Bird, Plane? No, It’s Grant The Stood Down Jock

Is Van Niekerk riding, or isn't he - and why were we told he isn't if he is?

Grant van Niekerk

Grant Van Niekerk

Racing is the brain game. Punters make their decisions on gut, perception and all the available known factors. We can’t do anything about the rub of the green items like bad starts, luck in running and errant equipment. But when we are told officially that a top jockey is stood down, does anybody in authority understand the implications for us?

This morning the Kenilworth declarations on stated:

Not riding : G van Niekerk ( Injured on 16/01/2015 PE, 48 hr rule applies ) – Ernie Rodriguez.

Van Niekerk had seven carded rides at Kenilworth today.

Only Corne Orffer was declared to replace him in the first on Paul Reeves’ Zilnox. That ran last.

The rest of his ‘replacements ‘ were left blank. That despite 21 other jockeys engaged at the meeting.

So we were in the dark and on the back foot from the jump, weren’t we?

Van Niekerk is a top jockey who has first call on the Mike Bass stable rides.He rode his first Gr1 winner just last Saturday in the Paddock Stakes. That is fresh in our minds.

He is currently in second position on the Cape Champion Jockey log behind Bernard Fayd’herbe.

Considering that exotic bets are all about structure, about boxing clever and cost – and that beyond actual form and favoured yards, jockeys are just about the most important consideration, then punters were done a dirty with a disinformation fail.

Can somebody kindly explain beyond Tellytrack presenter Lyle Cooper’s casual- ‘oh, by the way Grant Van Niekerk is now riding again..’


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