When all the figures were added up, the South African team of S’manga Khumalo (captain), Piere Strydom, Anthony Delpech, Richard Fourie, Bernard Fayd’Herbe and Muzi Yeni scored 547 points while the international line-up of Jamie Doyle (captain) and Adam Kirby of the UK, Gregory Benoist of France, Martin Harley of Ireland, Andreas Helfenbein from Germany and Yasin Pilavcilar of Turkey ended up with 288 points.
Anthony Delpech, who was top jockey at the first event at Turffontein on Saturday went on to be named Victor Ludorum for the overall competition. He won three of the eight races and accumulated 135 points. That put him 30 clear of Piere Strydom who was the winner of the second leg at Kenilworth. Bernard Fayd’Herbe finished third on 93 points.
Strydom and Fayd’Herbe were involved in quite a tussle for top honours at Kenilworth on Sunday and it was only in the final race, won by Strydom aboard Roaring Wind from Fayd’Herbe on Alpha Pegasi, which clinched it for the Joburg-based rider.
Strydom was stood down for the final race on Saturday due to dehydration but came back with a vengeance yesterday. His two wins have moved him to within two of reaching his goal of 5,000 career victories.
The Challenge looked as if it might be a close affair after the first race at Turffontein on Saturday, which Helfenbein won aboard rank outsider Luala for trainer Stephen Moffatt, followed home by Kirby on Will I Do. The International team scored 69 points against the 31 of South Africa.
However, the of local team managed to wipe out the deficit when Delpech won the second leg on the Bradley Maroun-trained Antonius Charm while Fourie got the runner up spot with favourite Hawaiian Sun. Amazingly, the Challenge was tied at 100 points apiece at this stage.
Fourie managed to grab the individual lead when he scored on the St John Gray-trained Captain Aldo, before Delpech got it back in the final rubber of the day by winning aboard Mike de Kock’s charge Ataab.
That gave the locals 255 points against the 152 garnered by the International team. It also saw Delpech grab an 18-point advantage over closest rival Fourie in the individual standings, with Kirby in third spot.
“I made Ataab my best ride of the day but the win on Antonius Charm was a bit of a bonus,” said Delpech.
Delpech knew that if he was to win the overall title he had to make use of his ride in the first leg in Cape Town, where he was aboard Indaba for the Dean Kannemeyer yard. The horse had won two of his last three races and looked to be quite promising.
Off a good pace, Delpech had him well placed in third on the rail and once in the straight he improved quickly and won going away by 2.50 lengths from Speedy Chestnut (Kirby) and Silvane Spring (Fayd’Herbe).
Strydom picked up his first win of the competition when Independence ran on well to catch Royal Folly (Fayd’Herbe) and Valerio (Doyle) close home. That race put the outcome beyond the reach of the Internationals.
Extracts from Tab News/JC Photos (p)