• The week’s significant milestones
5 Justin Snaith
South Africa: Former champion trainer Justin Snaith won his fifth Durban July at Greyville on Saturday [July 25] when he saddled Belgarian to win the 124th edition of South Africa’s number one race under jockey Richard Fourie.
Cape-based Snaith’s previous winners were Dancer’s Daughter (2008 dead-heat), Legislate (2014) and Do It Again (2018, 2019), a gallant third as he attempted a hat-trick in Saturday’s race.
Snaith, who had five runners in the race, is now only two off the late Syd Laird’s record seven Durban July winners. Fourie has won twice before.
Belgarion held off Got The Greenlight by three-quarters of a length, with gallant hat-trick seeker Do It Again just a head back in third.
235 William Pike
Australia: Perth-based champion jockey William Pike established a new Australian record when he partnered his 235th winner of the season via a double at Belmont.
‘The Wizard’ was breaking his own national record of 233 set in 2018-19. Pike wins the premiership for the fifth time (every year since 2015-16); he also tops the Western Australian lists for a 12th consecutive season.
Both Pike’s winners, Truly Great and Inspirational Girl, came for the powerful training partnership of Grant and Alana Williams in the bright pink and white crossbelt colours of owner Bob Peters. The 34-year-old’s highest-profile winner of 2019-20 came on Regal Power in the All-Star Mile at Caulfield in Melbourne.
9 Craig Williams
Australia: After clinching his ninth Victorian metropolitan jockeys’ premiership, Craig Williams is now only two away from the record of 11 set by Bill Duncan and Roy Higgins.
A double at Caulfield on Saturday [July 25] took Williams to 70 city winners in Melbourne in 2019-20, among them the Melbourne Cup with Vow And Declare. It was enough for the 42-year-old to claim his fifth title in a row by ten winners over runner-up Damien Oliver, who has won ten premierships.
The training partnership of David Hayes, his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig won the Melbourne trainers’ premiership with 68 wins. Hayes senior now returns to Hong Kong, where he was twice leading trainer during his previous stint that ended in 2005.
2,000 Juan Gutierrez
USA: Longserving Emerald Downs stalwart Juan Gutierrez recorded the 2,000th win of his career on Friday [July 24] when Semi Sweet took the opener under a rail-skimming ride at the Washington state venue near Seattle.
A 50-year-old native of Jalisco, Mexico, Gutierrez has 1,388 wins at Emerald Downs and is only 31 wins away from equaling Gallyn Mitchell’s all-time track record of 1,419 wins.
1,000 Jevian Toledo
USA: Jevian Toledo, twice Maryland’s leading rider, reached 1,000 career victories with a double at Laurel Park on Friday [July 24]. The Puerto Rican has won five meet titles at Laurel, most recently in the summer of 2018.
Having landed the third race on Dontletsweetfoolya, 26-year-old Toledo reached 1,000 on M.J.’s Lady for trainer Kelly Rubley in the ninth.