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Piere Strydom. File photo: GALLO IMAGES/STEVE HAAG
Piere Strydom. File photo: GALLO IMAGES/STEVE HAAG

Piere Strydom has his final Met ride on Saturday, and the veteran jockey could kick-start a big week by scoring a double at the Vaal on Tuesday.

Strydom, who is shortly to retire, will partner King’s Plate victor Al Muthana in the R2m race sponsored by World Sports Betting.

This is something of a surprise as Nexus looked his likely mount, but Bernard Fayd'Herbe — sure to have been offered the ride again on Al Muthana — has opted to ride eight-year-old Do It Again. The dual Durban July winner beat only three home in his latest outing and his best days are surely behind him.

Commenting on Al Muthana’s chance in Winning Form, Strydom said: “He is a dual grade 1 winning miler and — given that he is in great form — it makes sense to take a chance with him in the Met. Mr Maingard knows how to train grade 1 winners.”

Al Muthana is drawn 12 of the 19 runners, and the jockey said: “I really don't see this being an issue as he will probably be ridden from off the pace.”

Strydom has four other rides at Saturday’s meeting and the pick of the quartet should be Gimme More Time in the fifth race. This three-year-old son of Gimmethegreenlight ran second in his most recent start and has a favourable draw.

Of Strydom’s four rides at the Vaal on Tuesday, both Admiralty Arch (sixth race) and Lady Of Power (seventh) have good chances on form.

Admiralty Arch is a consistent son of Admiral Kitten and his last six starts have yielded one win and four seconds. Mike de Kock’s four-year-old, Sequoia, rates the main danger.

Strydom has ridden many winners for Joe Soma and Lady Of Power could be another for this combination. The daughter of Master Of My Fate drops in class in the seventh race and this could enable the filly to notch up her second career win.

There are several runners with chances in this 1,450m handicap including Arden Park and Bee In My Bonnet. The latter won in good style at Turffontein before Christmas and should go well in the hands of Diego De Gouveia.

Gavin Lerena has an important date with Kommetdieding in Saturday's Met and he will be disappointed if he does not win the fourth race at the Vaal on Sean Tarry’s three-year-old, Swing Upon A Star.

The son of Elusive Fort — partnered to two wins by Warren Kennedy last year — has hardly put a hoof wrong in his eight starts and can beat home Keagan De Melo’s mount, Tsar Bomba.

Stuart Pettigrew’s runners always demand close scrutiny and his four-year-old Southern Blaze makes plenty of appeal with just 52,5kg on his back in the final leg of the jackpot.

The son of Global View was beaten in a photo-finish in his most recent outing but — with the advantage of pole position — can beat home Kotinos who didn’t have much luck at Turffontein last month.

Pettigrew also sends out his three-year-old, Iron Sky, to contest the third race with Kabelo Matsunyane booked for the gelding for the first time. Very much a question of — if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.


1st Race: No Selection

2nd Race: (2) Time For Charity (1) Camerata (3) Rio Supremo (7) Leahlicious

3rd Race: (1) Iron Sky (8) Brosnan (9) Elusive Justice (10) Sagan

4th Race: (1) Swing Upon A Star (2) Tsar Bomba (5) Lil Miss Moneybags (4) Texas Red

5th Race: (6) Namaqua Blossom (4) Raratonga Rose (3) Banha Bridge (2) Little Prince

6th Race: (1) Admiralty Arch (3) Sequoia (9) Luthuli (4) Tinder Dry

7th Race: (1) Lady Of Power (3) Bee In My Bonnet (2) Arden Park (5) Pashasha

8th Race: (12) Southern Blaze (7) Kotinos (10) In Cahoots (4) Magical Flight

9th Race: (6) Escape Artist (1) Clafoutis (4) Princess Philippa (5) Wokonda

10th Race: (6) Pacific Express (2) Monsieur Chevelle (12) Manz Knight (9) Rosy Lemon

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