Kennedy can get his championship challenge back on track
KwaZulu-Natal- based jockey booked for four Vaal rides after fall at Turffontein
After being sidelined for two meetings after a fall at Turffontein last Saturday, jockey Warren Kennedy will want to get his title challenge back on track by getting among the winners at the Vaal on Thursday.
Kennedy was thrown to the ground when one of Paul Peter’s runners broke down in the seventh race at the city track last Saturday, but resumed riding at Greyville on Wednesday.
Peter, who now heads the trainers’ log, has built up a successful association with Kennedy and has booked the KwaZulu-Natal-based rider for four of his team on Thursday.
The pick of the quartet could be Destiny’s Game who has been in good form all year with two wins and three placings in her past five outings. On her latest appearance, the daughter of Master Of My Fate finished second to Alec Laird’s useful filly Virginia.
Destiny’s Game finished three lengths in front of Elusive Butterfly in that Turffontein race and Lucky Houadalakis’ filly should get closer this time on a 1kg better terms.
Bid Before Sunset — a Pathfork mare trained by Shaylen Naidoo — rates a sound each-way chance as the five-year-old is set to receive 5kg from Destiny's Game.
Peter and Kennedy team up with Rebel’s Champ in the fifth race and the market will be a guide as to whether the speedy gelding is ready to win after a lengthy break. He has not raced since contesting the Computaform Sprint in May.
In the circumstances, it might pay to have an each-way wager on Life Is Good who resumes rivalry with former champion sprinter Talktothestars.
Ryan Munger — sure to be upset about not being selected for the SA side for the international meeting in November — knows Life Is Good well and was in the saddle when the Var gelding scored at Turffontein at the beginning of August.
Trainer St John Gray has booked Kennedy for his four-year-old Rocky Path in the fourth race with Muzi Yeni switching to stablemate In For A Penny. This suggests both horses should be included in jackpot and Pick Six perms.
Dorrie Sham's four-year-old Jagesa Jagesa beat Rocky Path when they met recently and will be 1.5kg worse off this time. Still, it might be dangerous to leave Callan Murray’s mount out of exotic bets.
Big Blue Marble has a definite shout of giving the Peter-Kennedy partnership another winner in the eighth race though a wide draw tempers enthusiasm a little.
A chance is taken with the bottom-weight Lumber Jackaroo, who will have benefited from his recent run behind Culture Trip at Turffontein. The grey is a hard horse to get back if he establishes a lead, which he demonstrated when beating the ill-fated Fire And Rescue in January.
Punters will certainly take note of that jockey Denis Schwarz, who has ridden Lumber Jackaroo in each of his four races, now prefers to partner Erico Verdonese’s runner Rock Of Africa. It will be interesting to see if he has made the right choice.
In the opening event, trainer Mike de Kock introduces a well-bred newcomer in California Cool. The filly is a daughter of Trippi out of the Aussie-bred mare Hollywoodboulevard and the three-year-old would not have to be anything special to make a winning debut.
1st Race: (8) California Cool (6) Madame Patrice (14) Sasskia (11) Gypsy Woman
2nd Race: (11) Donderweer (8) Live By Night (2) Dancing Flame (6) Untamed Tiger
3rd Race: No Selection
4th Race: (5) Rocky Path (3) In For A Penny (1) Jagesa Jagesa (2) Slay The Dragon
5th Race: (12) Life Is Good (11) Talktothestars (8) Pool Party (1) Rebel’s Champ
6th Race: (9) The Bee’s Knees (3) See Me Run (6) Full Force (5) Miss Khalifa
7th Race: (1) Destiny’s Game (2) Elusive Butterfly (5) Bid Before Sunset (6) Sammi Moosa
8th Race: (12) Lumber Jackaroo (3) Rock Of Africa (7) Big Blue Marble (6) Lone Survivor