Sorry he's moving
It was a bittersweet day in Nelson Mandela Bay as we were treated to some good racing, but also bid farewell to a few familiar faces in our jockey ranks after today's meeting.
Apprentice Kyle Strydom is making the move to the UK, where he has a fantastic opportunity awaiting him at Newmarket and we wish him all the best!
Wayne Agrella and Eldin Webber, local jockeys, are also spreading their wings and they are both headed to Ireland where we know they will do us proud!
Eldin got to celebrate with a leaving present in the way of UNCLE GEORGE. Eldin has put a lot of work in behind the scenes with the notorious gelding and he reaped the rewards today. Named after the late George Uren and racing in his colours, which owner Oom Faan Mynhardt organised, the win was a special one. Well done to trainer Sharon Kotzen.
Sharon enjoyed two winners on the day as the recently acquired MEDLERS TART did a fantastic job in winning the Oaks Plate having her post maiden run, steered home by Keanen Steyn.
The feature of the day was the Listed East Cape Fillies Nursery. LUNA HALO was to follow up on her great Cape run and justify her favouritism under Richard Fourie. The smart filly gave her sire Fire Away his first listed winner and she did her best work late to win. Well done to her host of owners and to her breeders Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein, as well as her conditioner, Alan Greeff. Richard and Alan had previously teamed up in the day to win with BACK FOR MORE, who beat the boys to win on only the second time of asking.
Alan also found the winners box with ESTHER. She won the Workriders maiden plate with Asitandile "Freshlegs" Gwadiso who rode her to the letter of the instructions! Asitandile is a valued member of Halo Stables and has a reputation of having a calming effect on the quirkier horses.
PRINCE VIHAAN kept the momentum going for the new yard of Lunga Gila, who has enjoyed a great start to his training career and with Matthew Thackeray aboard, the Captain of All gelding punched well above his weight to beat a smart Pinnacle field.
Matthew rode a double on the day, scoring his next win on KAVIAN'S CARA for the Tara Laing yard. The yard were confident of a big run and that's exactly what they got!
Closing the day, BRENDAN JAMES went back to back for Kelly Mitchley, once again Sandile Khathi doing duty.
Well done to all the winners!