Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

With this season’s leading jockey Gavin Lerena opting for a stint in the UK, could Anthony Delpech be eyeing another championship as well as a fifth Durban July triumph in the next two months?

That is the intriguing question among our jockey ranks which have been further depleted by Callan Murray’s decision to ride in Hong Kong.

Evidence that Delpech means business in the race for the jockeys title is evident by the fact he is travelling to the Vaal on Thursday for just four rides.

One of them — B Twenty One in the third race — is for the stable he used to ride for regularly before an amicable split which presented Murray with an opening he has grabbed with both hands. But divorces between trainers and jockeys do not often last long and — with Murray in the Far East — perhaps De Kock will again call on Delpech for his powerful stable.

A son of Silvano, owned by Peter White and Jessica Slack, B Twenty One and Delpech will complete a hat-trick if successful at the Free State course on Thursday.

Any runner from Sean Tarry’s yard demands the utmost scrutiny and the champion trainer saddles Consequentially who is set to receive 2kg from De Kock’s runner. Chase Maujean has won on the filly which is probably why he has the mount again at the Vaal.

Delpech rides three horses for Candice Dawson at the meeting and the pick of this trio may be Wild Brier who has strong each-way claims in the fifth race.

The four-year-old’s fifth behind Elusive Silva — favourite for Friday’s Betting World Greyville 1,900 — in the Sledgehammer 1,800 was a fine effort and the son of Ideal World looks certain to give his backers a good run for their money.

Recent Turffontein winner Misty Roller and Happy Pills head the list of dangers in this 1,700m event which looks the best race on the card.

Pills are something that Gary Player has never needed in his illustrious career, but that is
the name his stud gave to the son of Trippi who is now a two-time winner. Michael Azzie, who trains Happy Pills, will have to find a new jockey as the
gelding’s intended rider, Lyle Hewitson, is sidelined with a broken collarbone.

Geoff Woodruff’s runner Starpath could also make his presence felt in the race as the son of Pathfork rallied gamely to win a competitive maiden at Turffontein on his most recent outing.

Murray has seven booked rides before catching the plane to Hong Kong on Friday and — if the market speaks in her favour — his first race mount Mazaya could make a winning debut in the first race.

In this race, Delpech rides Dawson’s newcomer Kariba Sunrise, who is a daughter of Summerhill Stud’s ill-fated
stallion, Await The Dawn.

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