Aldo Domeyer suspended
Aldo Domeyer, riding on the crest of a wave, has hit rough water and is sitting out a ten-day suspension for his part in the fall of Greg Cheyne at Kenilworth nine days ago.
The stipes ruled that he “failed to take sufficient corrective measures and was a source of interference” when riding the winner Victorious Jay.
It is not easy keeping half a tonne of horseflesh straight at nearly 60kph, particularly when it is beginning to tire, your weigh only 55kg and you are perched on little more than a postage stamp but Domeyer is taking the ban on the chin.
He said: “I didn’t have much control of my horse, he is very strong and he tends to do that (hang) but neither I nor MJ Byleveld on Milton (in the lead) was aware that Greg was where he was. However I understand where the stipes are coming from – somebody gets hurt so they have to act – and I am taking the suspension immediately.”
He signed off with an Andre Nel double on Saturday on Straat-Kind and Skip A Beat and then won the finale on River Cam, the first winner in his new role as number one to Candice Bass-Robinson.
“It’s nice to be promoted from making tea to being stable jock,” he commented drily – a reference to his early days as a teenage wannabee doing anything at the Bass yard just to be involved.
Cheyne, who missed three of Alan Greeff’s five Fairview winners on Friday, also sat out Saturday explaining: “I never made the improvement I was hoping for during the week.”
Indeed jockeys were in as short supply as water in the Steenbras dam. Craig du Plooy was too badly bruised in a fall on the sand track that morning to meet his commitments and Grant Behr, who had a nasty fall on Friday, was forced to call it a day after only one ride.
The day began with a shock victory of almost Trump proportions when Kasimir, supposedly unbeatable at 1-5, could never get in a meaningful blow behind 16-1 shot Al Mariachi on whom Corne Orffer led from pillar to post.
Brett Crawford, just back from Australia where he bought four yearlings for Ridgemont and one on spec, said: “I fancied him the first time but he was as green as grass. I wasn’t sure we could beat the favourite here but he is a horse with a bit of a future.”
Robert Khathi, who leaves for Mauritius on Wednesday, also sprang a surprise bringing 28-1 shot Chisanyama in the Mayfair colours fast and late to snatch the Soccer 6 Handicap. On her most recent start, in December, the Joey Ramsden filly finished 11th of 12 and rider Ossie Noach reported that she took no interest but the fact that she wore a tongue tie on Saturday could be the key. The stipes advised that she should also wear one in future races.
Former English trainer Gavin Hunter, who bought Quickfire as a yearling, was talking in terms of the Winter Series after the gelding came good at the second time of asking in the 1 200m maiden and Glen Kotzen, sending out his 50th winner of the season, confirmed this view.
Richard Fourie, who rode the horse, was seen at his skilful best on Gyre who has seen more seconds than a professional boxer. Ten times, including all his last five races, the Adam Marcus gelding has managed to find one too good for him but Fourie got him up on the line, saying: “Everything has to go his way and even here I thought I had hit the front a bit too soon because he began to put the brakes on.”
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Cape Town trainer Joey Ramsden has been making KwaZulu-Natal plans for some of his stable stars for the 2017 South African Champions Season and Cape Fillies Guineas winner Just Sensual looks set to drop in trip.
Lily Theresa is a big price at 5-1 for the opening R80,000, Maiden Juvenile Fillies (1000m) at Kenilworth on Wednesday considering the way Joey Ramsden has been dominating the Cape Town two-year-old races.