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Historians will know that 11 ships, known as the First Fleet, arrived in Australia from England in January 1788. Most were reluctant travellers but times have changed and Australia and New Zealand are now popular destinations for many people.

The latter country has managed to lure two of SA’s top jockeys, Warren Kennedy and Craig Zackey.

Kennedy arrived in New Zealand at the beginning of the month and has already booted home a winner. He scored on Cleese for trainer John Bell at Tanranga racecourse, which is in a harbourside city on the North Island.

Zackey’s decision to follow SA’s champion jockey came as a surprise as the 27-year-old can boast 10 grade 1 wins and nine grade 2 victories. This is a notable achievement for someone of his age.

Zackey will be hoping that he can sign off with a winner when he partners What A Honey for trainer Lucky Houdalakis in the eighth race at the Vaal on Thursday.

A daughter of What A Winter, What A Honey has won three of her 11 starts. Zackey has often ridden her, including in a win at Turffontein in September.

The runner most likely to spoil the goodbye party for Zackey is Kiss Me Captain who is unbeaten in three outings. The daughter of Captain Of All has struck up a good partnership with jockey Diego De Gouveia.

Another filly with winning claims is Blindedbythelights whom Warren Kennedy rode to a win and a second before relocating overseas. The daughter of Oratorio was formerly with Paul Peter but is now trained by Fabian Habib.

Zackey’s final mount here, Silver Winter in the ninth race, is racing in handicap company after notching her maiden win at Turffontein in August.

Stephen Moffatt’s filly has a tougher task this time with her rivals including the unbeaten Mythical Dream, Clean Living and Rose For Trippi.

Jockey Muzi Yeni is an eye-catching booking for Clean Living who hinted a second win was close at hand when second behind Mythical Dream last time out. The filly can turn the tables on 2kg better terms.

Brett Crawford’s highveld team is riding the crest of a wave and Tirpitz looks like another winner for the stable in the sixth race. This R350,000 son of Silvano returns from a 22-week break, but the lightly raced four-year-old may still prove too smart for Legislate’s Dance and Keagan De Melo’s mount, Houston.

Mike de Kock’s Rafeef filly, Bonnaroo, returns to action in the seventh race after a long break and will need checking in the market. A runner with recent form is Kalahari Blue but it looks significant that De Melo prefers to partner his stablemate, Chyavana.

Back To Basics will have his supporters with his light weight, while Sean Tarry’s three-year-old, Twice The Storm, is bidding to complete a hat-trick.


First race: (7) Stepping Out (11) Noble Kingdom (1) Carnelo (8) Gimme A Diamond

Second race: (3) Dockofthebay (2) Goodtime Guy (5) Mitch Got His Wish (6) Lord Varys

Third race: (11) Otto Luyken (7) Prime Example (1) Big Guy (6) Top Sail

Fourth race: (3) Karin’s Legacy (9) Coffee In Seattle (4) Allthewayfromusa (1) Silk Garden

Fifth race: (9) Pomozelous (1) Apache Fighter (2) Sassy (4) Rowins Dream

Sixth race: (8) Tirpitz (2) Legislate’s Dance (12) Houston (7) Coming In Hot

Seventh race: (2) Chyavana (8) Kalahari Blue (7) Bonnaroo (12) Back To Basics

Eighth race: (6) What A Honey (7) Kiss Me Captain (4) Blindedbythelights (8) Rockets Red Glare

Ninth race: (10) Clean Living (9) Rose For Trippi (6) Mythical Dream (11) Run For Isla


(Betting supplied by bookmaker Lance Michael)

3-1 Safe Passage

5-1 Pyromaniac

7-1 Humdinger

8-1 MK’s Pride

12-1 Irish Tractor

14-1 Astrix, Puerto Manzano, After The Rain, Forever Mine

20-1 Others

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