• Most notable mover on Thoroughbred Racing Commentary’s Global Rankings
+28 Piere Strydom
South Africa staged no fewer than six G1 events over the weekend, split equally between Turffontein on Saturday and Greyville on Sunday.
Six-time champion jockey Piere ‘Striker’ Strydom stole the show on Turffontein’s Champions Day card in Johannesburg with a four-timer featuring victories at G1, G2 and G3 level – enough for a massive 28pt bump (#97 from #244) on the Thoroughbred Racing Commentary’s exclusive global rankings.
Strydom, 54, has ridden well over 5,000 winners in a career that began 38 years ago and is closing in on a century of winners at G1 level, having added to his tally at that level with the St John Gray-trained Ronnie’s Candy in the Empress Club Stakes. He recently told South Africa’s Sporting Post that he intends to retire at the end of next season in July 2021.
Champion-elect Warren Kennedy (+14pt, #50 from #77) was the jockey in form at Greyville in Durban as he doubled his career G1 tally via Rainbow Bridge’s front-running victory in the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge and Summer Pudding’s late surge in the Woolavington 2000.
Kennedy also landed another race on the card to record a treble, taking him to the 199-winner mark for the interrupted 2019-20 season.
With a total of 11 Graded events over the weekend in South Africa, it comes as little surprise to note several other notable movers from that arena, among them jockey Callan Murray (+14pt, #81 from #104) and trainer Mike de Kock (+7pt, (#15 from #19). They teamed up for a G1 double at Turffontein with Hawwaam and Mount Pleasant.
Summer Pudding’s trainer Paul Peter (+18pt, #108 from #249) also scored a G2 victory with Springs Of Carmel at Greyville.
Meanwhile, while Aidan O’Brien was busy burnishing his formidable Irish Derby record with a 1-2-3-4 in Ireland’s senior Classic, his son Joseph continued his irresistible ascent with three Group-race victories at the Curragh.
Following a treble in lesser grade on Friday’s card, O’Brien junior (+10pt, #24 from #38) had a G3 double on Saturday with Buckhurst (Alleged Stakes) and Twilight Payment (Vintage Crop Stakes) before striking again with Speak In Colours in the G2 Greenlands Stakes on Sunday.
Saturday’s winners both carried the colours of leading Australian owner Lloyd Williams (+7pt, #15 from #21), for whom O’Brien trained Rekindling to win the Melbourne Cup in 2017.
Wayne Lordan (+8pt, #61 from #79) rode both horses and had six winners altogether over the three-day Curragh meeting.
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