Picture: UPSPLASH/SIMON PETROL
Picture: UPSPLASH/SIMON PETROL

Jockey Aldo Domeyer has experienced the ups and downs of racing in the first 10 days of February. The hero of the recent Met meeting at which he rode two grade 1 winners, the 32-year-old has been brought down to earth with a 10-day suspension.

After an inquiry last week, the Cape stipendiary stewards imposed the ban after Domeyer’s ride on Fabian in the eighth race at Kenilworth on January 25. He was found guilty of causing interference to one of his rivals, Hudoo Magic.

In a statement, the stipes said: “The inquiry board found Domeyer guilty of the offence and — after considering the degree of interference, his riding record and all mitigating factors — imposed the penalty of 10 days.”

At the end of 2019, Domeyer, who had been riding in Hong Kong, made the decision to return to SA for the birth of his third child and to compete in the Cape summer season.

The person most delighted with his decision will be trainer Candice Bass-Robinson, as Domeyer made it a red-letter day in her short career by winning the grade 1 Majorca Stakes on Clouds Unfold and the grade 1 Cape Flying Championship on her sprinter Russet Air.

Domeyer’s other winner on the Met card was three-year-old Invidia, who landed a big cheque for owner Mario Ferreira by capturing the R5m CTS 1,200.

Trained by Ashley Fortune, wife of Domeyer’s father, Andrew, the victory resulted in celebrations usually reserved for winners of the Durban July.

The ebullient Andrew Fortune provided TV viewers with great entertainment in the post-race interview and said being over the moon with his son’s win was an understatement.

Fortune, the Frankie Dettori of SA racing, has always maintained that “racing should be more fun and less serious”, and he is a breath of fresh air in a sport that has had its fair share of controversies over the past 12 months.

Commenting on his career, Domeyer said: “In Hong Kong, everything happens at a high tempo and I have consequently calmed down and become a lot more composed.”

One SA jockey who has made the move overseas is Ryan Munger, with the 24-year-old opening his account in Singapore last week scoring on trainer Ricardo Le Grange’s runner Pindus.

After the race, Le Grange said: “Ryan was never affiliated to a big stable in SA so didn’t get the chance to ride top horses. This win will have given him confidence and I’m sure all the guys will grab him now.”

Munger said: “Singapore is a different set-up from back home, but it’s all very efficient and clean. I’m in a very good space now.”

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is gearing up to host the world’s richest race — the $20m Saudi Cup over 1,800m — to be run on February 28. A total of $29.2m will be up for grabs on the eight-race card.

“The establishment of the Saudi Cup is a great moment in the history of horse racing in Saudi Arabia and I am gratified that the global racing community has embraced our new concept with such enthusiasm,” said Prince Bandar, a member of the Saudi royal house.

“I look forward to welcoming some of the world’s most highly decorated horsemen and women to Riyadh and I am thrilled so many champion international horses will be taking part,” he added.

It has not been lost on famous American trainer Bob Baffert that there is huge money to be won, and one of the leading fancies is likely to be Mucho Gusto, winner of the recent $3m Pegasus World Cup.

World-renowned jockey Ryan Moore confirmed to this writer at Kenilworth on Met day that he would be riding Aidan O’Brien’s star filly Magic Wand in the Saudi race. If he wins, the cheque will be a lot different from what he received for running second on Rainbow Bridge in the Sun Met!

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