TURFFONTEIN FRIDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2010
AND KENILWORTH SUNDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2010
South Africa’s best jockeys will go head to head with some of the top riders in the world in Leg 1 of The Citizen International Jockeys Challenge at Turffontein Racecourse in Joburg this Friday night. The six riders in each team will clash in four Challenge races - Races 3, 4 7 and 8 - and will accumulate points according to the finishing positions of their mounts. To equalise the chances of the two teams, the runners in all Challenge races were seeded beforehand by a panel of racing experts and there was then a draw for mounts. The overseas team drew for horses seeded 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 in the first of the Challenge races and for seeds 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 in the second and so on. The second leg of the competition takes place at Kenilworth on Sunday and the winning team and leading individual rider will be decided by the total points scored across the two legs.
Christophe SoumillonBelgium-born CHRISTOPHE SOUMILLON (29), champion jockey in France in 2003, formed part of the international team in South Africa in the 2008 International Jockeys Challenge in which he booted in two seconds for his team. On the same day he won the Dingaans on Oracy and finished second on Smart Banker in the Summer Cup. Comes to South Africa fresh off a win on Buena Vista in the Group 1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) in Tokyo, one of seven G1 wins this year. In 2010 he has won G1 races in Japan, Canada, England, France, Dubai (he won the UAE Derby for trainer Mike de Kock on Musir) and Hong Kong. He also won a G1 hurdles race in France.
Kieran FallonKIEREN FALLON (45), six-time champion jockey in the UK, has won nearly every top feature race in his native Ireland and Great Britain, including the Investec Derby three times, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas four times each and the King George VI. He has been associated with some of the top racehorses of recent times, including Dylan Thomas who won the Champion Stakes before taking the Arc de Triomphe in 2007. Having spent 18 months suspended after testing positive for a banned substance, he returned to race-riding in September last year and has won three G1 races since. They included riding Gitano Hernando to victory in the Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita in October last year.
Martin GarciaBest known for his association with Preakness Stakes and Haskell Invitational winner Lookin At Lucky this year, MARTIN GARCIA (26) is one of the most promising young riders in Southern California. After arriving in the USA from Mexico in 2003, he was spotted working in a deli near Pleasanton Racetrack by a patron who asked him if he had considered becoming a jockey. His first win came aboard Wild Daydreamer at the Bay Meadows Fair in August 2005 and early the following year he beat brilliant Russell Baze for leading jockey honours at Golden Gate Fields before they tied for the title at Bay Meadows. Garcia won the Preakness this year in only his second ride in the USA Triple Crown.
Halis KaratasHALIS KARATAS, nicknamed “The Wizard”, has been champion jockey in his native Turkey since 2002. He has won over 3,000 races during his 25-year career including three Gazi Derbys (Turkey’s premier race) and six Prime Ministry Cups. His international riding experience includes the 2009 International Jockeys Challenge when he boosted his team’s points tally with a third. He was also second to Mick Kinane in the internationals versus young riders’ event. Was one of the European riders at the Shergar Cup in 2008 and won the 2005 Cape Verdi in Dubai aboard Ribella. He has ridden 241 winners on both thoroughbred and Arabian horses in Turkey this year for a 30% strike rate and has accumulated nine G1 victories.
Umberto RispoliItalian UMBERTO RISPOLI (22), who rode in his first race on 5 February 2005, notched his first win after just 14 days and four years later smashed Gianfranco Dettori’s long-standing record of 229 winners in a season, winning 245 races to take the champion jockeys’ title in his home country. His record-breaking mount was Sugarland at Pisa on 21 November. He worked in Britain for Marco Botti in 2007-08, has a victory in Germany to his credit and has ridden in Mauritius. He scored his first win at the highest level last month, when winning the Premio Lydia Tesio in Rome aboard Aoife Alainn. Born in Naples, he has more than 900 victories to his name and his career highlights include a five-timer at Livorno in 2009.
Hayley TurnerOnly the fourth woman jockey to graduate from the apprentice ranks in Britain, HAYLEY TURNER (27) tasted success for the first time when booting in Generate at Pontefract. Lady Deauville gave Turner her first Group winner in the 2008 Lando-Trophy in Germany. Champion apprentice in 2005, she was voted Channel 4’s Racing Personality for 2008, riding 100 winners, but was badly injured in a riding accident in March 2009. Her successes this year include a win on Barshiba in the G2 Lancashire Oaks. It has been said: “She is a brilliant jockey, as strong in a finish and as tactically astute as any man. She has the added advantage of not having the usual weight struggle that most male jockeys have. At five foot two inches and 48kg she has no such concerns.”
