SA Horseracing recently took time out to find out more about Keratile Katjedi who is a second year Apprentice at the SA Jockey Academy. He has made substantial progress and will soon get his license to race ride.

Do you have any family connections to racing? If yes please elaborate.
My late dad, LJ Katjedi, was a jockey.

How did you get involved in becoming an apprentice?
I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps.

How long have you had aspirations to become a jockey?
Becoming a jockey has always been my dream.

Is there any special traits especially or requirements one needs for the profession?
You must be able to maintain your weight.

How do you keep fit physically and mentally?
By doing gym and riding work. Socialising keeps me happy and relaxed.

Who, if anyone, has inspired you in racing?
Jockeys LJ Katjedi, Luke Ferraris, S’Manga Khumalo and trainer Gary Rich.

Who is your favourite jockey and why?
LJ Katjedi and S’Mango Khumalo. They both had similar personalities and they are both strong and intelligent riders.

What are the qualities or attributes that an apprentice needs to have in order to be successful in this game?
To be respectful. Also to remain calm, cool and collected and listen to instructions.

What race do you aspire to win, both locally and nationally?
Dubai World Cup and the Vodacom Durban July

Where is your favourite racetrack?
Turffontein and Greyville Racecourses.

What would you like to see changed in racing?
For stakes to be increased which will make more opportunities for Trainers, Jockeys and Apprentices. Also to have spectators allowed at the course again.

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 I need to work hard and not be sensitive.

Where do you see yourself in the future in this racing industry?
I would like to at least be the SA Champion Jockey.

What do you think is your greatest strength as a rider?
Being able to get full control of a horse when it is in a full galloping speed, and being able to judge my own horses pace.

If you could ride any horse from any time past or present who would it be and why?
WINX because she is the greatest horse which I have heard of in my riding career and she has won a lot of Group 1 races.

Why is the SAJA the best place to train to become a jockey?
They have the best equipment and best staff members who can help us to become a better person and professional jockey. It has produced the best jockeys in the world.

What advice would give someone keen in getting involved in becoming an apprentice?
To be dedicated and understand it is very hard work.

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