet Jockey Club Stakes over 2000m at Fairview under S’Manga Khumalo.
Rugby World Cup Bonanza At HWB Durbanville Saturday 23 September
The Rugby World Cup will be the focus of many SA sports fans attention over the next few weeks and one day for Cape racing fans to earmark in their diaries is Saturday 23 September.
There is a racemeeting at Hollywoodbets Durbanville that day and it coincides with one of the most important pool games of the Rugby World Cup, the world number 2’s the Springboks vs the world number 1’s Ireland.
Cape Racing have for weeks been planning “a massive” event which will be headlined “The Heritage Day/Potje Kos Competition” for that day and rest assured that big screens for the rugby are high on the list of their priorites.
Cape Racing begin their marketing campaign for that big day on Monday.
Watch this space to gather the details of a not-to-miss event!
Hong Kong Diary – Everything You Need To Know Ahead Of New Season
As the contest’s highest-rated horse, Lucky Sweynesse will carry 135lb, while Victor The Winner and four others carry just 115lb.
Hollie Doyle’s Preview Of Weekend Rides
Sky Sports Racing’s ambassador is aboard her multiple G1 winner Nashwa in the Irish Champion plus King’s Stand hero Bradsell in the Flying Five this weekend.
Hollie Doyle was speaking to Sky Sports Racing’s Simon Mapletoft.
The Rugby World Cup starts today and stirs a racing memory. Why will the 1960 July always be known as The Rugby July?