WSB Grand Series
Trainer St John Gray books two new jockeys
Gray settles on Warren Kennedy for Lake Kinneret and Karl Zechner for Strawberry Pavlova in Turffontein race
With Richard Fourie required to ride Justin Snaith’s horses at Durbanville, trainer St John Gray has had to find new jockeys for his runners in two legs of the WSB Grand Series at Turffontein on Saturday.
Gray has settled on Warren Kennedy for Lake Kinneret in the fourth race — Leg 1 of the Grand Series — and Karl Zechner for Strawberry Pavlova in the sixth race, the Grand Series Consolation.
The plus factor about the two bookings is that both jockeys have ridden their mounts this season. Kennedy has been in the saddle in Lake Kinneret’s last two starts while Zechner won on Strawberry Pavlova at Turffontein in July.
Somehow the sponsors priced up Lake Kinneret at 33-1 in early betting, but that price has long gone with the Kahal gelding now trading at 15-2. The four-year-old looks an attractive each-way wager from a favourable draw.
The runner finding most support in Leg 1 is trainer Ashley Fortune’s Querari filly, Rings And Things. The four-year-old, who came second to Rose In Bloom the last time out, is now 33-10 favourite from 5-1.
Soldier On, a son of Brave Tin Soldier trained by Stuart Pettigrew, has drawn well at barrier two and has his share of supporters. Others who could feature include Divine Odyssey, Sail For Joy and Chepardo.
Gavin Lerena’s mount, Mardi Gras, remains the hot 14-10 favourite for Leg 2 with both Bold Viking and Full Of Attitude (Muzi Yeni) attracting some interest in the market. This column’s long shot, Pilou, is now quoted at 28-1.
Of the other runners in this 14-horse field, Alec Laird’s six-year-old Danza is worth including in trifecta and quartet bets. The gelding has been placed in his last four outings and will carry only 50kg.
Strawberry Pavlova remains the selection for the Grand Series Consolation as Gray’s filly escaped a penalty for her recent Vaal win. The four-year-old also rates good each-way value at her price of 8-1.
Flying Winger, a stablemate of Danza, looks an above-average son of Alado and Laird would be more than happy if S’manga Khumalo emerged victorious as he also owns the colt and would pocket the R156,250 first prize.
Gray was unable to book Kennedy for Strawberry Pavlova as the jockey had already been engaged for Johan Janse van Vuuren’s runner, Regal Graduation. This daughter of Oratorio ran second to Schippers last time out, but has drawn wide.
With thunderstorms forecast for the Highveld, it has been a wise move to have the WSB Grand Series races early in the meeting, with the Consolation race scheduled for 2.15pm.
Hopefully, the meeting will run its course as Sean Tarry’s runner, Captain And Master, looks a banker bet in the seventh race. The son of Captain Al — a R700,000 buy as a yearling — will have benefited from his recent third in a sprint race behind Mr Flood.
Gerald Sadleir will be delighted that trainer Roy Magner has managed to book Lerena for his mare, Pool Party, in the final leg of the jackpot.
Sadleir likes nothing better than to relieve bookmakers of their cash and he might be successful if Pool Party can once again beat the Azzie stable’s filly, Perfect Tigress.
Perhaps the hardest leg of the carryover Pick 6 is the last, with 12 modest performers lined up. While Bosphorus, Wonderous Climber and Kurt’s Approval make the short list, Skiminac could be the surprise package.