Nicci Garner and Patrick Nkosi: Jockey Aldo Domeyer won a phenomenal six races from six rides at Kenilworth on Wednesday, having gone into the meeting feeling that if he had a winner he’d be happy.
“That’s me, I never get ahead of myself,” he said. “But to end up with six is nothing short of a blessing.
“I started out the day trying to get myself in a positive mood to just enjoy the day. A friend asked me if there was anything I thought would win, so I told him Loadshedder in Race 3. He’d had a positive run last time, but both Gadget Man and Pergola had beaten him home before. In fact every one of my mounts had something that stopped me feeling overconfident.
“I raced off instinct and it all started falling into place. I generated momentum and more confidence with every win. When things go well you’ve got to stay in the groove.”
Domeyer did not have a mount in Race 1 but the winners then came thick and fast, his first three coming courtesy of trainer Andre Nel. He won on favourite Ready Set Go in Race 2 over 1200m, Loadshedder justified his faith in Race 3 over 1600m and Guilty Pleasure beat favourite Sabina’s Dynasty in Race 4 over 1600m.
“At that point I was quite satisfied with my day, especially because my next-best ride was still coming up in the last race. I decided to do my best on the other two,” he said.
His best was more than good enough. He got Shane Humby-trained Midnight Vision to put his nose down at just the right moment in a tight three-horse finish in Race 5 over 1600m and scored a relatively easy win on Icon King for Mike Stewart in Race 7.
His last ride was for Candice Bass-Robinson in Race 8 over 1200m – Wake Up Maggie.
“Candice had a quiet day, but I was confident after seeing her in the ring. In fact, I think I might have been overconfident,” he chuckled. “A furlong (200m) out I was still a length off them and switched off. I shook myself up and thought, you’d better go on and win the race. When I let her go she did everything for me.
“It was fitting I won on her because she had the No 5 saddlecloth and my son Seth turns five this weekend.”
Asked whether he would be celebrating his best meeting to date, he said: “No, I’m off to work again tomorrow and I need to keep a level head, to do my best every time. But it was a grand day and I’m very grateful for the opportunities.”
He continued: “Growing up, dreaming of riding your first winner and first feature, you draw inspiration by watching your heroes achieve things like this. Never would I have thought it would be possible to someday pencil my name alongside theirs. These things just don’t happen! But I’m going to take it for what it is – and that’s a gift. It’s something I’m always going to treasure.
“It feels good to have my faith rewarded. It’s my job to work harder now than ever before and stay as humble as I can. I just hope I’ve made my family proud of me today.”
* Domeyer’s early tip for the R5-million Sun Met? “There are only three horses in it in my opinion. I’m biased towards Marinaresco and I hope that Candice and Grant van Niekerk can pull it off. But Legal Eagle looks a different horse this year. He’s strong with another year behind him and he was intimidating in the Queen’s Plate.”
Domeyer won last year’s Winter Guineas at Kenilworth on Marinaresco.