Jockey Grant van Niekerk off to a winning start
Capetonian Grant van Niekerk, riding in Hong Kong for the first time, was quickly off the mark at Sha-Tin Racecourse on Sunday.
Van Niekerk rode to victory on the eight-year-old Triumphant Jewel and scored another success in race 10 on World Record for SA-born trainer Tony Millard.
It is well known that many owners, trainers and the betting public in Hong Kong are superstitious and look for the "luck" factor in a new jockey. This is exactly the start Van Niekerk would have wanted because it will secure him choice mounts in weeks to come.
"I was hoping for a good start and I’m just very pleased," Van Niekerk said.
"The wins definitely gave me confidence — it feels like this big weight off my shoulders. I can relax a little bit because sometimes we jockeys put a lot of pressure on ourselves."
In other news, Equinity’s La Calavera racing extravaganza will be staged at Turffontein Racecourse during the night meeting of October 27.
The show, in its third year, will move to the grass enclosure in front of the grandstand and the organisers promise that it will be bolder, featuring a combination of art, space-age technology and horse racing in a "crazy" frequency.
Former champion trainer Mike de Kock has a few aces running at the Vaal meeting on Tuesday and is expected to be at the country track to saddle Hakeen and Shufoog (race 2), Pietro Mascagni and Viking Trail (race 5), who are all set to earn prize money.
De Kock said on Monday that he was not expecting much from his first-time runners Itqaan (race 1) and Zabarjad (race 4). "They will need the experience first time out," said the trainer.