Fourie’s 335th record-breaking victory

Richard Fourie scores his 335th win aboard the Justin Snaith-trained DOUBLE GRAND SLAM in the Grade 2 East Coast Radio Tibouchina Stakes at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday. Picture: Candiese Lenferna
Richard Fourie scores his 335th win aboard the Justin Snaith-trained DOUBLE GRAND SLAM in the Grade 2 East Coast Radio Tibouchina Stakes at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday. Picture: Candiese Lenferna

By David Thiselton, Gold Circle Racing

Saturday’s meeting at Hollywoodbets Greyville will go down as one of the Durban City track’s most memorable and those who were there will be able to recount the electrifying atmosphere when Richard Fourie made his way to post for the Gr 2 East Coast Radio Tibouchina Stakes on the 5/10 favourite Double Grand Slam and the spine-tingling moment he passed the post to score his record-breaking 335th win of the season.

There was also a fine performance from the big Mike de Kock-trained Dave The King to easily win the Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge under Muzi Yeni, while the Brett Crawford yard suddenly have a big Hollywoodbets Durban July runner on their hands in Oriental Charm, who has followed the identical route into the big race that their July winner Winchester Mansion followed last year.

What made Double Grand Slam’s victory even more special was Anthony Delpech, whose iconic 334 wins in the 1998/1999 season was thought to be one of the safest records in sport, was the first to congratulate Fourie on his way to the winner’s enclosure.

Also fitting was the Justin Snaith-trained Vercingetorix filly is part-owned, together with Dave MacLean and Suzette Viljoen, by South African sporting icon Gary Player.

Double Grand Slam was the meeting banker and converted a treble for Fourie, who had arrived on course knowing he  had to ride three winners to break the record.

There was no pressure on him though because there is still seven-and-a-half weeks of the season left.

His projected number of wins for the season if keeping up the same riding rate and strike rate is now 392!

The record was said at the beginning of the season to be unobtainable.

However, Fourie has not only ridden superbly, and he seems to get better with each passing week, but he has also avoided suspensions and injury.

For that he thanked his weighing room colleagues for the competitive but clean racing which has generally been prevalent in the country this season.

He does actually have one suspension hanging over his head for going one over the number of allowed whippings in one race, but it must have been appealed.

He won’t want to take it right now, because halfway through the season when the record still looked a long way away he said he had not hit his “purple patches” yet and revealed he was determined to be the first to ever reach 50 wins in one month.

At the close of play on Saturday he had ridden 17 winners in the first 8 days of June, so if keeping that up he might have two new records before the end of the season.

The Varsfontein Stud-bred Double Grand Slam, meanwhile, has improved continuously and looks at present to be formidable over 1400m and one of the best females in the land over a mile.

In the Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge Dave The King started at surprising odds of 10/1, considering his fine runs last year at this course when a 2,60 length third to Charles Dickens in the Gr 2 WSB Guineas followed by a second place finish to See It Again in the Gr 1 Daily News 2000. Furthermore, it was well publicised he had improved with gelding, which was only done halfway through this season.

His enormous stride carried him forward early on and the good pace he enjoys was provided when first Snow Pilot moved around the early leader Cousin Casey and then Itsrainingwilliam moved around Snow Pilot.

Yeni said he could no longer hold Dave The King at the 700m mark.

However, as he strode past Itsrainingwilliam he looked by viewers to still be traveling easily.

The favourite Main Defender had sat just behind the vanguard in the running and had every chance at the top of the straight but found little.

Sandringham Summit, who came from well off the pace, got past him and got locked into a battle with Cousin Casey, staying on from a handy position, and See It Again, who had sat behind Main Defender.

However, they were all vying for second place as the big-striding Dave The King sauntered to a 2,20 length victory.

Cousin Casey was second with See It Again a quarter-of-a-length further back, a neck ahead of Sandringham Summit.

Gimmeanotherchance finished fifth.

Dave The King is the first Gr 1 winner for Ascot Stud-based sire Global View.

It was a fine day for Gary Player, because he bred Dave The King and owns him in partnership with Larry Nestadt and Ralphs Racing.

Earlier, the Brett Crawford-trained Oriental Charm had proved the handicappers a hundred percent correct in their much criticised reading of the Daily News 2000 in which they awarded the winner Green With Envy a four point raise to 127.

The Cheveley Stud-bred Vercingetorix colt looked the winner throughout so well was he travelling in front after being taken to the lead from draw ten by JP van der Merwe.

He ran out a 1,20 length winner despite being a three-year-old carrying topweight of 60kg.

He will probably be raised two or three points which will take him to 120 or 121, and it would have been wrong had Green With Envy stayed on 123, considering the latter won the Gr 1 Splashout Cape Derby in a canter, beating Oriental Charm by 3,25 lengths.

The Mike de Kock-trained Shoemaker might sneak in to the Hollywoodbets Durban July field after finishing a 1,20 length second and the Mike Miller-trained Listed Kings Cup and Listed WSB Sledgehammer winner Narina Trogon also put up his hand with a 1,60 length third.

Earlier, the Snaith-trained grey gelding Great Plains had impressed when coming from off the pace under Richard Fourie to win the Listed Hollywoodbets Sharks Gatecrasher Stakes over 1400m to give sire Danon Platina his long overdue first black type winner.

Fourie also won the Listed Hollywoodbets Super League Devon Air Stakes over 1400m on the Glen Kotzen-trained filly Whistle The Tune.

Author: iRace