Anton MarcusSouth Africa’s ruling champion jockey ANTON MARCUS (40) captained the Proteas to victory in last year’s International Jockeys’ Challenge. He accomplished an immensely high 30% strike rate in taking last season’s Jockeys’ Championship. It was his second title following a win in 2000-01. Big-name horses he has partnered this year include Warm White Night (Cape Flying Championship), Bravura (Investec Cape Derby), Mother Russia (Empress Club Stakes and TBA Paddock Stakes) and Smart Banker (Horse Chestnut Stakes). Marcus has ridden with distinction in Dubai, Hong Kong, Mauritius and Singapore and led the Rest of the World team at the 2010 Shergar Cup at Ascot.
Anthony DelpechWith three big-race wins on Vodacom Durban July day this year, including partnering Bold Silvano to victory over stablemate Irish Flame in the big race, Seychelles-born ANTHONY DELPECH (31) is a name few will forget in a hurry. Last Saturday he won the Charity Mile aboard Alderry. He finished third behind Anton Marcus and Felix Coetzee on the national jockeys’ log last season, when his 133 winners included Gluwein (Majorca Stakes) and Here To Win (SA Fillies Classic and Garden Province Stakes). He has ridden with great success in Mauritius, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai and this will be the third time running he has ridden in the International Jockeys Challenge.
Andrew Fortune2008-09 South African champion jockey ANDREW FORTUNE makes his International Jockeys Challenge debut - he was team manager last year. Out of the saddle for much of last season, he moved to the Highveld in August to ride for trainers Gary Alexander and Alec Laird, vowing to regain his title. He is currently in good form, having ridden 47 winners so far to be second on the national jockeys’ log. Those successes have been achieved at every racing centre in the country barring Port Elizabeth. A heavy-weight jockey, he has still won several graded races, including the Peninsular Handicap (Ivory Trail), Diadem Stakes (Blue Tiger), Odessa Stud (Mother Russia) and Tibouchina Stakes (Ethereal Lady).
Gavin LerenaGAVIN LERENA (24), who set a record for the number of wins during an apprenticeship (283), has ridden successfully in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mauritius. He won the Bronze Saddle at last year’s International Jockeys Challenge after coming into the team at the last minute to replace Kevin Shea. He won two of the Challenge races and finished third in another. He comes into the team as a substitute again this year. Lerena has ridden 545 winners in his career, including the SA Classic and SA Derby on Kings Gambit, and other graded stakes wins include this year’s SA Oaks (Arcola) and Gauteng Fillies Guineas (Fisani). He showed last year that he is not overawed by a big occasion.
Piere StrydomFive-time SA champion jockeys, PIERE STRYDOM (44) has also ridden with success in Hong Kong, Australia, Dubai and the UK. Having won more than 4,000 races in his career - and being one of only a few jockeys in the world to have booted in six winners at a meeting - his 113 winners this year include champion sprinter JJ The Jet Plane (Mercury Sprint and Golden Horse Casino Sprint) and Big City Life (Gold Challenge). Strydom has been a member of the Proteas at the last two Jockeys Challenges and finished a neck second to Christophe Soumillon on Oracy in the Dingaans two years ago. He quipped recently: “I’m not scared of any overseas jocks - the only one I’m scared of in a race is Anton Marcus.”
Muzi YeniWell-liked Durban-born jockey MUZI YENI (24), who won his first race (Storm King) in November 2003 and came within two winners of his century last season (his best yet), scored the biggest win of his career on Sweetie Pie in the 2010 Gold Circle Oaks at Clairwood in July. He will be partnering Sweetie Pie again in the Victory Moon Stakes, to be run at Turffontein on the same night as the International Jockeys Challenge. He is a favourite of champion trainer Mike de Kock, who is quoted as saying: “Muzi has a good work ethic and is in the team on merit.” He was chosen to ride in an international jockeys’ invitational in Korea and rode a winner there earlier this year, his only international experience.
Extract from Tab Online