Muzi Yeni can keep rewarding his fans with Vaal success
Jockey has prospects of notching a double on Aflame in the fifth race and Curvation in the final leg of the Pick 6
Jockey Muzi Yeni did not let his supporters down at last Saturday’s big meeting at Hollywoodbets Greyville, and the 33-year-old can enjoy more success at the Vaal on Tuesday.
In Saturday’s Gold Cup, Yeni’s mount Paybackthemoney was given the same sort of chance of winning as Bafana Bafana in a World Cup. Yet the five-year-old rose to the big occasion> Punters who backed Yeni’s mount for a place received R43 for a R10 bet.
It did not end there with favourite backers lumping on the Justin Snaith inmate Miyabi Gold in the grade 2 Kuda Gold Bracelet only for Yeni to come up trumps once more — this time on Paul Matchett’s mare Running Brave.
At the Vaal on Tuesday, Yeni has prospects of notching up a double on Aflame (fifth race) and Curvation in the final leg of the Pick 6.
Aflame, trained by Robbie Sage, has finished placed in each of her last three outings and, in the first of those, Yeni was in the saddle.
Lyle Hewitson, champion jockey in 2018/2019, is back on the Highveld and he rides Aflame’s main threat, Charming Lass. The daughter of Ideal World ran second in her most recent race.
Perhaps Yeni’s best chance at the meeting lies with Weiho Marwing’s runner Curvation, who has plenty of appeal in the eighth race. The mare boasts some consistent form and beat the useful Dance Class at Turffontein in March.
The right horse for the swinger could be Corné Spies’s five-year-old Pretty Jolly. The Vaal trainer will be delighted with Van Halen’s victory in last Saturday’s grade 1 Mercury Sprint, but less happy with Imperial Ruby’s no-show in the Gold Cup.
Hewitson won a race for the Adam and Mike Azzie stable at Turffontein on Sunday, and the same combination will be looking for top honours with Soldiers Song in the sixth race.
After showing very little in his first three starts, Soldiers Song has suddenly found some form and it may be good enough to leave the maiden ranks by beating Fort Love and Tricky Business.
The Var gelding Mr Hugo was this column’s selection to win at Tuesday’s track 18 days ago, but never posed a threat to runaway winner Spanish Boy. The four-year-old was friendless in the market that day, drifting from 15-2 to start at 12-1.
However, it looks significant that S’manga Khumalo stays with Mr Hugo so he is worth another chance against Windy Flight, Precious Stone and Pearl Of Siberia.
Windy Flight is another good mount for Hewitson and, judged on the five-year-old’s last few runs, will be competitive with his handy weight of 53kg.
Vars Vicky’s win at Turffontein on Sunday is a pointer to the chance of Clinton Binda’s three-year-old Phinda Mzala in the second race. The gelding ran second to Stuart Pettigrew’s improving sort at Turffontein at the beginning of August.
Mike de Kock’s R100,000 What A Winter colt, Almost Winter, will be worth a market check on his debut. The three-year-old was bred at Gary Player’s stud.
1st Race: (1) Showdown Kid (2) Ashanti (9) Winter Mission (6) Love Of London
2nd Race: (5) Phinda Mzala (6) National Liberty (7) Almost Winter (9) Lazy Guy
3rd Race: (7) Java House (1) Tahitian Orana (4) Strada Statale (2) Pretty Border
4th Race: (5) Mr Hugo (9) Windy Flight (2) Precious Stone (3) Pearl Of Siberia
5th Race: (1) Aflame (2) Charming Lass (6) Analyse (7) Bat Orchid
6th Race: (1) Soldiers Song (4) Fort Love (2) Tricky Business (5) Royal Siege
7th Race: (9) Kurt’s Approval (15) Last Cheer (14) Bold Ellie (2) Hidden Agenda
8th Race: (1) Curvation (11) Pretty Jolly (4) Fly North (13) Our Biscuit
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