Former champion Khumalo is back in winning groove
Former champion jockey S’manga Khumalo showed he is back to full fitness with a winner on SA Classic day and he resumes his partnership with the talented filly Exquisite Touch at Turffontein on Saturday
Khumalo, 32, has five booked rides at the city track — four of them for champion trainer Sean Tarry. He won three races on Exquisite Touch in 2017 and Tarry has found the perfect opportunity to notch a sixth win for the filly’s career.
Interestingly, a half-brother (by Soft Falling Rain) to Exquisite Touch was due to come under the hammer at Friday’s Select session of the CTS April Yearling Sale at Durbanville racecourse.
With Wrecking Ball unplaced in her last two outings, the main rivals to Exquisite Touch in Saturday’s seventh race may be Frederico’s Dream and Winter Watch. Trained by Adam and Mike Azzie, Frederico’s Dream is enjoying a successful season and clearly goes well for jockey Callan Murray.
Winter Watch, trained by Roy Magner, is a three-time winner and is 2,5kg better off with Frederico’s Dream compared to their clash over 1,000m at the Vaal in February.
Khumalo rides Matador Man for Tarry in Saturday’s sixth race, but the Toreador gelding is battling for his fourth win and faces a tough task in conceding 5,5kg to stablemate Warrior’s Rest. The one worry about this lightly-raced son of What A Winter is that he has not raced since October.
It might be wise for exotic punters to include three other runners in their perms — Glider Pilot, Ghost Town and Full Mast. The last-named makes plenty of appeal with Piere Strydom booked for the ride.
Erico Verdonese has his team in good form and Ghost Town looks a progressive son of Judpot and has won twice over Saturday’s distance of 1,600m. Glider Pilot won over 2,000m at the Vaal in February and now tackles a shorter trip.
A possible Pick 6 banker is another member of Tarry’s stable, Carbon Atom, who takes on 11 rivals in the fourth race. The son of Fort Wood out of the talented mare Welwitschia will have benefited from his recent debut at the Vaal.
The first leg of the jackpot looks a match between Tarry’s Pomodoro filly Return Flight and Lucky Houdalakis’s runner Long Pond. The latter, a promising third at the Vaal in March, can open her account for owner Chris Gerber.
The second session of the CTS Yearling Sale (lots 118-322) gets under way at 11am on Friday and one of the early lots likely to prove popular is a daughter of Oratorio consigned by Avontuur Estate. This early foal is the fifth produce of the seven-time winner Mochachino.
The next lot through the ring — offered by Klipdrif Stud (as agent) — is a son of Judpot. There are only three yearlings by Silvano on the sale, so Klipdrif will also be expecting plenty of interest in his son Silver Sea, who is a half-brother to the four-time winner Super Elegant. Time Thief, a son of Redoute’s Choice, has 10 of his progeny on the sale and they include a colt consigned by Millsteam Stud.