His work has not been up to standard and the decision has been taken not to run him. People close to horses will understand these little niggles happen and one just has to deal with them.
I would have loved to ride in Germany and have a new experience but on the positive side it will give me more time to recuperate which will at least make my biokineticist happy.
I was also planning to attend the Equus Awards at Emperors Palace on Tuesday night but my car broke down and I was stuck in Port Elizabeth. I watched them on TV with my family which was great because we are all racing people and we loved seeing them live.
Well done to S’manga Khumalo on winning his second Champion Jockey’s title. He rides for a strong yard in Sean Tarry, which does help, but he has put in many flying hours and deserves his success. Sadly for him this season will be a lot more difficult as he has to serve out a 60-day suspension so that is likely to get him out of the starting stalls too late to retain his title.
Andrew Fortune is one jockey who has come out of the starting blocks very quickly and could be the one to beat this season.
Sean Tarry had a fantastic season and that is a result of building up quality stock which takes a lot of time and work.
It was a superb season for Markus Jooste and his team, with manager Derek Brugman doing a great job behind the scenes. To win one Grade 1 is an achievement and sometimes you can get lucky and win two. That one owner can win nine Grade 1s in a season must be a record and will be hard to repeat.
I was glad to have been part of that achievement as I gave the Joostes the one race which had eluded them for so long – the Vodacom Durban July, arguably the most important race in South Africa.
No single winner takes you to 5,000 victories but I am pleased I reached that milestone on Act Of War which was owned by the Joostes. They deserve every bit of their success as they contribute greatly to this industry.
I have been invited to attend the KwaZulu-Natal Awards next week. I am a nominee for Ride Of The Season on The Conglomerate in the Durban July. There are some other nominees as well and it is open to public voting, so get out there and vote because it will be interesting to see the racing public’s point of view.
Today we race on the Inside track at Turffontein and as I always say, make the draws a priority at this course although on this card many of the fields are quite small.
Race 1 is a Maiden Plate and my first selection is Claremorris. She has only had one start and was not beaten that far so could improve quite a bit. The same applies to Aerobatic but if you are looking for the horse with the best form and experience, that is September Bloom.
I rode Miraflores last time and she could improve as she had blinkers on and now, with the blinkers off, she could be a lot more relaxed. She should enjoy the distance.
Race 2 is another Maiden Plate and I would think Holy Joe will be a hard horse to beat. He’s drawn No 1 and is lightly raced so can make more improvement. His danger is Flying Fool but Holy Joe has beaten him already so he should be one of the better bets on the card.
Race 3 is the first leg of the Place Accumulator and looks very competitive with nothing standing out on form. We will have to go wide. My selections are Klondike River, Secret Lover and a bit of a roughie, Antonius Charm. All three need to be included.
Race 4 is another Maiden Plate, this time for fillies and mares, and is the first leg of the Pick 6. There could be another banker in Prada Princess, especially for the PA. If she is not your Pick 6 banker consider Malala and Consequentially. If you look beyond them you need the field.
Race 5 is another tough race but Shepherd’s Warning has been winning very well and I make him my first selection. The horses who could chase him home are Trip To Rio and Kingmambo’s Legacy.
Pick two of those for the PA but go with all three for the Pick 6 and also consider Henry Higgins and Frappachino.
Race 6 is also tricky but for the PA I think Easy Lover and Master’s Spirit should be enough. For the Pick 6 include Shepard One, Front Rank, Forest Fox and The Captain’s Tune, who needed his last run.
Race 7 is not any easier but the draw could be the deciding factor. Therefore my first choice is Streetwear. For the PA also consider Formal Request and Noah’s Ark. For the Pick 6 you could include Gold Status and possibly Neuf De Pape but I do not know the level of his fitness.
Race 8 is also tricky and the scratching of Seventh Heart has not made it any easier as I thought over this course and distance she would be a PA banker. My selections are Aldiara, London, Paree and China Beach so go with at least three of those for the PA and all four for the Pick 6. But if you have the funds, put in the field.
We finish the meeting with yet another nasty event and it does not get easier. My first choice is Urgent Fury but he has a bad draw and a heavy weight. So for the PA include Calico Quiver and Arpad.
For the Pick 6 you could quite easily go with the field but my shortlist would include Shortstop and Thewaywemakem. Even El Bombero must have a chance but I’m not sure about the level of his fitness.
PIERE STRYDOM’S BETS FOR TURFFONTEIN
NO 9 HOLY JOE
NO 6 EASY LOVER