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Posted 2021-05-12 16:14:08  
Apprentice of the week-Thabiso Gumede

SA Horseracing recently took time out to find out more about Thabiso Gumede who is a 5th year apprentice at the South African Jockey Academy.

Thabiso was recently awarded the Gold Cirl Jockey of the Month for April and won his first feature Kings Cup (Listed) on the 28th of March 2021 aboard TRIP TO AFRICA trained by Duncan Howells.
He will be the jockey aboard TRIP TO AFRICA trained by Duncan Howells in the WORLD SPORTS BETTING 1900 (Grade 2) on the 16th of May at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse.

Do you have any family connections to racing? If yes please elaborate.
My uncle, Mlungisi Gumede, worked at the SA Jockey Academy as Security and had an interest in racing.

How did you get involved in becoming an apprentice?
My uncle encouraged me to join.

How long have you had aspirations to become a jockey?
I did not know horses and had never worked with them before joining.

Is there any special traits especially or requirements one needs for the profession?
It helps if you are athletic and confident and you must be respectful to your fellow apprentices, jockeys, trainers, grooms, owners and Sponsors.

How do you keep fit physically and mentally?
• I gym 2 or 3 times a week.
• I like running.
• I rest a lot and I eat correctly.

Who, if anyone, has inspired you in racing?
• My uncle has always encouraged me
• Craig Zackey – I have been his kit boy and he has always assisted me with advice.
• S’manga Khumalo – he is a strong rider and is kind

Who is your favourite jockey and why?
Craig Zackey - He is a cool, calm and collected rider. I look up to him.

What are the qualities or attributes that an apprentice needs to have in order to be successful in this game?
• Respect for everyone in racing.
• Work hard.
• Passion for riding

What race do you aspire to win, both locally and nationally?
• Vodacom Durban July
• Summer Cup
• Kentucky Derby

Where is your favourite racetrack?
Greyville, KZN – it’s a good track for me and where I have had most of my winners

What would you like to see changed in racing?
More people at the race meetings. Everything is better in front of a crowd.

Give us an example of what you have learnt about racing riding (or work riding) specific to your technique or weakness that you have worked on successfully?
I have learnt that we need to look after all the other jockeys riding to keep each other safe during the race

Where do you see yourself in the future in this racing industry?
• I will keep strong and look after my body so I can race as long as possible.
• I would like to be a Riding Master and work with young talent

What do you think of the SAJA and the work they do for you?
• I have learnt everything here. I have had good support.
• I have made good friends with other apprentices from all over the country, for life.

What advice would give someone keen in getting involved in becoming an apprentice?
• Be athletic, confident and work hard
 

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