When searching for big-race winners, punters have found it profitable to follow jockey Richard Fourie.
In steering Durban July hopeful Al Muthana to victory in the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge two weeks back, Fourie equalled Jeff Lloyd’s record for the most number of Grade 1 wins in a season with a seventh top-level success this term.
With feature-race action returning to the Western Cape for a nine-race card at Kenilworth on Saturday 25 June, followers of the ‘Fourie factor’ are likely to be smiling all the way to the bank!
Fourie has a full complement of rides at the meeting and should walk away with the “Man-Of-The-Match” award, as he looks certain to steal the show on a card littered with six features – comprising four Listed contests, including the third leg of the fillies’ Winter series, and two Grade 3 events, one of which (Winter Derby) sees Gem King in the line-up, bidding to become another Winter Series ‘Triple Crown’ winner.
Beerenberg should set the trend for the day by getting Fourie off to a winning start in Race 1. The Justin Snaith-trained son of Erupt has improved markedly from his debut run, with consecutive third-place finishes from his last two starts.
He was rested and gelded prior to his last start so should continue to improve, which makes him an attractive betting proposition.
Kingsbarns filly Rain In Newmarket, bred and owned by Drakenstein Stud, runs her best races under Fourie – the pair boast two wins, six seconds and two thirds in 10 starts together, – so should enjoy being reunited with her regular pilot in Race 4, the Listed Ladies Mile.
She lines up in her peak outing as the best-weighted runner in the race and is ideally distance suited, so has lots going for her.
That jockey-trainer-owner triumvirate should be seen to the fore again in Race 6, the Listed River Jetez Stakes (formerly the Winter Oaks).
Fourie retains the ride on Master Of My Fate filly Peut Etre Moi having partnered her to a close-up third in the 1800m Stormsvlei Stakes, Leg 2 of the fillies series. On that occasion, she finished hot on the heels of the winner and stablemate Maria Querol and runner-up Fleeting who both renew rivalry.
Provided they’re as effective over the extra 800m, there should be little between the trio again.
Young Love won the first leg, the 1600m Sweet Chestnut Stakes, but skipped the second. She makes her reappearance after a nine-week break and warrants the utmost respect. Boxed Exactas and Trifectas/Quartets around Peur Etre Moi could pay handsome dividends.
Fourie stepped in to steer Gem King to victory in Leg 2 (Legal Eagle Stakes over 1800m) of the Winter series, after Bernard Fayd’Herbe had ridden the Piet Steyn-trained gelding to win the Variety Club Mile in the first leg.
Steyn saddled the last Winter Series winner Katak (now racing in Singapore) in 2020 so knows what it takes to win these races. He has made no secret that Gem King has all the attributes needed to complete the series cleansweep and it would take a brave man to bet against Fourie and Gem King, who could become just the fourth horse to land the Series after Pocket Power, African Night Sky and Katak.
In Race 9, Fourie has picked up the ride on Love Is A Rose who bounced back from a disappointing second run when tried over 1400m in her third start. Doing so, the daughter of Elusive Fort confirmed the promise of her debut, when a fast-finishing third over 1200m.
The step up to 1600m should bring further improvement from Greg Ennion’s runner who is likely to represent generous eachway value.