Jockey Muzi Yeni hit with 90-day ban
Charged with physically intimidating another rider during a race
Jockey Muzi Yeni — pipped by four winners for last season's championship — has been slapped with a 90-day ban following a National Horseracing Authority inquiry into a race at Greyville on July 27.
At the inquiry, Yeni was charged with interfering with another jockey. He pleaded not guilty but was found guilty by the inquiry board.
The charge brought against Yeni was that — while riding Mr Greenlight in the second race — he “intimidated and interfered with jockey Lyle Hewitson when he took his hand off his left side rein and placed it on jockey Hewitson’s arm”.
While many racing enthusiasts backed Yeni in his recent comment in a TV interview that it was unfair to his championship hopes that Hewitson had not served a 14-day suspension handed down in April, this time there has been a mixed response on social media.
One post on the Sporting Post website stated: “If that is allowed to stand without censure, then any jockey from now on can simply tug or push at any other jockey without fear of reprisal.”
Another said: “It’s good to see that justice prevails. I wonder how many of the self-righteous who comment here [on the website] about a vendetta actually watched the race video and saw the incident.”
In the pro-Yeni camp, one commented: “Muzi — rather go to Hong Kong. At least you won’t be victimised.”
Meanwhile, many of the countries breeders are in Johannesburg for the Emperors Palace National Two-Year-Old Sale which will be held at the TBA complex in Germiston on Thursday and Friday.
It is a sale at which buyers seek to pick up future stars at bargain prices and Bloodstock SA, which runs the sale, can point to the racecourse achievements of two of its former graduates, Running Brave and Cockney Pride.
Running Brave, bought for just R30,000 at the 2017 sale, won the grade 2 Gold Bracelet for Paul Matchett’s stable and the filly boasts earnings of over R1m. The daughter of Brave Tin Soldier — bred at Summerhill Stud — was ridden to victory at Greyville by Muzi Yeni.
Matchett has his team firing on all cylinders — Running Brave won twice in July, Private Ruler captured the last race at Flamingo Park on August 3 and Nawaasi trounced the opposition at the Vaal last Thursday.
Cockney Pride cost R150,000 at the 2018 sale and she also boasts a grade 2 victory with this inmate of Tobie Spies’ stable — a daughter of Querari bred at the Ambiance Stud — successful in the Golden Slipper.
Buyers at the Germiston sale will be checking how the leading sires fared during the 2018/19 season.
Top of the class was Silvano with stake earnings of R21m and his best runner was Mike de Kock’s three-year-old Hawwaam who earned over R5.6m. Hawwaam is one of the nominees for the horse of the year title which will be announced at a banquet at Emperors Palace Casino Resort on Tuesday night.
Second in the sires’ stable was the deceased stallion Captain Al, with gross stakes of over R19,8m. His biggest earner was One World with R3,1m in stakes.
The next three stallions were also deceased: Dynasty, Var and Gimmethegreenlight, with the progeny of all three earning over R14m in stakes.