Hat-Trick For De Melo

Red Chesnut Road flops

At the age of 24 and riding freelance, Keagan De Melo looks set to be finally realising his potential as a jockey with the ability to go on to greater things.

Keagan De Melo has Head Honcho in control to beat Warfarer (Tristan Godden) in the Scottsville Sunday feature (Pic – Candiese Marnewick/Gold Circle)

The man known as ‘Marshmallow’ was in fine form at Scottsvile on Sunday, booting home a hat-trick of winners, including the feature on Head Honcho for Andre Nel.

Scottsville was the scene of De Melo’s first win when, as a green rookie having just his fourth ride, he piloted Western Gem to victory for Bart Rice. The date was 9 August 2010 and it was the start of a journey that would see the young man clock up close on 500 winners.

With the R125 000 Umthombothi Stakes favourite Red Chesnut Road running a dismal race, De Melo slipped Head Honcho down the inside rail and the son of Querari galloped powerfully all the way to the line to hold off longshot Warfarer by 1,50 lengths in a time of 117,85 secs.

Keagan De Melo – nicely judged win

The win was a happy change of luck for the Andre Nel yard, who have had a tough time at their Cape West Coast base with a virus.

The filly Kahula ran on well for third to edge the one-paced Red Chesnut Road out of the Place Acumulator.

De Melo has ridden 73 winners this term and is third on the national log. His earlier two winners on the afternoon were for veteran Pat Lunn.

The La Plaisance Stud bred Head Honcho is a son of Querari (Oasis Dream) out of the three-time winner School Captain (Captain Al).

He has won 4 races with 4 places from 12 starts for stakes of R316 750.

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