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He’s done it!!! The electrifying moment Richard Fourie set a new South African record for number of wins in a season . (Picture: Chase Liebenberg)
Richard Fourie could end the season with two new records if putting his mind to it, but his agent Ken Nicol confirmed, not surprisingly, that the record-breaking champion elect was likely to “throttle down”, deservedly.
Fourie had said just before Christmas he had not had his “purple patches” yet and was determined to be the first to have 50 wins in a season.
He has already had 18 wins this month, meaning a 50 win month would definitely be on the cards.
On Saturday, Fourie was the central figure in one of the most memorable meetings in Hollywoodbets Greyville history.
Fourie scored a treble at the meeting and in the process broke Anthony Delpech’s iconic 334-wins-in-a-South African-racing season record.
Fittingly the first person to congratulate him after returning to the parade ring aboard the Justin Snaith-trained Double Grand Slam was Anthony Delpech himself and also fitting is the Vercingetorix filly is part-owned by another SA sporting icon, Gary Player.
Double Grand Slam was regarded as the meeting banker and at odds of 5/10 in the Gr 2 East Coast Radio Tibouchina Stakes over 1400m converted the treble for Fourie and saw him reaching the magical 335 wins for the season mark.
The filly jumped from draw eight.
Richard took an early hold and placed her perfectly one out and one back behind last year’s winner Humdinger.
In the straight she had a clear run down the middle and wound up into full stride before pulling away to beat Humdinger by 1,20 lengths.
The crowd roared her home and the atmosphere became electric as Richard rose up in the saddle at the line and lifted his crop in triumph.
Fans then ran to the parade ring and crowded around the perimeter to greet the champion and new record-holder with spine-tingling applause and cheers.
It was Hollywoodbets big racing day, so there were many non-racing people on course soaking up the vibe, which can only be great for the sport.
One of them, a presenter on East Coast Radio, spoke the next day of the tremendous atmosphere on course and, although  she did not quite get the Richard Fourie stats correct, the impact the day had made on a newcomer was pleasing to hear.
“We do horseracing so well in KZN!”, she said, “The vibe on course was amazing, everybody dresses up and Richard Fourie broke the record with 335 consecutive (!) wins! I can’t wait for the July.”
Double Grand Slam is owned by Player in partnership woth Suzette Viljoen and Dave McLean and runs in the latter’s colours.
There are still seven-an-a-half weeks left of the sesson and Richard’s projected number of wins (taken on the number of rides per calendar day rate coupled with his current strike rate for the season) is currently at 390!!
However, especially after collecting a bonus of R1 milllion from Hollywoodbets for breaking the record, it is not surprising to hear he might  ease down a touch on his punishing travel schedule.
Richard’s first win of the day on Saturday came on the Glen Kotzen-trained Captain Of All filly Whistle The Tune in the Listed Hollywoodbets Super League Devon Air Stakes over 1400m.
He then won on the impressive two-year-old gelding Great Plains, who is owned by incredibly successful Durban-based owner Nick Jonsson, and this grey became the first stakes winner of the prominent Mauritzfontein-based Japansese-bred sire Danon Platina after powering home in the Listed Hollywoodbets Sharks gatecrasher Stakes over 1400m.