In this column before we’ve highlighted the role of the jockey in racing and also paid tribute to some of the men and women in the saddle. Although this week isn’t about the riders, we need to acknowledge the passing of Nooresh Juglall, who was involved in a tragic fall during the opening day of the Mauritius season last weekend.
A close friend of South African racing and a highly popular figure in the jockeys’ room, Juglall was only 29. He died in hospital from injuries sustained when his mount came down at the Champ De Mar racecourse. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family and loved ones.
There are two race meetings in South Africa on Saturday, with the one at Kenilworth, where the next two legs of the Winter Series take pride of place. There are two short-priced favourites for both races – Marina in the Stormsvlei Stakes over 1800m and Warrior in the Grade 3 Legal Eagle Stakes, also over 1800m.
Both races have attracted small fields of six and eight, respectively, and while both Marina and Warrior are odds-on in the betting, perhaps they shouldn’t be as short as they are.
Marina (pictured), from the Bass Racing stable, took on the boys in the opening leg and came within a length of Warrior, which is why she is the favourite to get back into the winners box’ against her own sex.
However, it is definitely worth noting that on the same day, in fact 35 minutes earlier, and over the same course and distance, the first leg of the fillies Winter Series was won by the Justin Snaith-trained Really Royal, who sprung an upset in beating stablemate Rain In Newmarket a short head.
The interesting fact? The fillies race was run 0.81 seconds faster than the colts and geldings’, which brings Really Royal and Rain In Newmarket right into the equation. I’m actually going for the latter, especially after the rain that lashed Cape Town during the week, to beat Marina and Really Royal.
Warrior has reeled off three wins in a row and is a strong favourite to make it four when he runs in the boys’ race. Stable jockey Richard Fourie had the choice of ride and chose him ahead of Hoedspruit and Somerset Maugham, so will be hard to beat again, but should he fluff his lines then the race is wide open.
Best bet on the card is still a handily-priced 14/10 and it’s Trip Of Fortune in the third race. The Trippi colt from the Candice Bass-Robinson stable looks to have something about him and will have needed the experience when running on for second on his debut.
Ultimately he will prefer more ground but with the rain, the 1000m shouldn’t inconvenience him and he can get out of the maidens here.
In fact, the Bass Racing stable looks to have a chance in a number of races across the card, so be sure to check out their stable comments ahead of the meeting for more guidance to what they fancy.