Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The perils of serious injury in the jockey profession of being a jockey were highlighted  at the weekend when 20-year-old apprentice Thabiso Gumede suffered a broken leg in a horrific fall in the final race at Hollywoodbets Greyville.

Only last month Gumede was on top of the world after partnering the 60th winner of his career and earning a special jacket from the SA Apprentice Academy.

Gumede, riding a horse named Prince Tyrion, crashed to the ground — possibly from a broken stirrup — at the 550m mark and fell heavily and directly into horses behind him. He ended up under the running rail and was rushed to hospital.

The father of a five-month-old daughter, Gumede has ridden particularly well in 2021  for trainer Duncan Howells who has given the youngster plenty of opportunities on fancied horses.

The young rider, whose first winner was on a horse named Fleek in April 2019, attributes his introduction to racing to his uncle, a former SAJA (SA Jockey Academy) security guard.

Hopefully, there will be no such incidents at the Vaal on Tuesday where there is an eight-race programme confined to Work Riders.

Trainer Mike de Kock will be happy with Kabelo Matsunyane’s handling of Sparkling Water at Turffontein last Saturday and will be hoping Chama Mabaya can come up trumps in the seventh race.

Mabaya, who has a good record in Work Riders races, has been booked for Angelsea who has been marked up favourite for the final leg of the jackpot. He will be well aware that he faces a tough rival in Corrie Lensley’s runner Eternal Life. The stable had a feature race winner at Turffontein recently.

Two other De Kock inmates with a winning chance are Right Choice (fourth race) and Pink Legacy (fifth). The former may have most to fear from Back To Formentera while Paul Peter’s charge This Generation has been priced up favourite to beat Pink Legacy.

It may have been a shrewd move by Vaal trainer Steve Moffatt to purchase Ra’ed, a horse owned by Chris van Niekerk. The son of Pomodoro turned in a promising effort last time and looks worth each-way support at his opening price of 6-1 in the final event on the card.

Sam Mosia is one of the most experienced Work Riders and his mount, Global Player, trained by Paul Peter, is sure to have his supporters in a competitive finale to the Pick Six.

With De Kock’s entry Beaded Gown an absentee in the first race, it presents Shaylen Naidoo’s runner Quick Run with a chance to leave the maiden ranks. It’s interesting that Diane Stenger’s first-timer Express Flyer has been marked up at a short price in opening betting.

There could be a close finish in the fourth race between Philip Maleyani (Back To Basics) and Joe Gwingwizha (Love Bite) with both runners possessing sound chances on form. The first-named — trained by Brett Webber — is selected to come out on top.

SELECTIONS

1st Race: (2) Quick Run (9) Musical Kiss (5) Turn Tide (3) Chutzpah

2nd Race: (1) Tuuletar (4) Maria’s World (2) Koopa Troopa (6) Song Of Angels

3rd Race: (4) Back To Basics (16) Love Bite (9) Blackburn Jet (2) Trust The Fire

4th Race: (1) Right Choice (6) Back To Formentera (3) The Legendary Lady (8) Bella Ombre

5th Race: (7) This Generation (8) Pink Legacy (5) Absolute Value (1) Duke Of Rain

6th Race: (2) Dance Partner (4) Viceroy (7) After Me (6) Knightflight

7th Race: (3) Angelsea (4) Eternal Life (6) Queen's Navy (1) Kiss To Dream

8th Race: (1) Ra’ed (2) Global Player (10) Indus Knight (5) With Pleasure

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