Wheel of fortune turns in favour of jockey Warren Kennedy
The 37-year old KwaZulu-Natal jockey’s services are in demand from top stables this season
In an interview this week, 37-year-old jockey, Warren Kennedy, said: “One must always remember that the wheel turns”.
That, in one sentence, sums up the current season for the KwaZulu-Natal-based rider who suddenly finds his services in demand from top stables, including that of Mike de Kock.
He said that a jockey “had to have the patience of Job and knowing your luck will turn — and then enjoying some luck into the bargain too!”
Perhaps the major piece of luck for Kennedy this term came when the De Kock stable called him to partner with the Aussie-bred filly, Nafaayes, in the Ipi Tombe Stakes.
Kennedy grabbed that opportunity with both hands and then last Saturday rode a particularly strong finish to get the same filly home in a photo-finish in the Gauteng Guineas.
After the race, Kennedy hinted that his mount would again be the one to beat in March’s SA Classic.
“I feel she will go the 1,800m and will strip fitter next time too.”
In the immediate future, Kennedy has another date with a De Kock female as he has been booked to partner Silver Thursday in the seventh race at Turffontein on Friday.
Only six runners will face the starter in this 2,000m event in which the De Kock yard are also represented by the Irish-bred mare, Cascapedia.
Following her third place finish behind Tilbury Fort in the Summer Cup, the decision was taken to send the mare to the Cape to contest the Paddock Stakes. She turned in another good effort finishing third behind Oh Susanna.
The worry for Cascapedia’s backers is that she has since had to make the long journey back to the Highveld so it might not be all plain-sailing despite having the highest merit-rating in the race.
French Navy’s last two runs have suggested his best days are behind him so another runner pundits need to consider is Paul Peter’s talented mare, Fort Ember.
The daughter of Elusive Fort has racked up earnings of over R1,5m , a pretty good return considering she cost just R60,000 as a yearling.
Another talented filly in action at the city track on Friday is Redberry Lane, with trainer Sean Tarry engaging Piere Strydom for the ride on the Western Winter mare in the fourth race.
Redberry Lane’s earnings are also over the million mark and she should add R85,000 to that total in tomorrow’s 1,600m contest in which Gavin Lerena’s mount, Being Fabulous, may pose the main threat.
Tarry also saddles Desert Rhythm, who boasts five wins from 21 starts. The filly will be ridden for the first time by promising apprentice, Luke Ferraris.
Alec Laird’s fillly, Tamarina, also has a good record with three wins from five outings, but the four year-old is two kilos worse off with Being Fabulous.
In the final leg of the jackpot, Greenwood Drive could carry the colours of owner Colin Bird to a fourth win. The son of Lope De Vega is selected to beat D’Arrivee and the top-weight, Captain Courteous.
1st Race: (12) Towards The Sun (2) Sail De Lago (1) Chouette (8) Boutique
2nd Race: (1) Hero’s Honour (2) Return Flight (4) Peace Call Me (3) Roll Of Drums
3rd Race: (1) Over Sharing (5) Shanghai Tang (10) Chevron (2) Baron Rodney
4th Race: (1) Redberry Lane (4) Being Fabulous (6) Tamarina (3) Desert Rhythm
5th Race: (12) Mr Harrison (3) Toastmaster (1) Nimcha (5) Verdi
6th Race: (3) Long Pond (4) Glamorous Scandal (1) The Sash (11) Emily Hobhouse
7th Race: (6) Silver Thursday (2) Cascapedia (5) Fort Ember (4) Top Shot
8th Race: (3) Greenwood Drive (4) D'Arrivee (1) Captain Courteous (7) Hakeem
9th Race: (9) Solemn Promise (3) Dame Kelly (2) Aurelia Cotta (5) Kimberley Green
10th Race: (6) Tarzan (1) Jubilee Line (4) Varimax (3) Sovereign Reign.