When it comes to careers in racing, the chance of a decent retirement nest egg is considerably better if you are a jockey rather than a scribe.

Even a middle-of-the-road jockey is likely to earn more per annum than — for example — the editor of racing’s own newspaper The Sporting Post.

This thought sprang to mind following a media release from the Hong Kong Jockey Club that it would be hosting the richest-ever International Jockeys Challenge at Happy Valley racecourse on December 5.

It is a four-race challenge and the jockey who amasses the most points will receive R900,000, the second R360,000 and the third R180,000. Not too shabby for an evening’s work.

“It’s probably the strongest jockeys competition out of all those around the world,” was the comment by Hong Kong champion jockey Zac Purton.

There is no invitation for SA champion Lyle Hewitson, but Mauritius-born Karis Teetan, who served his apprenticeship in this country, could make the final line-up as there are two places available for the riders in first and second places in this season’s Hong Kong championship.

The deadline is Wednesday and Teetan is in second.

Trainer Sean Tarry, sure to be thrilled with Legal Eagle’s win over a sprint distance last Thursday, will expect his three-year-old Against The Grain to open his account in Tuesday’s fourth at the Vaal.

The son of Curved Ball will be sharper for his recent seasonal comeback run and could prove too smart for Paused and My King. Lyle Hewitson will be in the saddle once again.

Mike de Kock, who will be hoping his G-Bets Summer Cup entries draw favourable positions at the barrier draw at a Sandton hotel on Wednesday, has a useful prospect in Dagmar, certain to be sent off favourite in the first leg of the jackpot.

Owned by China Horse Club International, Dagmar returns from a four-month break but will take some beating if anywhere near his peak. His chief danger may be Tamarina, though Alec Laird’s filly has not raced since January.

Gavin Lerena is reunited with Doosra in the sixth race and the son of Captain Al will have plenty of supporters following his good run in the Emperors Palace Charity Mile.

However, this is a competitive event in which Infamous Fox, Kings Archer and Catkin can all be given chances.


2nd Race: (9) Burundi (1) Petite Aime (14) Castle Gate (2) Candela

3rd Race: (14) Russian Prince (16) Vontreo (9) Naizak (10) Ow linthetree

4th Race: (2) Against The Grain (4) Paused (10) My King (7) Lasair

5th Race: (4) Dagmar (5) Tamarina (1) Aurelia Cotta (11) Pink

6th Race: (3) Doosra (2) Infamous Fox (11) Kings Archer (9) Catkin

7th Race: (2) Daffiq (1) Classify (4) Nordic Rebel (10) Visigoth

8th Race: (13) Tricia (8) Che Bella (3) Parental Control (15) Ensemble

9th Race: (12) Seventh Son (2) Certifiable (15) Effortless (3) Western Shamrock