Apprentice of the Week: Nathan Klink

SA Horseracing recently took time out with fully-fledged Jockey Nathan Klink who has qualified as a Professional Jockey from the 1st of July 2021.

How did you get involved in becoming an apprentice?
I was informed by a friend that they were doing interviews at Kenilworth racecourse on becoming a jockey. I was the right height and lightweight at the time and still am. I decided to do the tests and interviews with no hesitation.

How many winners have you had to date?
I have ridden 96 winners.

How long have you had aspirations to become a jockey?
I have had no aspirations of becoming a jockey, never in a million years. It's more like something that popped up at the time and I was very keen to go after it.

Is there any special traits or requirements one needs for the profession?
You need to be strong mentally and physically. Also, you have to be very fit for this game. You need to be very strict with your diet and watch what you eat in order to remain the weight you want to ride.

How do you keep fit physically and mentally?
Riding work in the mornings keep you fit but it's nothing compared to race riding. If you want to be mentally fit you always have to stay positive no matter how things are going.

Who, if anyone, has inspired you in racing?
A lot of jockeys have inspired me over the years since I joined the academy and also were very helpful in some cases.

If you could ride any horse from any time past or present who would it be and why?
A filly called Rock Pigeon as she was my first winner in the Highveld.

What is your favourite meal?
Toast with bacon and scrambled eggs

Who is your favourite jockey and why?
Frankie Dettori has always been one of my favourite jockeys. He has won so many big races internationally and his style is unique.

What are the qualities or attributes that an apprentice needs to have in order to be successful in this game?
To be successful in this racing industry you have to be very dedicated and hard-working. Your hard work will eventually be rewarded.

What race do you aspire to win, both locally and nationally?
I would like to win the Summer Cup or Vodacom Durban July.

Where is your favourite racetrack?
Turffontein Standside is my favourite track.

What advice would give a someone keen in getting involved in becoming an apprentice?
My advice to someone who would like to become an apprentice is that it's going to be hard but just work hard.

What are you most proud of outside your riding career?
I am proud that I have family supporting me and who are proud of me.

Where do you see yourself in the future in this racing industry?
For now, I would like to get enough experience in South Africa before travelling overseas one day.

What do you think of the SAJA and the work they do for you?
The academy is a very good institute for apprentices. They teach us to be the best at what we do, and they have produced world class jockeys.


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