SA jocks up for International Challenge

SA jocks up for International Challenge

Jack Milner: The South African jockey team will be aiming to regain the title when they meet a team on Internationals in the World Sports Betting International Jockey Challenge, supported by Sun International and Air Mauritius, at Turffontein on Saturday.

The event did not take place last year but South African captain Muzi Yeni, and his team of Gavin Lerena, Warren Kennedy, Greg Cheyne, Callan Murray and S’manga Khumalo will be discussing tactics over the next few days so they can down the international squad, captained by Rab Havlin on Scotland.

He is joined by Paul Hanagan, Martin Dwyer, Franny Norton and Hayley Turner from England and Italian Andrea Atzeni.

The draw was made yesterday and the four-leg event will make up the Jackpot on Saturday when racing takes place on the Standside track.

The first leg comes up in Race 5 which is a MR 72 Handicap over 1400m and it looks a pretty evenly matched race. This is one distance where draws play a massive part and on that basis the jockeys to look out for are Atzeni on African Adventure, Murray on Podcast, Norton on What A Joker and Havlin on Jackman.

Leg 2 is a MR 76 Handicap for fillies and mares, again over 1400m and the edge could be with Cheyne, who rides Fortuna Doro from No 2 draw, Starlighttemptress with Dwyer up, drawn No 4 and probably the runner they will all have to beat, Seven Seas, with Yeni up.

Ashley Fortune’s charge is not all that well drawn at No 9 but this sparingly raced three-year-old looks to have the strongest form and the most room for improvement.

Race 7 is a MR 84 Handicap over 1160m and this dash up the straight looks incredibly competitive. If there is no rain the draws often make no difference but as some precipitation expected, the outside draws tend to have an advantage. That could favour Dwyer on Mount Keith and Murray, who rides Brigtnumberten for David Nieuwenhuizen.

The final leg, Race 8, is a MR 83 Handicap over 1800m and the two runners who stand out are At Hand, with Turner up, and Yeni aboard Hellofaride for the Mike de Kock yard.

Turner has a good record in this event and is undoubtedly one of the best female jockeys in the world and one who loves giving the boys a riding lesson. Hellofaride recently won a maiden but has huge room for improvement and will enjoy this extra 200m.

The meeting also features the Monaco Million Maiden over 1160m which was the brainchild of HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco. The idea is to give the underdog an advantage and in this event, no trainer is allowed more than one runner.

Nevertheless, the De Kock yard got Battleoftrafalgar into the race and based on merit ratings, he is at least 5.5kg better handicapped than any of his opposition. Although he has not raced for 160 days, this son of Captain Al looks the best bet on the card.

Murray takes the ride for the first time.

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