A post on social media this morning got it just about right at Greyville yesterday. A Roy Moodley benefit, it read. KZNs leading owner was in the winners enclosure five times and to make it more exciting, three of them look to have a bright future.
Moodleys winners were shared between Alyson Wright and Duncan Howells with champion jockey elect Anthony Delpech aboard four of and Keagan de Melo plucking one plum. Three of Moodleys winners were saddled by Howells who has pinched what is beginning to look like an unassailable lead in the KZN trainers championship. He was four clear of reigning champion Dennis Drier going into the meeting and is now seven clear with four meetings to go before the end of the current season.
Moodleys run started in the third where the talented but often temperamental Roys Hollyhock was extricated from a seemingly precarious position at the top of the straight by Delpech. She blew the start but I knew that if I gave her a clear run in the straight she would win. Even that did not go quite according to plan as Delpech had to extricate himself from behind a tiring runner. But once clear, Roys Hollyhock motored home to win as she liked.
A race later it was the turn of Roys Zara, a second for the Howells, Delpech combination. The daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown made light of her wide draw and put three lengths over her rivals at the wire. It was not the strongest field but the lightly raced Roys Zara won well enough to suggest that over a bit of ground she can be really useful.
The Wright-trained Roy Is Second made light of her name to go one better in the sixth. A home-bred by Horse Chestnut, this was her second win from 15 starts and she finished well to catch long-time leader Dundrum, who for once was relatively well behaved at the gate.
Roys Regis has taken to the poly and made it two from two on the surface with a commanding win in the seventh. Always handy under De Melo, the Australian-bred son of Choisir led early in the straight and was never in trouble.
The last hurrah was left to Delpech and Wright. Veteran Roy Royale stormed home in the last to catch long-time leader The Lion Guard on the line to end a memorable day for Moodley.
The day was marred by three horses coming down in the fourth but thankfully all three riders and their mounts appear to have escaped with minor injuries.
Honeymoon Cove, who was over racing, clipped the heels of Roys Zara approaching the 600m mark and falling with apprentice Khanya Sakayi. Fonteyn then made contact with the fallen Honeymoon Cove and lost her footing dislodging MJ Byleveld. Warren Kennedy aboard Liberty Market was unable to avoid the pile-up and also came down.
The horses escaped unscathed but all three jockeys we taken to hospital for precautionary check-ups but appeared to be only shaken
Chairman of the stipendiary board, Shaun Parker, said that no-one was to blame and it was an unfortunate racing incident. – Gold Circle