Champion jockey Anthony Delpech hopes to shine at Ascot
Champion jockey Anthony Delpech gets a chance to show off his talent in the UK on Saturday when he represents the Rest Of The World team in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot.
It will be a busy few days for 48-year-old Delpech. After Ascot, he will dash to Heathrow to catch the plane back to SA to ride at Scottsville on Sunday.
Then, on Tuesday, he will be in Johannesburg to accept the trophy for champion jockey for the 2016-17 season at the Equus awards. He finished with 195 winners, 43 more than his nearest rival, Greg Cheyne.
Delpech is no stranger to overseas racing having had considerable success in Hong Kong, but Ascot is one of the world’s most famous racecourses and he will be keen to win one of the six international races.
The Rest Of The World team is captained by Australia’s Kerrin McEvoy, who won the Melbourne Cup in November 2016.
Another member of the team is Japan’s star rider Keita Tosaki, who has been champion in his country for the past three years.
It is women’s month, so the female team will be out to upstage the men. The side include Canada’s Emma-Jayne Wilson as well as Michelle Payne, who made racing history by winning the 2015 Melbourne Cup on 100-1 shot Prince Of Penzance.
Turffontein hosts a nine-race programme on Saturday and Lucky Houdalakis’ stayer Dalley will be a banker bet for punters in the jackpot and Pick 6.
The five-year-old mare played her part in taking the Vaal trainer into 13th place in the national log last season and she will complete a hat-trick if successful on Saturday.
Stanley Ferreira’s consistent mare Bondiblu looks the chief threat to Dalley with Silken in line for the other minor placing.
Gary Player, who sends a draft of 10 horses to next week’s National Two-Year-Old Sale in Germiston, will be hoping his colours are carried to victory by Happy Pills in the sixth race.
Michael and Adam Azzie have a strong hand in this event, as apart from Happy Pills, the ride of Lyle Hewitson, they run Amsterdam with Zackey.
Candice Dawson raided Kimberley with success last weekend, winning three races, and she has secured Zackey’s services for filly Sylvan On Fire in the first leg of the jackpot.
A big threat to Dawson’s runner could be Joe Soma’s filly Knysna Rose, with experienced Weichong Marwing in the irons.
The final race could result in a close finish between Callan Murray on Ali Bon Dubai and Lyle Hewitson on Graf Spee. Geoff Woodruff will hope the former can come up trumps.