DETTORI FLIES BUT TEAM SOUTH AFRICA PREVAIL
Rain conspired to cut short the final meeting of the Air Mauritius International Jockeys’ Challenge but those in attendance at Turffontein Racecourse were treated to the famous Frankie Dettori flying dismount, not once but twice.
And those in attendance didn’t have to wait long either as the captain of the international team delivered with his first ride of the day, aboard the Joe Soma trained Turn Back Time, as his side tried to peg back the deficit.
Heading into the meeting each of the respective captains were rooted to the bottom of the rider’s standings but that changed very quickly in Johannesburg as S’manga Khumalo delivered aboard Duzi Moon in the sixth race.
“The race was easy for me. It’s great for the public and for me that the fight is back on and were catching up,” Dettori said after his win in the opener.
“Shot!” he added, using one of South African racing’s more popular expressions.
The double was completed for Dettori after the seventh as he got Seattle Lady home for an easy victory and in turn sealed up the Victor Ludorum prize, not only for the day, but for the overall competition.
For that particular winning interview, Dettori recalled how a bird had provided some lucky inspiration earlier on that morning.
“I was standing under the tree and a bird pooped on my suit. The boys said it was lucky and it turned out that way,” the legendary Italian said.
But any hopes that Dettori had of his team catching the South African team were dashed in spite of his personal heroics given that the local riders consistently found the placings and ended up taking the honours once again. It is the seventh time the South African side have come out tops in this annual event. The internationals have managed to claim two victories.
His personal haul on the day of 72,5, each jockey was awarded 8.5 points for the abandoned race, was enough to push his persona tally up to 87,5 for the two-legged series and ensured he edged out Gavin Lerena by a slim two point margin.
Muzi Yeni had earned the Victor Ludorum prize in Fairview but he couldn’t sustain the effort at Turffontein with his best finish being a fourth in the sixth race although he did add consistently add to the team cause.
“It’s been brilliant. From the minute we set foot in this country everybody’s been so great and hospitable. We really enjoyed ourselves, we had a great team, good craic,” Dettori said after receiving his respective awards.
The awards ceremony was also used as an opportunity to raise money for Freddie Tylicki, paralysed in a recent fall, with Dettori’s silks from the day autographed by both teams and auctioned off.
Photo credit - Racing. It’s A Rush / JC Photographics for the image.
Article Credit Nick Gordon Racing. It's a Rush: PRESS RELEASE