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With his regular jockey Warren Kennedy headed for New Zealand, champion trainer Paul Peter says he is “not committing” to any particular rider at the start of the 2022/2023 season.
Speaking to Business Day on Wednesday, Peter said: “I will use them all. It’s a question as to who is available. We’re not going to be committed to anyone.
“I’ll be using Muzi [Yeni], Gavin [Lerena] and Rachel [Venniker]. Rachel has been taught by the best. She’s improving and getting stronger all the time.”
Peter said that it was also a plus for any runner to have Rachel claiming her 1.5kg gender allowance.
At the Vaal on Thursday, Yeni and Venniker both have three booked mounts for the Peter stable. Yeni could land a double on I Am Regal (fourth race) and Spielberg in the sixth.
I Am Regal — a daughter of Canford Cliffs who is the sire of Thekwini Stakes runner-up Rock The Fox — has shown ability in her three starts and is reunited with Yeni, who partnered her to a debut win in March.
Weichong Marwing’s runner Time For Glory is likely to be a tough rival as the daughter of Time Thief is back in calmer waters after three feature races.
Yeni may regard Peter’s four-year-old Spielberg as his best mount at the meeting as the Futura gelding — racing in the colours of Captain’s Ransom owner Suzette Viljoen — won his maiden run in impressive style and should go on to better things.
Who’s That Star races for the Hollywood Syndicate, and the son of Var could be competitive if not losing ground at the start.
Venniker has been booked for Peter’s five-year-old Winter Stories in the fifth race. This gelding has the highest merit rating in the 1,000m contest. If not in need of the outing after a 14-week break, Winter Stories should run well, though preference is for Roy Magner’s sprinter Naarah.
Apprentice Kaidan Brewer will claim his 1.5kg allowance on Naarah, and this may enable the filly to notch her fifth win.
Another runner with a light weight is Bard Of Avon, who came under the auctioneer’s hammer recently. Apparently just 33% of the Var gelding was sold and Ashley and Andrew Fortune are still involved in the ownership.
Bard Of Avon — to be ridden for the first time by Joshwin Solomons — is weighted to turn the tables on Yeni’s mount, Godswood.
Venniker has an each-way shout on Sir Tallin in the eighth race, in which the enthusiastic owners of Humble Tune will be hoping Yeni can get the five-year-old home for an overdue third win.
Though the gelding is not one to risk the rent on, Humble Tune jumps from pole position and should take a hand in the finish along with Just A Memory, Dawn Of A New Era and Mcebisi.
1st Race: (1) I’m In Love (6) Rosslyne (5) Skyfull (2) Dame Colleen
2nd Race: (1) Clap Of Thunder (7) Atticus Finch (8) Central City (5) Global Breeze
3rd Race: (5) Feather Boa (2) Raffles (3) Meridius (1) Total Protection
4th Race: (2) I Am Regal (1) Time For Glory (3) Ipso Facto (5) Tabby Kat
5th Race: (8) Naarah (9) Bard Of Avon (5) Winter Stories (1) Bold Ransom
6th Race: (1) Spielberg (2) Who’s That Star (5) Scottadito (3) Stormy Seas
7th Race: (4) Brenden James (1) Jaimala (6) Romeo’s Magic (3) Afraad
8th Race: (5) Humble Tune (6) Just A Memory (4) Mcebisi (1) Dawn Of A New Era
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.