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The first Global Team Horse Racing (GTH) meeting
gets underway at Greyville on Friday evening and the organisers are aiming to stimulate and grow racing interest from a new, young generation in this new series, which stretches to September.
GTH offers a fast-paced, team-based racing format in which races will be staged in 15-20 minute breaks with entertainment in between. The races will be broadcast live across multiple media platforms to attract a younger, more diverse, and hopefully a globally connected fan base.
The riding skills of the KwaZulu-Natal Royals, captained by Muzi Yeni and Gavin Lerena’s Gauteng Gajimaz will be on view tonight and with the respective rides drawn for the sake of fairness, tactics and race riding acumen comes into the picture.
Yeni and Lerena have drawn a few good rides themselves and will be focused on leading by example. Lerena’s best mounts are Rose Velvet (Race 1) and Bequest (Race 4), while Love Of Gold (Race 6) has a fair chance of upsetting Feeling Groovy, one of Yeni’s best bets on paper. The diminutive Yeni will also fancy himself on Dandolo (Race 3) to put winning points on the board for the Royals.
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Diego De Gouveia, representing the Gajimaz, has drawn the best rides of all. He holds clear winning chances on Like It Hot (Race 1), Music Of Life (Race 3) and Acacia’s Blossom (Race 5), likely to hand him an early lead in the individual points race.
Betway Ambassador Mike de Kock participates with two runners and he’s given chances to both. He said about Angelsea (Race 6): “She’s a filly we expected to win a long time ago and whilst coming off a long rest she has another chance tonight as she has a weight advantage over the younger runners. But she has proven to be hard to follow.”
Mike’s other runner is Fire Lord, who has reeled off a second and a quick win following a rest of his own and Mike assessed: “Fire Lord won his Maiden in good fashion recently and we’re looking for more improvement, he does look like a horse who will win again. It’s never easy to follow up first time after a Maiden, but he has claims. He is not a banker, but a definite exotic inclusion.”
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Mike also provided comments on his two runners entered for the Scottsville meeting on Sunday. He saddles Winter Pearl in Race 3 over 1400m and Humdinger in the Listed Off To Stud Stakes (Race 7, 1600m).
He said: “Winter Pearl is really fit now after two runs following his rest. I think, certainly on pedigree, that this 1400m will be good for him. We’ll be fitting him with blinkers since he has been running in behind horses lately. He has a wide draw to overcome, but we are expecting a good run.
“Humdinger came back to win as she liked, after she was rested. Her time off did her the world of good, she filled out and she was confident in winning. She has a wide draw to contend with, but she is versatile in that she can go handy or be dropped in behind them. She’s in a good space, we’re hoping she can run another good race.”
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