The engagement of a talented maximum claim apprentice by veteran trainer Hekkie Strydom looks to be the dealmaker in Wednesday’s Arlington topliner. The Badger’s Drift colt Act Of Supremeacy is the class and form runner in the nine horse field.
The nineteen year old Luyolo Mxothwa rides Act Of Supremeacy for Strydom in the 1400m Rugby 5 MR 90 Handicap on the Arlington eight-race programme, which finds itself in a rare midweek slot.
His 4kg claim will make all the difference when the chips are down and the whips are cracking late in the race.
The young Mxothwa has made a cracking start to his riding career and already stands out as one of those SA Jockey Academy graduates who is going to make the grade in a tough profession that doesn’t suffer fools.
And unlike so many claimers, Mxothwa has proven his ability to ride winners from off the pace, as opposed to the norm of the hightailing catch-me-if-you-can brigade.
He is currently in joint sixth position on the national apprentice log with thirteen winners and boasts one of the leading strike rates. He lists July winner Pomodoro and Astro News as the best horses he has ridden, and says that the best thing about being a jockey is that he ‘loves the speed and money.’
Hopefully Mxothwa will turn that talk into serious action for punters!
Uniquely a son of Badger’s Drift with plenty of speed and toe, Act Of Supremeacy is a solid consistent winner of 4 of his 33 starts, and was something of a boom juvenile of his year after winning his first two starts on the trot.
He was only beaten two lengths in the Listed Racing Association Stakes as a 2yo by subsequent 2012 Gr3 Matchem Stakes winner Changing-oftheguard .
Carrying only 56kgs, Act Of Supremeacy looks to have the measure of this lot on the handicap and showed his wellbeing with a thrilling late dash win at his last start over 1200m under apprentice Justine King.
He beat the former Cape gelding Slick Jet going away by 0,75 lengths in receipt of a half kilo there.
With the obvious pace in the race in the form of On Golden Pond and D’Angelo, Act Of Supremeacy will be given ample opportunity to settle and then run at the leaders late in the race.
The biggest danger to the Strydom runner could be Grant Paddock’s Doowaley gelding, D ‘Angelo.
The 5yo was originally trained by Duncan Howells in Ashburton KZN, before relocating as a maiden to Dean Kannemeyer in Cape Town where he won two races from thirteen starts.
D’Angelo has taken to the Eastern Cape like the proverbial fish to water, with two wins from his three starts. It is rather puzzling that Muzi Yeni, who partnered him in all of those outings, rides Prizefighter here and is replaced by Karis Teetan.
The latter rode four winners at Arlington last Monday.
D’Angelo should be ideally suited to this trip after showing great fight and courage when going from gun to tape in an MR 90 Handicap over a mile at Fairview last time, when holding Run Rorkus Run to a short head.
The 7yo Checklist is another fellow whose career has been revitalised by the change of scenery on the coast.
A winner of 3 races from 39 starts, the son of Caesour has run two consecutive seconds over 1200m and 1400m and now steps up 200m. He has won previously over the mile trip.
Checklist was carded to run last Friday at Arlington.
London’s Legend appears held by Checklist on their last run. The Justin Snaith-trained gelding is well drawn on the paint here, but appears to have gone off the boil somewhat since a purple patch of good form.
Gavin Smith’s trio of Prizefighter, Ketha and On Golden Pond will warrant inclusion by the more ambitious Pick 6 players.
Ketha comes in on only 50kgs, but while showing up at his last three starts, has lacked genuine fight when it counts.
The former Glen Kotzen-trained Prizefighter has only won twice, but put in some good efforts to a few fair sorts in his time with Frikkie Greyling in KwaZulu-Natal. He is well drawn here and looks a likely place candidate at best.
On Golden Pond returns from a 110 day rest, but is another who was carded to run at Arlington last Friday. A smart five-time winner, On Golden Pond is a powerful front-runner who is something of a course and distance specialist and could surprise if coming out fresh.
The remaining two runners, Western Star and Blue Horizon Bay, have little recent form to recommend them and either would be a surprise winner.
On a difficult looking card, exotic punters may want to consider utilising Act Of Supremeacy as a banker, and going wider in the other more complex legs.
Much will depend on whether his young rider keeps a cool head in a race where the troop are likely to be stretched by frontrunners.
The dangers are the consistent D’Angelo and the old warrior Checklist, who are both fighting fit and in good form.