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If someone had told title-chasing jockeys, S’Manga Khumalo and Muzi Yeni, that they’d be 20 winners behind Keagan De Melo after 11 weeks of the season, they’d have been gobsmacked.

But that is the reality with Alberton-born De Melo riding with considerable success around the country.

The racehorse, Gobsmacked, played his part in De Melo finishing third behind Warren Kennedy in last season's championship. The daughter of Querari won all her three starts culminating in a win in the Debutante Stakes at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Gold Cup day.

At a rare Monday meeting at Turffontein, Gobsmacked makes her first appearance of the new campaign when she takes on six rivals in the seventh race over 1,200m. The filly has been priced up at 11-10 in the early market.

Johan Janse van Vuuren, who trains Gobsmacked, has backup in the form of Glittering Girl who has the advantage of having contested a recent race. The Rafeef filly — a R500,000 buy as a yearling — finished fourth behind Orarari Gold.

Gavin Lerena rode Glittering Girl that day, but he now switches to Sean Tarry’s five-year-old, Full Velocity. The mare has won three of her last four starts and is returning from a 19-week break.

Full Velocity’s stablemate, Sound Of Warning, should strip fitter this time as this talented daughter of Trippi needed her recent comeback run behind Bartholdi.

De Melo has seven booked mounts at the city track and should strike as early as the first race in which he partners Van Vuuren’s three-year-old, Siberian Steel. The three-year-old — a R650,000 buy as a yearling — made a promising debut when third behind Pendragon in September.

Probably De Melo's best mount at the meeting will be Mike de Kock’s three-year-old, Tyrconnel, who is certain to start a hot favourite in the third race. This R475,000 son of The United States turned in an excellent first effort behind Unzen.

It looks like a case of De Kock vs Van Vuuren in the final leg of the jackpot with the first-named represented by Arrividicio with Muzi Yeni booked to partner the Flower Alley gelding for the first time.

The form of Arividicio's race may be better than Van Vuuren's runner, Kalahari Blue, though punters will certainly be including the grey in their Pick Six perms.

Fanie Bronkhurst has sent out nine winners this term and his runner, Prosper's Gift, rates an each-way chance. The gelding holds Johnny Dogs on their recent running behind Never To Clever.

After a quiet start to the season, Sean Tarry is beginning to step out some of his talented performers and one of those is Bless My Stars who ran a close third in last season’s Thekwini Stakes at Greyville.

The daughter of Gimmethegreenlight was easy in the market in her comeback run won by Prophet, but she could prove too classy for her older rivals in the fourth race.

Bellevarde is returning from a 15-week break so De Melo may provide the main threat to Bless My Stars with De Kock's two-time winner, Mike’s Chick.


1st Race: (8) Siberian Steel (2) Tre Amici (10) Above The World (3) Tanganga

2nd Race: (3) Cape Lights (11) Sparkling Jubilee (12) Tiz Magic (4) Camerata

3rd Race: (9) Tyrconnell (1) Atlantic City (2) Phantomoftheforest (5) Libeocio

4th Race: (9) Bless My Stars (1) Mike's Chick (8) Intoxicating (3) Bellevarde

5th Race: (8) Flashy Apache (2) Youcanthurrylove (4) The Kop (3) Stormy Winter

6th Race: (7) Angelsea (8) Go Dream Machine (10) Liverpool Legend (6) Bally Magic

7th Race: (6) Gobsmacked (3) Glittering Girl (2) Full Velocity (1) Sound Of Warning

8th Race: (2) Irontail (1) Rule By Force (6) Just Eminent (10) Follow My Path

9th Race: (1) Arrividicio (2) Kalahari Blue (6) Prosper's Gift (3) Johnny Dogs

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