Seventh Heaven for Hatt and Fourie

Durbanville 6 July

Hatt's off! Glen Hatt rode four winners today.

Confidence is a funny old thing when it comes to race-riding and both Glen Hatt and Richard Fourie have had their own career crisis of confidence at times. But together they won seven of the nine races on the card at Durbanville on 6 July and showed that there may be only a short head between glory and gory at the finish, but there is a huge chasm between  class and brass.

Hatt and his boss  Joey Ramsden are a lethal combination at Durbanville and have always got to be taken into consideration whatever they are sending to post. They won three races together today, which included two particularly brilliant rides in nail-biting finishes by the accomplished Hatt. He got the smart, but disappointing Captain Al filly, Capulette up on the line to grab the improved Promises To Keep, while in the very next race, he extracted reserves of strength out of Grey Rose to grab Single Line at the death. The grey daughter of Tiger Ridge overcame a poor draw and looks to be getting better with racing.

Fourie shone at Greyville on Saturday to  lift Grey Cossack over the line in the Gold Vase and he was at his brilliant best in notching up his treble today. This included two for Piet Steyn and a winner for Justin Snaith, who understandably looked a tad down  in the dumps after having his car broken into at Greyville during the July day meeting. Fourie showed  his determination and prowess by riding a double after his great Group win on  Saturday.  We have been criticised for labelling his  Mauritius riding stint a success in these pages recently,  but the young man hardly got the chances on the beautiful island and he has stated publicly that he is even going to travel to Kimberley , if necessary, in his quest for the national jockey title next season. So we wish him every success.

Fourie’s first winner was for Justin Snaith  in the third race. He brought the Manshood filly Harum Scarum through down the inside rail to catch the free-striding Aqualung in the final strides. The well-backed  Light Blue had nothing to come late and she may need more racing. Justin Snaith attributed Harum Scarum’s improvement to the ‘easier’ Durbanville track and said that young horses battled in the soft going at Kenilworth.

Jolly good fellow! Richard Fourie rode a hat-trick,

The young rider was then on target again in the first leg of the jackpot when he got the bookies best friend, Soul Singer,  home after an aggressive ride from the top of the straight.  Piet Steyn’s  Jet Master gelding finally shed his maiden here at his 21st attempt and while some may say that he has come of age, he does not look likely to pick up another win in the Cape. This was a terribly weak field but his connections deserve some reward for perservering with him. Fourie was on the mark again for Steyn when he rode another Jet Master in Terry Lister to win the last. He looked to be sitting with a double handful as he struck the front 250m out but was given a fright by a determined Hatt looking for his fifth of the afternoon, on the long-striding Great Kalli.

Glen Kotzen has been enjoying a fantastic run in both the Cape and KZN  and his very aptly -named debutante Jackie O showed a nice turn of foot and maturity when she won the opening event under Robert Kathi. The Cheveley Stud-bred daughter of Western Winter is not very big but was well backed and was yet another winner in the familiar black and red Crabbia silks which were seen to the fore at Greyville on Saturday.

Good winner. Trainer Paul Reeves gets the best out of his horses.

Two guys who seldom enjoy any media attention are former jockey- turned-  trainer Paul Reeves and heavyweight rider  Brandon Morgenrood, who recently relocated to Cape Town after a stint in Port Elizabeth. They teamed up to blow most of the world out of the first leg of the Pick Six when Rose Of Dubai kept on resolutely to hold  off the R10-70 place bet Emily Moon, with the unfancied Emblem Of Intrigue under apprentice ‘Teenage’ Dladla holding on for third. Rose Of Dubai runs in the silks of Reeve’s wife Charlmain and has not exactly rushed in disposing of her maiden certificate. This was her seventeenth time lucky and one hopes that she finds some confidence in the experience.

It was a nightmare race for punters and one  helluva ride by the powerfully built Morgenrood as he brought the daughter of Whistling Wood around from her poor draw to lead early. The 43 year old  Reeves, who celebrates his birthday a day before our Southern Hemisphere thoroughbreds ,  has a small string at Milnerton and originally trained out of Phillipi.  He was apprenticed to the late Colin Burroughs and was a contemporary of  South Africa’s first jockey of colour,  Fareed Anthony. A bad fall forced him to relinquish his jockey licence and he has held his open trainer licence for three years now. As an accomplished and dedicated horseman, he deserves more support than he gets and really just needs one good horse to put him on the map.

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