Jack Milner: Sam Mosia begins the long task of defending his Work Riders’ Challenge title at the Vaal.
Mosia romped to an easy 59-point victory over Francis Semela last season to collect the first prize of R20,000 while Chamu Mabaya finished third, another 13 points back.
The Work Riders’ Challenge is a three-way joint venture by Phumelela, the Racing Association and the Racing Trust, and carries prize money of R50,000. It is run over three legs and riders get points for each time they finish in the top four – 10 for a win, seven for second, five for third and three for fourth. The work rider who amasses the most points at each meeting will receive a cheque for R5,000.
The Challenge winner gets R20,000, runner-up earns R10,000 while R5,000 will go to the third-placed finisher. In addition, the winner will be honoured at the Highveld Feature Awards Ceremony.
Mosia has a full card of rides and many have winning chances although none of his mounts really stand out. The best could be Goodness Me in Race 1, Rubybay in Race 4, Malala in Race 6 and Payne’s Grey in Race 8, none of whom should be omitted from any exotic bets.
However, there do look to be some really good bets on this card, the first coming up in Race 2 in which Paul Peter sends out the luckless Lebanese Tractor. I’m not sure how a Lebanese tractor differs from any other but this could be his day.
The opposition is moderate and he looks likely to enjoy the drop to 1000m. They will be racing on the Classic Track but 1000m is up the straight so the No 11 draw is an asset. Tshepiso Matsoele takes the ride.
The Peter stable can notch up a quick double in Race 3 where he saddles At A Glance. This daughter of Atso has only raced twice, finishing fourth on debut and then a one-length second behind Burgundy Rose last month.
This time Charles Ndlovu takes the ride and has some interesting statistics. He has ridden 35 winners from 293 rides, almost 12%, but also has had another 137 places. That means 58.7% of his rides finish in the first four. That’s a rider you will want to regularly include in your Quartets.
Geoff Woodruff has supported this meeting with some decent runners, some unraced, but they could strike in the last two races where they send out Bi Pot and Brave Nation respectively. Goodman Dadamasi is aboard all the Woodruff runners.