The New Turf Carriers Rider Cup has become a highly anticipated event on the SA Champions Season calendar and will be held today at Greyville.
The KZN Falcons team consists of Keagan de Melo (captain), Warren Kennedy, Sean Veale and Brandon Lerena.
The Highveld Hawks team will led by National Champion Jockey elect Lyle Hewitson and also includes Muzi Yeni, Craig Zackey and Ryan Munger.
The Cape Eagles will be represented by Aldo Domeyer (captain), Bernard Fayd’Herbe, Greg Cheyne and Richard Fourie.
The competition will be contested over four races and the points allocated will be 20 for first, 16 for second, 14 for third, 12 for fourth, ten for fifth, eight for sixth, six points for seventh and a one point decrease from five down to one for the remaining five positions.
The inaugural Rider Cup in 2015 was won by the KZN Falcons and the Highveld Hawks won in 2016. New Turf Carriers came on board as sponsors last year and in an exciting contest at Scottsville the Highveld Hawks, represented by Gavin Lerena (captain), Hewitson, Zackey and Marco van Rensburg beat the KZN Falcons by five points, although Anton Marcus was the victor ludorum on his home turf with 60 points.
The first leg on Sunday is a handicap for fillies and mares over 1400m and the Hawks look to have a good chance of taking the lead as Munger on pole position-drawn Queenie and Hewitson on the course and distance-suited Summer In The City have good rides.
The second leg is a handicap over 1400m and Fourie will be aboard the one who could start favourite, Aldo’s Chase. Beyond him it is wide open.
The third leg is a fillies and mares handicap over 1900m and De Melo on Expresso Martini and Munger on Pumpkin Queen look to hold the trump cards.
The last leg is a maiden over 1800m and Veale, Zackey and Fourie look to have the best mounts in this uninspiring event on Sunny Girl, Call Me Tonight and Summer Day.
All eight races on the day will be on the polytrack including the headliner, the Listed Off To Stud Stakes over 1600m.