Grade 1 winning jockeys seek more success at Vaal
Calvin Habib and Ryan Munger will be full of confidence
After securing the first grade 1 victories of their careers, jockeys Calvin Habib and Ryan Munger will arrive at the Vaal racecourse on Tuesday brimful of confidence.
Highveld-based jockeys won all four grade 1 races at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday with Habib scoring on Under Your Spell (Allan Robertson Championship) and Munger on Singforafa (SA Fillies Sprint).
With Lyle Hewitson booked for Sound Of Warning, punters preferred his mount to Under Your Spell who had been beaten seven lengths when favourite on her last start. She put that disappointing run behind her decisively outspeeding her rivals.
Singforafa clocked the fastest time in the four grade 1s and the success of Corné Spies’s filly justified Munger’s decision to end a stint in Singapore and return to SA.
A daughter of Potala Palace, Singforafa had not suggested a grade 1 victory was likely in her five outings in 2021 and was sent off at 33-1. It was the four-year-old’s sixth win of her career.
Habib had won the Ruffian Stakes on Under Your Spell at Turffontein in February and was always travelling sweetly in Sunday’s 1,200m dash on the daughter of Capetown Noir.
In the other two grade 1 races Luke Ferraris won the Gold Medallion on Vaughan Marshall’s Ambiorix and Craig Zackey captured the Golden Horse Sprint on Paul Matchett’s raider Battle Force. The latter has now won six of his past seven starts for his connections who also own Durban July entry War Of Athena.
Both Habib and Munger can continue in form at the Vaal with the former set to go close on Diamonds ’N Dust in the fifth race and Munger’s best mount likely to be William Robertson in the second.
William Robertson is a R500,000 son of Rafeef and Spies will have been delighted with the colt’s debut at the Free State track in May. The youngster finished just one length off the winner.
Strictly on the form book, there is nothing to choose between William Roberston and Zackey’s mount Dyce. The two colts look a good exacta bet.
Champion jockey Warren Kennedy had to take a back seat in Sunday’s feature races, but he should not be far away on Paul Peter’s runner Mr Livingstone who was a length and a half behind William Robertson on debut.
Munger has six booked rides on the eight-race programme and should be in the mix on Lucky Houdalakis’s runner Fantasy Flower in the final leg of the jackpot.
Since Munger rode the three-year-old to victory in February, the Flower Alley filly has been placed in each of her five subsequent starts so she is overdue for another win. Ironically, her chief rival is likely to be Spies’s representative Big City Girl.
Battle Force’s win continued the excellent season of Randjesfontein trainer Paul Matchett and his five-year-old Tyrun Express should go close in the hands of Muzi Yeni in the sixth race.
Kennedy should not be far away on hat-trick-seeking Romeo’s Magic while this is an easier race for Paul Peter’s two-time winner Heart Stwings.
1st Race: (1) Swingthewillow (9) Master Archie (2) Jet Cat (3) Lulu's Boy
2nd Race: (11) William Robertson (4) Dyce (8) Mr Livingstone (1) Angel Of War
3rd Race: (9) Icy Night (11) Mama Tembu (3) Canary Walk (7) Escape Artist
4th Race: (9) Miss Magician (8) French Joy (3) Quick Run (2) Smelting
5th Race: (6) Diamonds ’N Dust (8) Showdown Kid (4) Emerald Crest (7) Verinova
6th Race: (2) Tyrus Express (7) Romeo’s Magic (4) Trend Master (1) Heart Stwings
7th Race: (5) Fantasy Flower (3) Big City Girl (2) Putins Promise (9) Sheltering Sky
8th Race: (5) Feather The Nest (7) The Makwakkers (4) Opening Gambit (11) Pretty Jolly
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.