South Africa Racing – Return of the prodigal Striker

Jockey Piere Strydom (Credits to 4Racing Facebook)
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Clive Robinson

Six-time South African Champion Jockey Piere Strydom recently made the move to the Western Cape and in seeking the milestone of 5500 winners returns to his roots on Friday and his followers are likely to be there to cheer home the winners.

Striker, as he is affectionally known by the punting public, has picked up some decent rides on the card and his mount in Race 7, The Memorial Mile (Listed), Nexus, could be the right one.

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This now seven-year-old Dynasty gelding wore blinkers in his latest start and it clearly made a difference as he was always travelling well and scored for Strydom at Greyville.

Drawn in pole position for this race he can follow up.

It does look a competitive race though, and he will need to work for his victory.

My Bestie had a number of the rivals in this race behind him when a well-backed winner over 1400m at this course in May and the step-up to 1600m will not trouble him in the least.

Eastern Cape stalwart Marmara Sea has reminded us that he is not finished yet with some decent recent performances but is not well drawn.

Both Safari Blue and Grazinginthegrass are improving and deserve some respect.

Strydom also has a decent ride in the other feature race of the day, the East Cape Paddock Stakes (Listed) over 1600m, in the form of filly Rain In Newmarket.

This filly ran behind rival Santa Therese when they met last season but Rain In Newmarket has improved since then and should be well suited to the course and distance.

The S’manga Khumalo – Alan Greeff combination started the week in fine form with four winners on Monday and mare Santa Therese has already won three times over this course and distance so should be right there at the finish once again.

There was a time when six-year-old maidens were not allowed to race and Strydom will be aboard Absolu Noir in Race 4.

This gelding has threatened to win a race all year and it will be an emotional moment were the “blonde bomber” get this home.