Douglas Whyte - Hong Kong Jockeys Championship
(Photo : Life HK)
VODACOM DURBAN JULY
Greyville, Turf, 2200m
2 July 2011
The most sought-after Jockey’s title in the world, is the crown in Hong Kong, which has been in South African hands for eighteen of the last nineteen years. Only one man has ever won it on ten consecutive occasions, and he is Durban-born, Cape Town-trained and Hong Kong-celebrated Dougie Whyte, otherwise known in Far East realms as “The Demon”. This is no single-dimensional horse rider though, he’s a man with a mind, great athletic attributes, the determination that goes with champions, and, in a little known cameo to his career, he was once South Africa’s leading Young Winemaker with his Demonvale range.
Dougie’s also a man who doesn’t deal in trifles, and if he’s coming to South Africa to take a mount in a race, it’s going to be for the Vodacom Durban July, and it’s going to be a serious horse. He’s aboard the Summerhill wonder, Pierre Jourdan, the pride of the Gary Alexander Racing stable and a little owner, Emilio Baisero, who reminds us all that in racing, you don’t have to be the biggest businessman in the world to own the best horse.
Pierre Jourdan has had a perfect preparation, culminating in a gallant second under 60kgs in the Jubilee Handicap (Gr2), and according to Dean Alexander, he’s ready to go, though nobody really knows how far he’ll travel. Spare a thought for young Derreck David, his regular pilot and now on standby, though it seems that issue is taken care of, too. He has great respect for Dougie Whyte, who’s in touch with the stable several times a day, instructing Derreck as to what he wants him to do with “PJ” in work, and sharing insights on the video material he’s watched, not only of PJ’s previous efforts, but of the opposition.
There won’t be a stone unturned, come Saturday afternoon, and all the connections have to worry about now is Dougie’s plane arriving on time. If all else fails, Derreck will be there to fill the breach.
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