Yeni’s fortunes take a dive after tough week
One of life's truest sayings is this: “There is no problem so bad you can’t make it worse.”
This scenario certainly applies to last week’s occurrences for popular jockey Muzi Yeni. On Wednesday he lost an appeal against a three-month ban and on Saturday night found himself in hospital after a fall at Turffontein.
Yeni’s ban was the result of an incident in a race at Greyville on July 27 and he was legally represented at last week’s appeal.
However, in a media statement, the National Horseracing Authority declared: “The appeal board dismissed the appeal in respect of the guilty finding by the inquiry board as well as the penalty imposed.”
Yeni’s ban starts on December 1.
“So that's my title hopes dashed for this season, but I'll be back,” he said at last Wednesday’s draw for the R2m Gauteng Chris Gerber Summer Cup.
One can accept that remark as gospel as Yeni, who turns 33 in a fortnight, rides all over the country in search of winners. Last season he rode in 1,822 races — 260 more than champion Lyle Hewitson.
After his fall at Turffontein, Yeni was due to see a specialist on Monday to see whether he would be able to ride at the Vaal on Tuesday. He has six booked rides on the eight-race programme.
Before his enforced holiday, Yeni will be keen to be involved in next Saturday’s big meeting at Turffontein. He is due to partner Atyaab for Mike de Kock in the Summer Cup — his mount is a 20-1 chance with bookmaker Lance Michael.
His best ride at the meeting could be William The Silent in the grade 2 New Turf Carriers Merchants Handicap while Running Brave rates an each-way chance in the Ipi Tombe Stakes.
Trainer Mike de Kock, represented by five runners in the Summer Cup, will be hoping his three-year-old filly Riqaaby can exit the maiden ranks by winning the eighth race at the Vaal on Tuesday. The daughter of Dynasty was noted running on strongly when stepped up to 2,000m last time out and should go close in the hands of jockey Craig Zackey.
Miss Cap Mala — to be partnered for the first time by S’manga Khumalo — rates the main danger as Paul Matchett’s filly has been placed in four of her past five starts.
Khumalo should also go close on trainer Clinton Binda’s runner Touch Of Fate in the first leg of the jackpot. The three-year-old is a speedy sort and should be involved in the finish with Titelist and stable companion Ethel Rose.
Trainer Paul Peter continues to churn out the winners and his four-year-old Pelican Bay will be a banker bet for many punters in the sixth race. The gelding has also been a model of consistency in recent outings and is overdue another visit to the No 1 box.
Sean Tarry saddles four of the seven runners in the first race and the spotlight will be on his three-year-old Putontheredlight who cast a shoe in the Graham Beck Stakes and finished at the rear of the field.
Judged on his best form last term, the Pomodoro colt should be too classy for his stablemates, though Piere Strydom’s mount Pure State looks a three-year-old on the upgrade.
1st Race: (4) Putontheredlight (6) Pure State (3) Cordillera (5) Informative
2nd Race: (4) Nordic Rebel (3) Mr Greenlight (1) Finchatton (5) Lazarus Tree
3rd Race: (5) Afriel (11) Lady Scarletina (4) May Queen (3) Madame Patrice
4th Race: (3) Touch Of Fate (4) Titelist (16) Ethel Rose (5) Live By Night
5th Race: (9) August Rain (3) Eightintheeighth (11) Imperious Duke (12) Magic Duke
6th Race: (13) Pelican Bay (3) Ice Lord (11) Supa Mufti (12) Melchizedek
7th Race: (10) Pillaroftheearth (8) Aristachus (5) Life Is Good (7) Big Blue Marble
8th Race: (7) Riqaaby (8) Miss Cap Mala (5) By Chance (9) Carry Me Carrie
SUMMER CUP BETTING
3-1 Soqrat, Barahin
6-1 Queen Supreme
13-1 Roy Had Enough
16-1 Al Mutawakel, Tilbury Fort
20-1 Green Haze, Atyaab
Source: Bookmaker Lance Michael