Horse Racing at Turfontein. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS / FINANCIAL MAIL
Horse Racing at Turfontein. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS / FINANCIAL MAIL

Probably unwittingly, jockey Ryan Munger — by accepting a 12-month licence to ride in Singapore — has taken a leaf out of former US president Barack Obama’s book.

During his tenure, Obama said: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time.”

Despite finishing eighth in last season’s national jockeys log with 127 winners, 24-year-old Munger has somehow slipped under the radar of top stables and finds himself riding mainly moderate horses.

That is evident in his four rides at Turffontein on Thursday. Of the four, none would appear to have winning chances though six-year-old Strikeitlikeamatch could run a place in the eighth race.

Educated at Dainfern College, Munger showed resilience when getting back among the winners after breaking his collarbone in a fall at Turffontein in April.

Munger will be well aware that fellow rider Callan Murray returned home early after getting limited opportunities in Singapore. It has proved the right move for Murray as he rode four winners for the powerful Mike de Kock stable at Turffontein last Saturday.

Munger resumes his partnership with four-year-old French Leave in Thursday’s fourth race. He won on the Roy Magner inmate in September, but Thursday’s opposition is tougher this time with Dickens, Gold Griffin and Flame Fella all in with strong chances.

Dickens, the mount of Gavin Lerena, ran third over 2,400m last time out so should have no problem with the distance of 2,600m.

Gold Griffin hails from the stable of Paul Peter and the son of Durban July winner Greys Inn has won two of his last four starts.

Murray, who has an important date with Soqrat in Saturday’s Victory Moon Stakes at the Vaal, should go close on the De Kock runners Spero Optima (sixth race) and Perfectly Putt (eighth).

Spero Optima, a son of Dynasty, takes on just seven rivals, but they include the three-year-old Promiseofamaster who has shown ability in his five outings. Trainer Candice Dawson has booked Warren Kennedy for the ride.

Perfectly Putt, a son of Vercingetorix who has made an outstanding start to his stud career, easily justified favouritism at Greyville in September and has more scope than most of his opponents.

King Of The Delta, trained by Stuart Pettigrew, has won two of his last three starts and has been given a six-point penalty for his recent win. This will make life tougher for the five-year-old.

Earlier in the meeting, trainer Tyrone Zackey’s grey colt Poppycock will be at cramped odds to leave the maiden ranks in the second race. This is a modest affair and the favourite may have most to fear from Kalahari Chrome.

The De Kock stable introduces a well-bred newcomer in Oscar Wilde in the first race. A son of Dynasty out of Lady Windermere, Equus Champion Three-Year-Old Filly in 2009, will need to be closely monitored in the betting market.

The runner with the best form is Lucky Houdalakis’s three-year-old Trend Master who went close in a 1,200m maiden race in October.


1st Race: (11) Oscar Wilde (3) Trend Master (14) Temenee (4) Crazy Charlie

2nd Race: (1) Poppycock (2) Kalahari Chrome (4) Magic Vision (6) Romantic Era

3rd Race: (2) Perfect Light (7) Glamorous Scandal (3) Il Mondo (5) Shezahotti

4th Race: (3) Dickens (4) Gold Griffin (5) Flame Fella (2) French Leave

5th Race: (3) Marshall Foch (1) Tokyo Drift (8) Waqaas (4) Royal Honour

6th Race: (6) Spero Optima (4) Promiseofamaster (8) Frosted Steel (2) In Cahoots

7th Race: (4) Mademoiselle (6) Arikel (2) Soul Of Wit (10) Moggie Brown

8th Race: (4) Perfectly Putt (5) King Of The Delta (3) Leopold (9) Strikeitlikeamatch

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