Anthony Delpech can be considered unlucky not to have won this season’s Jockeys’ Championship as he was injured for the balance of the season after building up a big lead.
The title will go to Lyle Hewitson who will become the first apprentice since Michael Robert in the early 1970s to become champion jockey.
Anybody out there who believes Hewitson does not deserve to win the crown need only look at his performance in the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes over 1600m at Greyville last Saturday.
Had this race been a handicap Sean Tarry’s charge would have to have received 9.5kg from 13-20 favourite Snowdance but as it transpired it was Redberry Lane who had to give 1kg to Justin Snaith’s runner.
Interestingly Snaith was on record saying that he believed 1400m was Snowdance’s best distance but he had no choice but to run her in this R1-million race. The problem for Hewitson is little went right for them in this race. “I was planning to get Redberry Lane to the front because that’s where she likes to be but that didn’t happen. In fact, it was Snowdance who got to the front in the straight and even Tarry said he through they would have to settle for second place. But Hewitson was not going to give up and he slowly wore down the favourite to get her head down on the line. A stride or two before the post and a stride or two after the post Snowdance would have got the decision.
Bernard Fayd’Herbe is not an easy jockey to get past, as Randall Simons found out to his detriment in the Grade 2 Golden Horseshoe earlier in the day, but Hewitson managed to do just that aboard Redberry Lane, who went off at 22-1.
Trainer Glen Kotzen said his charge, Elusive Heart, would be running at them in the closing stages and that is exactly what she did. Ridden by Richard Fourie she charged home last but was still 2.25-lengths behind at the end.
Mike de Kock can lay claim to having two of the best two-year- old colts in the country with Barahin and Soqrat after the pair finished first and second respectively in Saturday’s Durban Golden Horseshoe over 1400m. While unbeaten Soqrat was sent off as the 14-10 favourite with Barahin at 4-1, De Kock had been adamant he could not separate the two. “They are two very good horses and for me it was irrelevant which of the two won.
However, from an SA breeding point of view, this was the best result.”
While the distance may have been more suitable for Soqrat, Barahin, who will probably need further, had the advantage of winning the Listed Gatecrasher last time which was over this course and distance.
Cue The Music set a brisk pace which enabled both De Kock runners to be ridden patiently but once in the straight the two moved into contention. Fayd’Herbe had been scrubbing at his mount a long way from home but once he switched him out, Barahin kicked on strongly and got about 0.50 lengths clear of Soqrat. Simons worked hard to close the gap but at the line he was still just a short head behind his stable companion.
“He has such a laid back temperament,” said Fayd’Herbe. “I think you could set off a bomb next to him and he wouldn’t react.
That’s why I had to keep pushing at him because he is so lazy, but once he took the bit he was a different horse.”
Perhaps the most impressive performance of the day came from Celtic Sea in the Grade 2 Golden Slipper over 1400m for two-year-old fillies.
This was a case of everything that could go wrong went wrong and she still proved too good for the opposition. Many of us were put off by her wide draw which is a nightmare over this course and distance. To make matters worse she was taken out at the start and ended up at the back of the field. Then she ran on and as she was about to hit the front she was carried out by Mazari. However, at the line she won by a long head. “That just proves how special she is,” said jockey S’manga Khumalo. “When the other horse came up to her she kept finding. She did it the hard way and she won it the hard way.”
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