Thursday, 21 June 2018



Jack Milner: Fabian Habib has had a fair start to his training career. He only sent out his first runner in March this year and it took until May for him to have his first winner. The horse was Sail For Joy and ironically, it was on the same day Chesney van Zyl saddled his first winner in his own name as a trainer.

Habib has had his second winner and his record, for a young trainer, is quite respectable. He has saddled 58 runners for two wins, five seconds, three thirds and two fourths. That means 20.69% of his runners have earned stake money for their owners.

On Thursday Sail For Joy returns to the Vaal to compete in a MR 80 Handicap over 1400m and he need only run the same sort of race to notch up his second successive winner. That race was also a MR 80 handicap but the field was slightly stronger than he will be meeting in this event.

This four-year-old son of Argonaut only received a 1kg penalty for that victory and will carry 61.5kg whereas last time he had 60.5kg on his back. Ryan Munger has had a long association with this gelding and he will be back aboard.

One runner quite capable of winning a race of this nature is Unrehearsed but Mike de Kock’s charge sometimes throws in bad race or two into the mix. That seemed to be the case last time when the four-year-son of New Approach hardly raised a gallop when finishing 6.90 lengths behind Wild Curve in a MR 88 Handicap over 1200m.

That was his second race after a layoff and that may have been the problem but what is worth noting is that both of Unrehearsed’s wins have been over 1400m, including one over this course and distance.

Randall Simons has risen to occasion since taking over the role of De Kock’s first-choice jockey and the combination have been churning out the winners. Jackman seems to be a better performer over 1600m but has placed in four of his five runs over the distance. What makes him an interesting runner is that he is Piere Strydom’s only ride on the day.

Shortstop is another of those runners who enjoys racing over this straight 1400m and has established a record of two wins and four places from eight starts.

He also runs well for apprentice Dennis Schwarz who has not finished further back on him than a 2.80-length fifth – behind Sail For Joy, interestingly. Shortstop is just that 1kg better off so is unlikely to reverse the places but should go closer.


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