Gauteng trainer St John Gray has never been a man to mince his words. Speaking after S’manga Khumalo had scored a hat-trick on the Announce mare Last Girl Standing at Turffontein on Wednesday, the seasoned trainer lamented the ‘gap’ between the top jockeys and the rest.
“The top stables really enjoy such an advantage having the services of top jockeys like S’manga Khumalo. The difference between riders like him and the rest of them is enormous. They just do the right things. It makes all the difference. I know they won’t like me saying this, but it’s a fact,” he said.
Khumalo relinquished his SA title last season and ended in fifth place with 143 winners.
After winning once in 24 starts, the Dempers Stud bred 5yo Last Girl Standing made it 4 wins in 27 starts in the MR 62 1200m Handicap (F&M). She cost R45 000 at the National 2yo Sale and is out of the unraced Casey Tibbs daughter, Champion Tibbs.
St John Gray raced the winner’s sire, the chestnut Announce. The son of National Assembly out of You’re My Lady by Roberto, was a winner of 4 races and placed 7 times over 1200m-1600m. He is a full-brother to another Graystone Stud-owned stallion, Sarge.