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Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Jubilee Platinum Plc chair Colin Bird would be the first to admit his business career has eclipsed his involvement in racing by far. Yet the mining entrepreneur continues to support the sport he loves, and he could have a winner at Turffontein on Thursday. 

Bird has founded and floated several public companies in the resource sector and served on resource company boards in the UK, Canada and SA.

Four years ago Bird and partner Sylvia Vrska celebrated their first grade 1 success when Coral Fever won the Premier's Champions Challenge at Turffontein. It had been a long wait — over four decades.

Coral Fever, a Judpot gelding trained by Robbie Sage, also captured the R1m Charity Mile.

Bird has been in the game long enough to know that his runner at the city track, Zazu, isn't going to Hollywood. The daughter of Global View — an R80,000 buy from Ascot Stud — has one win in 11 starts.

Nevertheless, Zazu stays well and has Muzi Yeni in the saddle so there is every chance the three-year-old can notch a second win provided the filly can beat stablemate She's A Cracker.

Yeni has ridden She's A Cracker for most of her career so it's a pointer that he prefers to partner Zazu leaving Gavin Lerena on the mare. Others with chances in this 2,400m contest include Damova and Roy Magner's filly Crusade To Royalty.

Yeni has an each-way shout on Sage's fourth race runner Cape Lights, but the likely winner here is Mike de Kock's youngster, Nyali Beach, with S'manga Khumalo booked for the ride.

A R220,000 daughter of Gimmethegreenlight, Nyali Beach was bred by Varsfontein Stud and purchased by Mary Slack's Wilgerbosdrift Stud.

De Kock sends five of his team to Turffontein and Khumalo has also been engaged to partner newcomer, Mr Bodacious, in the second race. The two-year-old is a R300,000 son of Vercingetorix bred at Millstream Farm.

Of the raced runners, Paul Peter's youngster, Iron Fist, Great Times and Drop Of Time make the most appeal. The first two of this trio were placed in a Work Riders event nine days ago.

However, the fact that trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren has entered his two-year-old, Drop Of time, for the grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes at  Greyville at the end of the month is a pointer to the Pomodoro colt's chance.

On his debut at Turffontein last month, Drop Of Time took on winners and finished a creditable third behind Ridgerunner. Judged on that promising effort, he certainly rates a place accumulator banker.

Van Vuuren's juvenile is bred to be smart — bred at La Berg Stud he is the second produce of the seven-time winner, Rebel Queen, who is a sister to 13-time winner, Uncle Tommy.

Bookmakers quote the De Kock first-timer, Mr Bodacious, at 9-2 in early betting and it will be interesting to see if there's market support for this 11th produce of the mare Colour Burst.

SELECTIONS

1st Race: No Selection

2nd Race: (4) Drop Of Time (1) Great Times (7) Mr Bodacious (6) Iron Fist

3rd Race: (4) Positive Attitude (1) Fire Lord (9) Eyjafjallajokull (8) Dungeons

4th Race: (8) Nyali Beach (7) Cape Lights (6) Bird In Space (2) Chopsticks

5th Race: (6) Zazu (2) She's A Cracker (9) Crusade To Royalty (8) Damova

6th Race: (9) Greek Miss (4) Bellevarde (3) Princess Kesh (7) Kind Judy

7th Race: (7) Lucy English (1) Kayla's Champ (3) Anna Capri (4) Alula's Star

8th Race: (11) Vanderbilt (3) Waqaas (1) Bey Suyay (7) Indus Knight

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