The Gauteng work riders will be out to match their skills at the Vaal today in the Leg 2 of the 2017-18 Work Riders’ Challenge.
This annual event, which comprises three race meetings during the season and carries prize money of R50,000, is presented courtesy of Phumelela, the Racing Association and the Racing Trust.
Goodman Dadamasi , with 37 points, topped the log after the first leg, with Chamu Mabaya just four points behind him. Philisile Mongqawa lies in third place on 25 points with veteran work rider Sam Mosia just one point back in fourth place.
Mabaya looks set for an immediate strike in Race 1 when partnering Paul Peter-trained Summer Spin in a Maiden Plate for fillies and mares over 1000m. The filly can be excused for finishing sixth out of 13 at the Vaal on debut when backed, as she had stumbled out of the starting stalls. However, she was a promising second at Turffontein in her subsequent outing and will be tough to beat this time when back at the Vaal.
The filly’s main rivals are Banana Republic (Mosia), Jaunita (Anton Sithole) and Romani with Dadamasi up.
Impi Lukhele has a bright chance to score maximum points in Race 3 when aboard Stanley Ferreira-trained Bella Ciao in a Maiden Plate over 1200m. The three-year-old had a rough passage on debut but still managed to finish a creditable fourth. He followed up with a stout effort when coming from last after a slow start and finishing a promising third.
Others who could be involved in the finish are Good Emperor (Joe Gwingwizha), Greto (Siyabonga Mthembu) and Hyper Jet (Mongqawa).
Trainer Mike de Kock could be holding a trump card with Sweaty Betty (Mabaya) in Race 5, a Maiden Plate (F&M) over 1700m. The filly showed steady improvement in her last three starts and there was much to like about her most recent outing as she flashed up from near last in a big field to finish a 1.6-length fourth over the course and distance.
Next best are One Dollar Massage (Mthembu), Orinoco Rock (Sibonga Ngcayechibi) and Old Oak (Bovida Cossa).
Mosia’s winning turn could come in Race 6 when aboard Chris Erasmus-trained Until Dawn in a Maiden Plate for fillies and mares over 2400m. He had the ride in the filly’s last outing when an unlucky fourth over 2000m at the Vaal. With a trouble-free run this time the three-year-old could exit the maiden ranks.
De Kock and Mabaya look on target for victory with Mackbool in Race 7, a Maiden Plate over 2000m. Mabaya was aboard the gelding once and that was three runs back when a promising 0.50-length third over 1700m at the Vaal.
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