where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2018-01-30 12:11:52  
Tarentaal Enjoying Dubai

South African Jockey Academy 4th Year Apprentice Jockey, Liam Tarentaal, is enjoying every minute of his time riding for Trainer Ali Rayhi in Dubai. Especially winning the Harley-Davidson Northern Emirates Handicap at Meydan Racecourse aboard MURRYFIELD, trained by Rashed Bouresly, which Liam described as an incredible experience and will always remember the roar of the crowd from a packed Meydan Racecourse.

Liam has been riding and racing in Dubai for 3 months and is full of praise for his trainer Ali Rayhi, whom he describes as a very good man that has taught and helped him a lot since he arrived in Dubai. Liam explained that it took a while to adjust to racing in Dubai, as they do things quite differently to racing in South Africa, both in terms of work riding and racing! Liam rides four lots of work in the mornings and enjoys the extra time you spend on each horse, having to tack it up at the stables, trot it up to the track, ride it and then bring it back to stables. Liam says, as a rider, this gives you a feel for each horse as you spend at least 45 minutes with each horse in the morning.
In terms of racing, Liam explained that the biggest difference is that in Dubai you race mainly on dirt tracks, which you don’t do in South Africa. Liam says “the pace on these dirt tracks is very fast, but you get used to it and after a few races you make the necessary adjustments.” Liam has also had to get to grips with riding both Arabians and Thoroughbreds in races, and described riding Arabians as a great learning experience because they are different from thoroughbreds and you have to make slight changes to your riding style and tactics.
Liam also described the racing in Dubai as being ultra-competitive saying “you’re competing against some of the best jockeys in the world, both for rides and in races!” However, Liam has been fortunate to get support from a number of trainers and has had 33 rides so far this season with 11 places and the 1 victory. Liam is also looking forward to his upcoming rides this weekend at Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Meydan Racecourses, where he feels his 7 rides have good chances. The Dubai World Cup is Liam’s ultimate goal, saying “I’m trying really hard to get a ride for World Cup Night as it will be the biggest racemeeting of my life!”
When asked about his biggest challenge racing in Dubai for the season, Liam quickly admits that he is missing home very much, especially the support from his family saying “Christmas and New Year’s was very tough and I missed being at home with my family and friends”. However, he is very positive saying that he has made lots of friends in the racing community in Dubai and also cannot wait for his first race back at Greyville Racecourse where all his family and friends will be cheering him along!


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