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Picture : Muzi Yeni put in a sterling effort in the 2nd race at the Vaal Classic track(17/08/2023) to prevail on the Roy Magner-trained John Finlayson-owned Coup De Grace colt, Here With Me (JC Photos).

Racing champions are often underspoken, because they have learnt from experience how great a leveller this sport can be.

Muzi Yeni was underspoken about his chances of winning the South African Jockeys Championship a week or so ago, but he is riding with immense determination and the dividends are being yielded.
The championship is not won in August, although last season the first month made a big contribution to the eventual outcome.
Keagan de Melo was 14 clear of Richard Fourie at the end of August last season and in the end he only won by 19, so stealing a march proved to be ultimately important.
Yeni is five clear of Gavin Lerena at the top of the table at present and he is eight clear of the favourite for the title, Richard Fourie.
And that is despite having had to already sit out a one week suspension.
He followed a four-timer at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Wednesday with a double at the Vaal Classic track today (Thursday).
He is on 14 wins so far this season, achieved at a strike rate of 25.45%.
Both of his wins today came in ding-dong tussles and, with great determination, vigour and skill, he got his horse up on both occasions.
If a big yard or two sit up and take notice and offer him a position it could enable him to give Richard Fourie a run for his money.
The latter has big yard support from all over the country and it is just a matter of time before he kicks into gear.
Fourie had some bad luck on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly on Wednesday with two horses looking likely to have gone close to winning if they had been able to get runs.
An inquiry has been opened into Wednesday’s race 6 in which one horse appeared to drift outward and then angled back in, shutting the door on Fourie’s mount.
Meanwhile, former Zimbabwean champion trainer Paul Matchett is punching above his weight as usual in the sense that he is not a yard with big spending power, but is invariably prominent.
A couple of seasons back he was prominent through horses like War Of Athena and last season he was prominent through 64 wins.
He had a positive figure if a R1 win was put on each of his runners last season and it would have returned R17.
This season he has had the most wins of any trainer in the country with ten at a strike rate of 29.41% and his figure for a R1 win is currently on R35.20. 
Matchett scored a double today.
He has formed a fine partnership with Philasande Mxoli. There are more than a few who are predicting a bright future for the latter.
Mxoli is alone in third place on the national log at the moment with eight wins scored at a strike rate of 33.33%.
Today the Matchett/Mxoli partnership combined to win the last race with the five-year-old Capetown Noir gelding Funky Music.
The latter has had five starts since joining Matchett and won four of those and finished second in the other. Funky Music has won all four of the Highveld starts he has had for the Matchett yard. His first win with Matchett was off a 61 merit rating and he won off a 79 today.