Doubles For Striker and Speed Dial

Sand action on Tuesday at Vaal

Taptap Makhatini wins Riverside

Piere Strydom produces Taptap Makhatini to win the Listed Riverside Handicap (JC Photos)

Piere Strydom may well be ten years older on average than his colleagues and harbouring niggling injuries, but his two winners from just three rides at the Vaal on Tuesday showed again that he has few peers in the saddle.

Having twisted his foot shortly after a horse injured his chest recently, Strydom has made no secret of the fact that he is in a fair rush to get back to best for the feature days- while cherry picking his minor rides to avoid repeat damage.

He rode a cracker on the earlier Trippi winner Trip Tease, who stayed on powerfully in the third race to register his tenth win in fifteen starts for Louis Goosen. The 4yo lumbered joint topweight of 61,5kgs and ran an excellent Computaform Sprint prep.

Veteran Across The Ice was in a galloping mood and stayed on to run into second.

Gavin Lerena -  shared riding honours

Gavin Lerena – shared riding honours

Gavin Lerena (commentator Ali Cohen calls him ‘Speed Dial’) is the form jockey of the moment and he shared riding honours with Strydom on the day. He piloted Ride Of Honour for Roy Magner and Save The Day for Paul Peter in the last.

The Vaal double feature billing was a R150 000 apiece Listed contest for both sexes over the Emerald Cup trip of 1450m.

First up was the Riverside Handicap, where Strydom lurked down the rail in the shadows on the Sean Tarry-trained Albert Hall gelding Taptap Makhatini, who started at an easy to back 7-1, following a six month rest after his unplaced Emerald run.

His stablemate Samogan was sent off a weak 7-2 favourite with Mike Azzie’s 6yo Brooks-Club a 4-1 second choice.

When the Cape raider Half Moon Hotel loomed up ominously at the 300m as All The Bids faded, an upset looked on the cards. But Strydom was wide awake as he drove Taptap Makhatini through to withstand a late challenge from the 16-1 Form Up, with Samogan staying on tamely into third. The winning margin was a half length in a time of 88,92 secs.

Bred by Klawervlei Stud, the winner is by Albert Hall out of the Al Mufti mare, Burning Gold. He was purchased for R250 000 on the now defunct Vintage Sale of his year. He has now won 6 races with 9 places from 29 starts for stakes of R473 025.

Royal Trip wins L Nkosazana Stakes

MJ Byleveld brings Royal Trip from the clouds to win the Listed Nkosazana Stakes (JC Photos)

MJ Byleveld produced the 16-1 upset in the fillies feature. the Listed Nkosazana Stakes, when Stan Ferreira-trained Royal Trip flew from last to win the race going away and collect her first stakes win in the process.

In a PA knockout, she was chased home by the unfancied Lady Casey, with Bang Sue staying on well for third.

Bred by Messrs Dickerson and Fraser, the 3yo Royal Trip is a daughter of Trippi out of the once winning Fort Wood mare Royal Aspen.

She has won 3 races with 1 place from 8 starts for stakes of R201 250.

Royal Trip was changing legs last time when finishing way downfield.

Her progress in the straight to make up ground today was aptly described by race-caller Alistair Cohen as ‘not the way horses are supposed to win on the Vaal Sand!’


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