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Posted 2023-05-24 08:57:46  
Jockeys Revolving Door more outs than ins

The South African racing climate is unfortunately a space that is for a lack of a better word, uncomfortable.

The Ins and outs of the industry are biased in that there are more outs than ins exasperated by the country itself and it's socio-economic situation.

The jockey ranks in South African have been much of a revolving door. The current champion jockey, Warren Kennedy packed up and left to New Zealand in search of a better life and numerous jockeys found themselves in Hong Kong over the years. The likes of Karis Teetan (Mauritian by birth but trained and rode in SA), Luke Ferraris and Lyle Hewitson are all in Hong Kong currently. That's a bitter sweet deal as well as at anytime their contracts could come to an end due to the high standards and stiff penulty system. Then we have Bernard Fayde'Herbe who recently rode in Mauritius, only to be whacked with a 12 month suspension for not riding a horse out properly.

There were two ins who were outs, one being Calvin Habib who only left in February to Singapore sold his house and relocated his wife, only to be back in Johannesburg this week. He also rode a winner at the Turffontein meeting yesterday, his second ride back. He sighted that there was only one meeting a week rather than two that put pay to his chances of making it in Singapore. The situation in Singapore has, unfortunately, changed for the worse over time as they struggle to recapture the glory days when they were one of Asia's powerhouse jurisdictions.

Then there's Craig Zackey who returned from New Zealand for personal reasons even after riding 20 winners in a few months including 5 feature races. No lack of success there.

We have a few in Australia also, none have returned including Robbie Fradd (retired), Brandon Lerena, Callan Murray and others who left sometime ago, the likes of now successful jockey agent, Jeff Lloyd and the always affable Glyn Schofield. Greg Cheyne packed up to England recently to take up a job with a trainer and his yard. Young champion apprentice Kyle Strydom also moved to England. Then there is Ryan Munger whose ridden two winners in Canada lately but has had limited opportunities since his arrival at Woodbine this month. Some of the riders located in Australia have come back to South Africa to ride races like the Durban July, Fradd most successfully on Dynasty in 2003. Lloyd has always cited that the July was a race he really wanted to win but could not manage during his fruitful multi decade career.

The revolving door, more outs than ins, have brought back a few but it's not looking great as the colony gets more and more depleted.

Image: Craig Zackey spotted on his return at Turffontein in early March

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