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Ndlovu’s Sparkling Hat-Trick

Snaith and Lerena grab a double

A 1600-1 hat-trick by Charles Ndlovu for East Cape champion trainer Alan Greeff was the highlight of an entertaining Fairview Friday turf meeting.

The manne! High riding Charles Ndlovu (third from left) seen with colleagues Robert Khathi, Muzi Yeni and Sandile Khathi

With regular Greeff rider Greg Cheyne absent under suspension, Ndlovu took his opportunity with both hands and struck with a genuine hat-trick from just four rides.

“He works hard, is a well-balanced jockey and he deserves the success,”  Greeff told the Sporting Post, adding that none of Ndlovu’s winners surprised him.

The Greeff-Ndlovu winning streak commenced with Western Wu (R17-60) in the second, on to the consistent Scent (the most fancied of the trio) in the third and then the filly Strut Your Stuff (R9-20) in the Pick 6 opener.

Justin Snaith and his new PE rider Gavin Lerena were successful with a nice double, including the dual stakes winner The Merry Widow, who finished powerfully to win the ‘feature’, the R80 000 Breeders Guineas Plate.

The East Cape Nursery winner came through down the inside rail to hold off the late challenge of consistent local Hurricane Shelley by 0,75 lengths in a time of 82,62 secs.

Star Burst Galaxy came on too late and was a head back in third.

A diminutive but gutsy galloper, the Boland Stud-bred The Merry Widow has won 4 races with 3 places from 10 starts for stakes of R333 500.

By the outstanding Captain Al, she is out of the one-time winning Jallad mare, Miss Kiri, who was purchased by Boland Stud from Koos De Klerk at Yellow Star Stud.

Gavin Lerena steers The Merry Widow to a good win from Aldo Domeyer and Hurricane Betsy (Pic – Pauline Herman)

The Merry Widow went through the 2015 National Yearling Sale ring unsold with a highest bid of R300 000.

A deal was concluded immediately after with Kevin Sommerville of Drakenstein Stud.

Snaith and Lerena capped their double when winning the last with the St Petersburg filly Rustic Sunrise who led most of the way to register her second win at the expense of Duncan McKenzie longshot Flying Luxmi and Samiam – who was probably beaten by her wide draw.

With only two tote favourites arriving on the day, it wasn’t easy – and R364 481- 21 of the Pick 6 was carried over.