IT has been a dramatic time in East Cape Racing over the last week or so, with some great and bad news.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way. Jockey Wayne Agrella, one of Port Elizabeth’s favourite racing personalities, had a terrible fall at the Fairview polytrack while working the horses on Monday morning.
It was scary stuff when the horse gave way under Agrella and fell on top of the jockey. Agrella suffered a broken collarbone and two broken ribs, but is recovering well. Everyone knows Wayne is a real fighter and no doubt he will be back in the saddle sooner than later, but will probably be out of action for three months.
This incident was a shock to the Port Elizabeth racing fraternity that was still enjoying a grade 1 victory. On Saturday at Turffontein in Johannesburg the gelding Copper Parade delivered a brilliant victory for everyone in the Eastern Cape.
What made the victory in the Computaform Sprint so special for Port Elizabeth was that the horse was bred in PE, trained by Yvette Bremner at Fairview, has PE owners and was ridden by PE-born jockey Pieré Strydom. What more do you want?
Well, we probably want a local horse winning the East Cape Derby for a change. Lizard’s Desire was the last PE horse to win this big one, way back in 2009. He was then trained by Mitch Wiese. Lizard’s Desire certainly was special and hopefully the PE horses can follow in his footsteps on May 11 at Fairview.
If the launch of the Derby at the Boardwalk was anything to go by, Derby day is going to be the best ever. The field does not look that strong and it could well be the year of another PE victory. It seems like the prawn festival that will be part of Derby day got the town talking and it will be lovely to have a big crowd there next Sunday.
Before we get to the Derby we have eight races at the polytrack today. It should be competitive as always, but there are some possible bankers to help us.
Punters’ Pal tips for Fairview:
PICK 6 R2016
– Punter’s Pal