After an upbringing in a poor area of Cape Town, apprentice Joshwin Solomons has a foot on the ladder to a career as a successful jockey. He will be looking to showcase his talent with five rides at the Vaal on Thursday.
Solomons, who says he has been inspired by S’manga Khumalo and his father, jockey Morné Winnear, has had a satisfactory last 12 months which yielded 35 winners from 332 mounts.
With two races at the Vaal confined to apprentices, there are a number of promising youngsters hoping to do well, but Solomons is the only one with three rides for top trainer Sean Tarry.
Tarry will have no hesitation in engaging the youngster as he has ridden eight winners for the stable from 67 mounts.
Probably the pick of the Tarry trio is three-year-old Dockofthebay which Solomons partners for the first time in the fourth race. The Rafeef colt contested a feature race at Greyville last time out and finished a creditable fifth behind Dyce.
Dockofthebay is making his handicap debut and has to give a lot of weight to the year older The Makwakkers, the mount of apprentice Donald Geerthsen. His 4kg claim will reduce the gelding’s weight to just 49,5kg and he looks the right horse for the exacta.
Even with the field reduced to just five runners, Solomons’ chance of winning the third race on the Tarry inmate Pure State look remote. All of Epic Dream, Singfonico and Chief Of State make more appeal on form.
Candice Dawson saddled a winner at the Vaal on Tuesday and her runner Epic Dream should give punters a good run for their money as the six-year-old is better off at the weights this time with Corné Spies runner Singfonico.
Chief Of State represents the powerful Paul Peter stable and — with five placings in his last six starts — Philasande Mxoli’s mount will have his supporters.
It is possible that Solomons could strike early in the meeting as his second race mount Stunning Kitten is likely to be sent off favourite to leave the maiden ranks at the sixth attempt.
A daughter of Elusive Fort trained by Paul Matchett, Stunning Kitten is back against her own sex and is likely to appreciate the step up to 1,800m. Olympic Silk improved last time out and is the main danger.
Solomons takes on his idol Khumalo in the seventh race, but the more experienced rider should come out on top on Lucky Houdalakis’ runner Now You See Me. The mare bolted up by four lengths at the Free State track at the beginning of the month.
While eight-year-old Rouge Allure continues to do her connections proud and should earn another cheque, the chief threat to Now You See Me may be Peter’s representative Belle Of Belize.
Run As One — a R320,000 son of Gimmethegreenlight trained by Mike de Kock — hinted he would not be in the maidens for long with a recent second placing at Turffontein. The three-year-old is taking on older horses in the first race, but it is a maiden handicap so gets weight from the four-year-olds Brenner Pass, Parker Getrix and Joe Harman.
1st Race: (5) Run As One (2) Brenner Pass (4) Parker Getrix (3) Joe Harman
2nd Race: (1) Stunning Kitten (4) Olympic Silk (3) Shikuru (5) Intercity
3rd Race: (3) Epic Dream (2) Singfonico (1) Chief Of State (6) Pure State
4th Race: (3) Dockofthebay (7) The Makwakkers (4) Super Agra (1) Kings Road
5th Race: (7) Allez Les Bleu (9) Meet The Captain (2) Informative (5) Tiki Taka
6th Race: (8) Florence (3) Masango Machine (2) Seemyvision (4) Magic Choice
7th Race: (4) Now You See Me (5) Belle Of Belize (1) Rouge Allure (6) Me Time
8th Race: (3) Louvain (5) Florida Keys (4) Soul Of Wit (6) Zulu War Cry
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