Domeyer stars for Team SA

Domeyer stars for Team SA


Danie Toerien in Singapore: Aldo Domeyer made the perfect debut at Kranji Racecourse in Singapore on Tuesday night when he won the Victor Ludorum trophy at the Premier Gateway International Jockeys Challenge.

Domeyer rode Safeer to victory in Race 4, the third leg of the challenge presented by Phumelela and Tabcorp.

That win, together with his third place in the opening leg, seventh place in the second leg, and sixth place in the final leg, was enough to secure the individual title.

“It was my first time in Singapore and what a day it’s been,” Domeyer said after his victory aboard Safeer.

“I’ve been following Singapore racing closely and I’ve always known that the racing here will suit me.

“The faster the track, the better. I know it sounds like a bit of a contradiction with me racing in Cape Town, but whenever I’ve ridden on a really fast track, I’ve been able to ride fluently.

“I predicted that I would do well here and I’m really glad it actually paid off.”

While the rest of team South Africa had mixed fortunes, with Muzi Yeni grabbing second spot in the Race 2 on Money King in the Challenge opener, it was Team Australia who snuck in the back door to grab the headlines.

And if it wasn’t for their heroics at the death, the Union Jack might have been hoisted in Singapore on Tuesday night.

This it how it unfolded:

Muzi Yeni and Aldo Domeyer got off to a flying start in the Premier Gateway International Jockeys Challenge in Kranji last night when they secured second and third place in the first leg of the competition.

Together with Lyle Hewitson’s sixth place, the South African amassed 35 points, only two points behind early leaders Team UK.

Yeni kept Money King in a good position throughout while Domeyer and Houseboat Harry came from absolutely nowhere to finish third in the PGI Jockeys Challenge Asia (1st leg) Kranji Stakes over 1800m

The British took the early lead thanks to Rab Havlin’s victory aboard O’Reilly Star and they extended their lead in the second leg, the PGI Jockeys Challenge Australia Kranji Stakes over 1200m, taking first, third and fourth.

This time it was Kerrin McEvoy and Mister Yeoh who crossed the line first, with Havlin third on Melting Point and Hayley Turner securing 10 points for her fourth place on Super Tycoon.

Sitting pretty on 89 points halfway through the challenge Team UK appeared to have wrapped it all up.

And then came Aldo and Safeer. What a ride!

With Joao Moreira leading on Solaris Spectrum with 200m to go in the PGI Jockeys Challenge South Africa (3rd leg) Kranji Stakes over 1200m, the crowd erupted. The Magic Man is, after all, their hero and every one of the 7,000 pundits at the track were already spending the money they thought they had won.

But Domeyer wouldn’t have any of it. He probably spoke Afrikaans to Safeer who responded like a Highveld bolt of lightning. As they say in SA, it looked as if Moreira was looking for parking.

With Team UK the three backmarkers in the race, suddenly the Jockeys Challenge was there for the taking.

And as everyone knows, you don’t have to invite an Aussie twice when you’re handing out stuff for free.

The last leg, the PGI Jockeys Challenge (4th leg) Kranji Stakes over 1600m saw Team Australia take second, third and fourth place.

Kerrin McEvoy on Mighty Kenny, Hugh Bowman on Absolute Miracle and Mark Zahra on Robin Hood showed the other contenders what team riding is all about. Their combined 37 points in the grand finale was enough earn them the right to pop the champagne.

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