The concept of a local jockeys competing in a provincial team adds a new dimension to any race meeting and the 2017 New Turf Carriers Rider Cup Interprovincial Jockeys’ Challenge at Scottsville on Sunday should provide lots of fun for all.
Teams of jockeys from KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape will compete for top honours in four races at the meeting – Races 4, 5, 7, and 8.
The top three riders in each province at the end of May, based on the national log, were automatically included in each team with the fourth rider being the “captain’s pick”.
The Highveld Hawks are the defending champions and this year they will be represented by Gavin Lerena, S’manga Khumalo, Craig Zackey and Marco van Rensburg.
The Cape Eagles comprise Greg Cheyne, Richard Fourie, MJ Byleveld and Corne Or er while the home team, the KZN Falcons, are Anthony Delpech, Anton Marcus, Alec Forbes and Warren Kennedy.
The mounts were allocated by ballot but the Falcons could not have performed better at the ballot box if they had selected the rides themselves. They also have home-ground advantage, are able to work many of their horses and will be very hard to beat this time.
The KZN Falcons won the rst challenge in 2015 with the Cape Eagles having nished second in both challenges.
Race 4 is a Maiden Plate over 1200m and this looks a direct battle between Asian Star, with Marcus up, and Strong ‘N Brave, to be ridden by Delpech. That looks to be the best Swinger on the card as well. To make matters more difficult for the opposition Biometric (Forbes) and First Mate (Kennedy) could well complete the Quartet.
The best of the rest looks to be Bluemoonrising with Van Rensburg in the irons.
River Garden, trained by Candice Bass-Robinson, has run three consecutive seconds and looks the likely favourite in Race 5, a Maiden Plate over 1600m. This four- year-old Windrush gelding will be ridden by Or er for the Eagles but the two clear dangers are Lucky At Last and Eyes Wide Open, the mounts of Delpech and Marcus respectively. They have both only raced once and look to have lots of room for improvement.
Race 7 is a MR 82 Handicap over 1200m and Rock Of Africa, to be ridden by Delpech, is the likely favourite. However, on his run behind talented Lloyd’s Legacy over 1000m last time, the value could lie with Roy’s Marciano who will be even be er over the extra 200m. Cheyne gets the ride. Kennedy on Good To Give and Marcus on Roy’s Air Force could give a boost to the local team’s hopes.
The Highveld Hawks could come out best in Race 8, a FM 66 Handicap over 1200m, where Lerena rides Chamber Maid. The dangers look to be La Suerte De Matar (Byleveld), Online (Van Rensburg) and Bella Miesque (Khumalo). However, this is a very open race and one needs to load the exotics.
Although it is not part of the Rider Cup, best bet on the card looks to be The Great One in Race 6. He nished a three-length fourth behind Horizon, a close- up sixth in the Vodacom Durban July, and looks far better than his opposition. Marcus takes the ride for the Bre Crawford yard.
The riders will contest four races with points being allocated as follows: 1st – 20 points; 2nd – 16; 3rd – 14; 4th – 12; 5th – 10; 6th – 8; 7th – 7; 8th – 6; 9th – 5; 10th – 4; 11th – 3; 12th – 1. Seven points will be allocated for a scratched ride.
Greg Cheyne – 140 wins, 16% winning strike rate
Richard Fourie – 115 wins, 19% winning strike rate
MJ Byleveld – 46 wins, 8% win- ning strike rate
Corne Or er – 68 wins, 13% winning strike rate
Gavin Lerena – 136 wins, 21% winning strike rate
S’manga Khumalo – 132 wins, 16% winning strike rate
Craig Zackey – 126 wins, 9% winning strike rate
Marco van Rensburg – 101 wins, 10% winning strike rate
Anthony Delpech – 174 wins, 21% winning strike rate
Anton Marcus – 136 wins, 25% winning strike rate
Alec Forbes – 44 wins, 8% win- ning strike rate
Warren Kennedy – 81 wins, 12% winning strike rate
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