Punters fancy Coetzee's chances

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 September, 2008, 12:00am

Astute punters saw the value offered about champion South African horseman Felix Coetzee on first markets last night and quickly made him the best-backed contender for today's Jockey Challenge.

Coetzee may be lighter on numbers, having just six rides compared to Douglas Whyte's full book of 10 or Brett Prebble's nine, but he may get the points in the opening race, and he will certainly come home strongly with some solid rides for reigning premier trainer John Size.

Coetzee has been booked by trainer Tony Cruz to partner Stareilly in the opening event. The gelding ran well first-up behind Lucky Quality in a high-rating race, and natural improvement in a more conventional Class Four should make him hard to beat.

Size's My Home Town looks a great chance of taking the day's feature, while Coetzee will also handle King Prawn Supreme (race nine) and Real Special (race 10).

His other live chance for the day is Dumbarton Rock for Caspar Fownes in the eighth event.

When first Challenge markets went up yesterday afternoon, Coetzee was listed a HK$25.00 chance, with Whyte dominating at HK$2. After the money had spoken, Whyte had eased slightly to HK$2.20, Prebble had firmed from HK$5.50 into HK$4.50 and Coetzee's liberal quote had been trimmed right down to HK$15.