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In the month in which jockey Richard Fourie celebrates his 38th birthday, one present he has received this week is support from Gauteng trainers in his bid to win the championship for the first time. Six trainers have provided him with mounts at Thursday’s meeting at Turffontein.

While Fourie would be delighted to win the title, there is also the added lure of a R1m bonus for the top jockey.

Formerly attached to the Justin Snaith stable but now riding as a freelancer, Fourie knows he must stay out of trouble with the stipendiary stewards countrywide regarding whip abuse.

In August last year, he received a 10-day ban and R35,000 fine for excessive use of the whip on Jet Dark in the Champions Cup.

Last weekend, the Gauteng stipes dished out a 14-day ban and R24,000 fine to jockey Jason Gates for offences in two races at Turffontein.

Authorities worldwide are stamping down on whip abuse. Ryan Moore was fined for his riding of Auguste Rodin in last weekend’s Breeders Cup at Santa Anita, US.

Weather permitting, Fourie will start the Turffontein meeting riding Trip To States for trainer Chris Jonker. The four-year-old rates an each-way chance, but is likely to find Mary’s Greenlight and The Octagon tough rivals.

A R450,000 daughter of Gimmethegreenlight bred at Ascot Stud, Mary’s Greenlight was rolled over in a Work Riders event last month, but was bumped in that race and could go one better this time.

Alec Laird will be pleased with the debut effort of his R375,000 buy, The Octagon, with the colt likely to go well from his pole position draw.

Start favourite

Muzi Yeni, Fourie’s main rival in the jockeys championship, will probably be miffed he has lost the ride on Alesia’s Love to Fourie in the second race. He has been in the saddle in each of the filly’s five starts.

Alesia’s Love is certain to start favourite and may have most to fear from Brett Crawford’s runner, Lady Crusade, who has been placed in both her two outings.

Sean Tarry likes to use Fourie when he can and his three runners, Willow’s Wish, October Fair and Midnight Crystal, are in with a shout in their respective races. The first-named will have benefited from his seasonal bow behind Silent War.

October Fair is hard to fancy after finishing last of five behind Champagne Cocktail last month, but it is interesting that the Silvano filly drops to the shorter trip of 1,450m.

It will be a surprise if Midnight Crystal beats Gimme A Nother in the ninth race as Mike de Kock’s well-bred filly rates a banker bet in the Pick Six after her impressive debut win. Her chance will be enhanced if Alesia’s Love wins earlier in the afternoon as that is the horse she beat on her first appearance.

Gavin Lerena is riding at the top of his game and two of his jackpot mounts, Millahue and Cliff Hanger, both rate strong runners from Johan Janse van Vuuren’s stable.

Millahue, a four-time winner, is the model of consistency and should run well as he is 3kg better off with Fabian Habib’s runner, Twin Turbo.

Cliff Hanger has won three of his five starts and could have most to fear from Fourie’s mount, Ziyasha, in the sixth race over 1,000m.


1st Race: (13) Mary’s Greenlight (12) The Octagon (1) Trip To States (3) Horsefly

2nd Race: (5) Alesia’s Love (4) Lady Crusade (14) More Than All (6) Boom Boom

3rd Race: (7) Azaleas For All (1) Exhale (2) Harold The Duke (3) All Rise

4th Race: (7) Explosive Bond (4) Burmese Tiara (1) Namaqua Blossom (2) Ideal Future

5th Race: (7) Millahue (2) Willow’s Wish (6) Home Of The Brave (9) Total Surrender

6th Race: (2) Cliff Hanger (9) Ziyasha (1) Rulership (7) Mythical Dream

7th Race: (2) Cape Lights (6) Key Element (5) Kwazzi’s Lady (10) Runway Bomb

8th Race: (7) Player (10) Little Prince (8) Mondial (4) Willow’s Express

9th Race: (5) Gimme A Nother (7) Three Strands (6) Rose Tinted (1) Perilla

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