Gr1 Hero Van Niekerk Warned By Stipes

Brilliant or brat? He is certainly effective!

Jockey Grant van Niekerk enjoyed a great feature double at Kenilworth on Saturday but the enigmatically prodigious talent has been ‘strongly advised’ by the Stipes that should he continue to allow his mounts to shift significant ground in future, a charge may be brought against him.

Van Niekerk, currently 15th on the national log with 24 winners this term at a strike rate of 18,46%, seems to have a knack of producing brilliance, punctuated with an ability to court controversy and push the envelope.

Or is it just top-class race-riding from a man who is bound to encounter issues with his aggressive style?

Grant van Niekerk – never a dull moment (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

On Tuesday at Turffontein at the rain-delayed WSB Summer Cup meeting, Van Niekerk rode a cracker to get Sounds Of Warning home to beat Warren Kennedy and Big Burn in the Gr3 Magnolia Handicap. There was an objection after bumping late – Kennedy’s deposit was refunded despite the Stipes ruling in favour of Van Niekerk.

When he won the Gr1 Computaform Sprint at Turffontein on 1 May on Rio Querari, an inquiry was opened to establish why various horses were interfered with between the 300m and 200m. Some folk were really angry at the time, judging by communications received by us.

On Saturday in the Gr1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas, the Stipes reported that Van Niekerk’s winner Chansonette shifted out continually in the straight. He appeared before the Board and was strongly advised that should he continue to allow his mounts to shift significant ground in future, a charge may be brought against him.

In the Cape Summer Stayers, which he won on Crome Yellow, the Stipes reported that at the 300m Anse Lazio (S Mbhele) was momentarily inconvenienced when close to the heels of Crome Yellow which was hanging out and rolled out. Thereafter Crome Yellow continued to shift outwards until the finish.

Van Niekerk serves an interference related suspension starting on Sunday and running until Saturday 11 December.

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