Avontuur-sponsored jockey MJ Byleveld rounded off a terrific personal hat-trick at Kenilworth on Saturday when he booted the Greg Ennion trained Elusive Trader home to win the R150 000 Listed Southeaster Sprint, the final Cape feature of a rollercoaster 2019.
The 38 year old Warmbaths-born Blue Bulls supporter made it all look so easy as he notched up his three winners in quick succession, and all on a similar path down the inside rail of the sun-drenched straight track.
He was to go on and round off a dream day to ride four winners – which was the R24 286 jackpot!
The biggest earner in the field, courtesy of his CTS 1200 runner-up cheque earlier this year, Elusive Trader was grabbing a long overdue first stakes success and is a fellow that has always been highly regarded by his veteran trainer.
Relaxed early in the 1100m handicap, Byleveld was full of confidence after his earlier double and he waited patiently for a gap to open down the inside, as Bwana made the fractions.
At the 200m, Elusive Trader (20-1) soared past the tiring leaders and he went on powerfully as the good filly Mushi Sterek (22-1) tried hard to get on terms as Pleasedtomeetyou (9-2) pressured.
But Elusive Trader, who races in the long established partnership of Bryn Ressell and Marsh Shirtliff was full of enthusiasm and he drew clear to beat Mushi Sterek by 2 lengths in a time of 65,17 secs.
The Merchants winner Russet Air (18-10) finished strongly to pip Pleasedtomeetyou for third.
Bred by Terry Andrews, Elusive Trader is a son of Elusive Fort (Fort Wood) out of the Var one-time winner, Armatrading.
Elusive Trader has won 3 races with 10 places from 18 starts for stakes of R1 445 750.
He was purchased off the Cape Ready To Run Sale for R300 000.
All told, MJ was the star of the show.