UPCOMING RACEDAY MATCHEM STAKES DAY, Saturday 28 September

Ride Of The Month: Oswald Noach

Ride Of The Month (May): Oswald Noach

Jockeys often bear the brunt of criticism and it’s often said that the best jockey is the one sitting in the grandstand. However, my first winner was back in 1999 and in a career of 20-odd years I experienced all the highs and lows and appreciate what it takes in the saddle.

There were a number of candidates for ride of the month who impressed me during the month of May.

I thought Ashton Arries winning an Open Maiden on 5th May on Princess Of Bayeux was a contender. As was JP van der Merwe’s win on Gimmelightning on the same day. Others I considered were Aldo Domeyer aboard Prince Of Tibet, Louis Mxothwa on Aladdin’s Lamp and Robert Khati on Green Mandarin – all on 11th May.

In fact, that day saw some good riding right across the card. And my ride of the month comes from that meeting.

My vote goes to Ossie Noach, who won the seventh race, a Cape C Stakes event for Fillies & Mares over 1400m, on Little Miss Pink for trainer Vaughan Marshall.

They were drawn in gate No7 in the field of 13 and she was carrying joint top-weight of 60kg. The early part of the race was a bit of a scramble, but Ossie waited patiently on her, racing three wide, although in the second half of the field. When Beneath The Moon brought them into the straight, the field made a beeline for the outside rail, and Little Miss Pink only had four runners behind her. She’s quite a tricky filly to ride and needs to be held up. Beneath The Moon was still three lengths clear going past the 400m pole and Little Miss Pink didn’t have a clear run at that stage, with a wall of runners in front of her.

But, Ossie waited and eventually the gap opened for him. Initially he was looking to make his run towards the outside but then made the split-decision call to go inside. He never pulled the stick on her and she found the gaps to come through strongly. Beneath The Moon still had the advantage with 100m left, but Little Miss Pink was mowing them all down and struck the front under the hands to win going away. The winning margin was actually 1.25 lengths. Tactically, I thought he rode a brilliant race.

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Vaughan Marshall

Vaughan Marshall saw it coming from a long way out. What he envisaged then, the racing community is seeing now.

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