Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH
Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH

Rumours that jockey Sihle Cele would lose the ride on the Cape’s equine idol Kommetdieding in the R750,000 Daily News 2000 were dispelled on Monday when it was confirmed he would be in the saddle on Saturday.

The journeyman Cape-based jockey, who has ridden around 90 winners in his 18-year career, found himself in the spotlight when Kommetdieding won his first four races. However, the colt ran into traffic problems in the WSB Guineas where victory went to Vaughan Marshall’s runner Linebacker.

This sparked speculation that the three-year-old’s trainers, Harold Crawford and Michelle Rix, and owner Ashwin Reynolds might opt for a top jockey such as champion Warren Kennedy for the grade 1 race at Hollywoodbets Greyville.

Reynolds bought the son of Elusive Fort from Klawervlei Stud for R55,000 and gave him his unique Afrikaans name which translated means “Come with this Thing". Cele had no doubt of Kommetdieding’s ability from the first day he swung a leg over the horse saying the colt could be special.

Kommetdieding will renew his rivalry with Linebacker in Saturday’s race and bookmakers quote the Vaughan Marshall inmate — the mount of Grant van Niekerk — as the 17-10 favourite.

Also bred at Klawervlei and a R275,000 buy as a yearling, victory for Linebacker could see his odds shorten for the Vodacom Durban July for which he is the 6-1 second favourite.

Marshall also runs Rascallion in Saturday’s race and the three-year-old must improve on his recent Sledgehammer Stakes run to have a chance of making the final July field. Sean Veale, who rode the colt to his maiden win, has been booked for the ride.

An interesting aspect of the Daily News is that jockey Gavin Lerena has opted to ride Copper Mountain instead of Champions Challenge runner-up Second Base. Lerena presumably had the choice of the two entries from Johan Janse van Vuuren’s stable and has ridden both horses in big races this year.

He rode Second Base in the Champions Challenge and partnered Copper Mountain into second place behind Got The Greenlight in the grade 1 Horse Chestnut Stakes. This resulted in Kennedy getting the call-up to ride Second Base for the first time. The gelding is another talented son of Gimmethegreenlight.

Champion trainer Sean Tarry runs both Shah Akbar (Lyle Hewitson) and Flying Carpet (Luke Ferraris) in the Greyville race, but bookies have probably got their sums right quoting the pair at long odds.

Business Day’s report on Monday that something was afoot with the Woolavington 2000 — next Saturday’s supporting feature — was proved spot on when Justin Snaith’s filly Captain’s Ransom was not among the acceptors for the grade 1 race.

A field of just seven runners will now face the starter with the finish likely to be fought out by War Of Athena (Muzi Yeni), Princess Calla (Van Niekerk) and Netta (Kennedy).

This is only the second time that Princess Calla has raced over 2,000m — the first was in the Cape Met where she finished five lengths behind Rainbow Bridge. The performance did not throw much light on whether she stays the distance or not. A look at her pedigree certainly casts some doubt as her dam, Princess Royal, won four races over 1,100m and 1,200m.

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