Van the man at Kenilworth

Van the man at Kenilworth


Ken Nicol: Grant Van Niekerk made his mark at Kenilworth on Saturday, riding a four timer.

He kept his main employer Justin Snaith happy by winning on Spam Alert and Konkola. Unusually those were the only two runners on the day for the normally well represented outfit.

The other two were both smart juveniles.

The first was for Candice Bass-Robinson, who has a fair number of talented juvenile fillies this term. Clouds Unfold marked herself down as one of the best ones in the opener.

She had beaten subsequent dual winner Carioca on debut, and quickened well again to easily get the better of stable mate Western Angel.

Her trainer confirmed that the daughter of former stable star What A Winter will stay in Cape Town for the winter.

Joey Ramsden also has a smart string of juveniles and went one better by saddling the trifecta in the second.

Twist Of Fate always looked the right one on collateral form, and Van Niekerk expertly guided the Master Of My Fate colt to a comfortable victory over Lucky Dancer and Temp The Tiger.

Ramsden spoke of all three as worth following over more ground. Particularly the soon to be gelded Temp The Tiger, humorously commenting that “the little grey fellow could be a right surprise package. But he’s going to lose his package before his next start”.

The ride of the day accolade however would have to go to Richard Fourie for his heroics on Mike Robinson’s well-tried maiden Kamaishi.

Sporting blinkers for the first time, she surged into the lead from the widest draw, and was four or so lengths clear when turning for home.

That is always a dangerous advantage to give one of the best front running jockeys we have. But coming to the final stages he seemed certain to be reeled in by fast finishing Clifton Beach and juvenile Yolta.

Channeling all his considerable talents though Fourie somehow managed to drive Kamaishi over the line with a neck to spare, where a lesser rider would have had to settle for third.

It turned out to be a real family affair, as it was a first win in her own colours for Robinson’s wife Luella, and the design was created by their then eleven year old daughter Caitlin.

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