Bling’s Orchestral Manoeuvres At The Vaal

Bling versus Striker - jockey title race hots up

S'Manga Khumalo

S’manga Khumalo – heads the log again

In a relatively low-key MR 92 Handicap on a quiet Tuesday at the Vaal, current SA champion jockey S’manga Khumalo piloted the Jay Peg gelding Orchestrated to a smooth win and in so doing, took a one win lead over his arch-rival Piere Strydom in the national jockey title race.

There irony in the almost unnoticed significant victory as Strydom looked to have the race in the bag at the 250m marker, after the eventual runner-up Leeuloop Jet appeared to have pinched a race-winning lead at the top of the straight.

In a memorable moment of modern day turf history, Khumalo became the first black champion jockey of South last term when he rode 185 winners to beat next best Richard Fourie on 143.

Piere Strydom - top class win strike-rate

Piere Strydom – top class win strike-rate

This season Strydom has dominated and led for most of the way – and he also achieved his own milestone when he rode his 5000th career winner on Act Of War at Kenilworth in November.

Strydom’s win strike rate of 24% far outstrips that of Khumalo on 16%. Only Anthony Delpech (22%) comes close to Strydom.

Muzi Yeni is in third place on 105 winners, with Gavin Lerena on 104.

Cape-based Greg Cheyne’s double at Fairview brought him into fifth place on 101, with the Fairview meeting incomplete.


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