Cape superstar Richard Fourie had to wait until the final race of the Durbanville meeting on Tuesday to ride a winner as championship chasing KZN raider Warren Kennedy gave the locals something to think about when he rode the R465 jackpot at a sun-drenched country course.
The high-riding and unassuming Kennedy moved into second position on the national log and, while it is early days yet, his intentions to give the championship a full go this term have been fired to a new level.
His four winners on the day included a terrific maiden career treble for Philippi trainer Michael Robinson, who was naturally thrilled with his yard finding good form.
Robinson, son-in-law of veteran KZN conditioner Doug Campbell, has been training for his own account since 2013 and came through the ranks, cutting his teeth with Mike Stewart, Chris Snaith and Dennis Drier.
After a few years in charge of spelling and pre-training for Drakenstein Stud, as well as training a small string of horses off the farm for them, he has firmly established himself as a leading trainer in the Cape ranks – which is dominated by a handful of powerful operations.
His three winners were Lunar Tunes (22-10), Lady Abigail (9-1) and Secret Depths (11-4)
Kennedy, who has ridden six winners on a day, rode the final leg of the jackpot for Eric Sands when the improving Bellingham Bay rounded off a happy streak for the visiting jock.
Kennedy told Gold Circle’s David Thiselton recently that it was a mixture of improved riding and better support which had enabled him to climb the ladder.
He added: “Getting rides in bigger races gives you more responsibility and if you ride well you get better support.”
He now has the continued support of Gareth and Gavin van Zyl and others in KZN, of the increasingly prominent yard of Paul Peter and others in Gauteng, and of a number of trainers – including the Robinson family – in Cape Town.
His other advantage is his light weight. His official riding weight is 51kg.