Picture: 123RF/CHRIS VAN LENNEP
Picture: 123RF/CHRIS VAN LENNEP

Racing fans throughout the country were shocked to learn  that talented and popular jockey Nooresh Juglall has been killed after an accident at Champ De Mer racecourse in Mauritius.

At Saturday's first meeting of the new season on the holiday island, two horses — one ridden by 29-year-old Juglall — fell at the entrance to the straight, throwing the two jockeys to the ground.

Juglall was rushed unconscious to Mauritius’s City Clinic and put on life support at 7pm. Later, the Mauritius Turf Club issued a statement saying “the terrible news about Nooresh passing away was confirmed to us by Health and Safety Officer Vikram Guptor”.

There have been two other jockey deaths in 2021. In India in January, 24-year-old apprentice Jitendra Singh was trampled to death after horses fell in a race at Hyderabad racecourse. In the UK in April, 37-year-old amateur rider Lorna Brooke died after a fall in a steeplechase at Taunton racecourse.

Juglall was admired by many racing followers in SA after winning the apprentice championship in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013.

A move to Singapore enhanced Juglall’s career and he rode 217 winners there before returning to his birthplace, Mauritius, citing family reasons.

The year 2020 wasn’t memorable for many people, but Juglall was the exception, being crowned Mauritius’s champion jockey in December. He leaves his wife and two children.

Tributes have poured in — even from as far afield as the US. Well-known owner-breeder Barry Irwin posted on the Sporting Post website: “This is such horrible news. He had a great passion for the game. He was a Facebook friend and liked to communicate with me and my wife. Hard to believe he is gone.”

Meanwhile, Warren Kennedy is the latest jockey to receive a ban as the National Horseracing Authority continues its crackdown on interference in races. The champion rider has received a seven-day suspension for an incident at Greyville on May 5.

This follows two other recent bans: Muzi Yeni received a 14-day ban for an incident in the Premier’s Champion Stakes at Turffontein on May 1, while Grant van Niekerk also received a 14-day ban for an incident in the Computaform Sprint on the same day.

In Kennedy’s case, he was accused of causing interference to Miss Putin while riding Belle Siccome in the second race at Greyville on May 5.

Though he is certain to relinquish his jockeys title to Lyle Hewitson at the end of July, it has been another successful campaign for the 38-year-old. He won Saturday’s Syringa Handicap at Turffontein on four-year-old Way Of The World.

Many punters are waiting to see which horse Kennedy will ride in the Vodacom Durban July on July 3. Triple Tiara winner Summer Pudding has been withdrawn from the race.

Despite the recent suspensions, KwaZulu-Natal-based trainer Garth Puller says the penalties aren’t harsh enough and “need to be reviewed urgently”.

In an interview with Winning Form, Puller — far more forthcoming to the media as a trainer than he was as a jockey — says “anywhere else in the world, the incident in the Premier’s Champions Challenge would see the rider gone for three months — maybe longer”.

“And what do the international guys think when they look at the way we are handling these important aspects with a simple rap across the knuckles? The image of our game suffers. It impacts across the board.”

Puller recalled that he got a two-month suspension for his ride when Gatecrasher crossed Distinctly in the 1975 Durban July. He was relegated to third place.

subscribe

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.