Beware – ‘Bernie’ is Back In Business!

November 12, 2021

Nearly a month has elapsed since Bernard Fayd’Herbe arrived back in South Africa after another successful stint in Mauritius and the top rider is still looking for his first winner, writes Gary Lemke for GGGaming.bet.

That in itself is no cause for alarm. Fayd’Herbe is one of the top “heavyweight” riders around and has a wealth of experience and success. It’s just that we don’t see nearly enough of him on the racetrack these days.

He has two rides at Kenilworth on Saturday, which will see him reach 10,900 career rides in South Africa, where he has booted home 1,610 winners with total stake earnings of R141-million. 

Fayd’Herbe is best known perhaps for his partnership with the great Pocket Power, winning three Queen’s Plates on the people’s champion, along with three J&B Mets and one Vodacom Durban July. He remains one of the most astute horsemen in the business and has a work ethic second to none.

“Bernie” as the punters love to call him, is also a master when it comes to judging the pace of a race and he has enjoyed highly successful stints on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. Punters familiar with the Champs De Mar track over there, with its tight turns and short home straight will attest that to win there you have to be able to judge race pace down to a fine art.

Last season (2020/21) Fayd’Herbe returned three winners from only 23 rides in South Africa. This term he has already had 27 rides – two more on Saturday will nudge it up to 29 – but he has yet to find the winner’s box. For someone who has a lifetime career winners average of 14.77% from those 11,900 rides, you will see that he is well overdue.

Fayd’Herbe’s problem has been his weight, because he is big for a jockey and with saddle and racing gear he is riding tomorrow at 59kg. That is on Tinkerman in the second race  where he carries a kilogram overweight on the Vaughan Marshall-trained gelding. 

His only other ride at Kenilworth on Saturday is in the fourth race, on another maiden, the MR 53-rated Champagnesocialist.

However, the rides – and the wins – will come. Fayd’Herbe is too talented, too committed and too strong to not find his way to the winner’s enclosure this Cape season.

There’s something of a big day element to Fayd’Herbe, someone whose heart beats a little faster when the big days and feature races come around. With his limits he’s always going to be near the top weight in the handicaps, but rest assured, from a trainer and owner’s perspective you’ll have to go a long way to find a better jockey to partner your horse.

So, this message is to Fayd’Herbe himself – and those in the racing industry who he has won over in the past. Hang in there because those winners will come, and you don’t want to be missing out. A similar message goes out to the punters. Those who enjoy their exotics and Pick 6’s, leave him out of your permutations at your peril.

As mentioned, Saturday’s Cape meeting is at Kenilworth. This writer has a personal interest in two runners on the day, in the fourth race at Kenilworth with Augusta Green and in the sixth race at Turffontein, where Majestic Mozart makes his debut for the Ashley Fortune stable, having earned over a million rand with Candice Bass-Robinson in the Cape.

A suggested all to come for the day?

Tinkerman (Kenilworth, place), Spirit Of Silvano (Kenilworth, win), Majestic Mozart (Turffontein, win), Quantum King (Turffontein, place). The odds are 22-1.

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