While Cape Champion jockey Aldo Domeyer is in a rich vein of form with 6 winners in the bag after Fairview on Friday and Saturday’s Durbanville meeting, it was KZN-based jockey Keagan de Melo who stole the limelight at the first 2019 meeting back at the ‘Big D’ with the maiden away hat-trick of his career.
The 25 year old De Melo, who is Dean Kannemeyer’s stable jockey, is on the fringes of the national top ten with 55 winners at a strike rate of 10%.
The man who rode his first winner at his fourth ride – Western Gem for trainer Bart Rice at Scottsville – has often been regarded as a rider of some talent, but will be keen to convert his 36% place strike-rate to more winners and hopefully the confidence of his Saturday hat-trick will make him a man to follow.
His first winner came up in the fifth at Durbanville where he steered the Fastnet Rock filly Waldorf Astoria home for trainer Joey Ramsden.
The Australian bred galloper looks progressive having followed up on her eyecatching December maiden victory.
Adam Marcus has always thought the world of the Mogok filly After Glow, and the Scott Bros-bred R160 000 National Yearling Sale graduate finished powerfully to get the better of the free-striding Almost Captured in the sixth, an MR 72 Handicap over a mile, to place De Melo on his genuine hat-trick.
Brimming with confidence, the Durban jockey overcame a wide gate on the Dean Kannemeyer-trained Sacred Story in the seventh, a Maiden Plate over 1400m.
The daughter of Oratorio improved at her fifth start and led from gun to tape under a superbly judged ride to withstand the challenge of the improved again longshot Alfred’s Girl.
Sacred Story was a second winner on the day for Avontuur stallion Oratorio after the Joey Ramsden bred Procrastination won at her second start after a good Kenilworth debut.
The 2,5kg claiming apprentice Liam Tarentaal was another achiever on the day as he booted home a double in the form of Capacity Crowd for Eric Sands and the gutsy gelding Fateful for Philippi trainer Mike Robinson to bring the curtain down on a happy return to the scenic venue.