SA apprentice jockey Mathew Thackeray is currently in France, preparing to take on a field of up and coming riding talent handpicked from around the world.
The Longines Future Racing Stars 2015 is a European championship for apprentices and young jockeys and will be run as the second race of the 9-race Prix de Diane Longines (French Oaks) card at Chantilly on Sunday, 14 June.
There have been a number of scratchings and the final field of participants includes Pierre Bazire from France, Tommaso Scardino from Germany, Lauralea Glaser from the USA, Burak Averbak from Turkey, Donagh William O’Connor from Ireland, Beau Mertens from Australia, Yuya Mizuguchi from Japan and Mathew Thackeray who will represent South Africa.
The draw ceremony was held on Friday, 12 June and Mathew was assigned Didier Miquel’s Irish-bred Zabrov from the Alex Fracas yard. Zabrov which has had 20 starts for 4 wins, 4 seconds and 2 thirds, although he does seem to prefer a little more ground than tomorrow’s 1800m. They were allocated a draw of 4 and are currently fourth in the betting at 16/1. Mathew and riding master Gary Waterston have had an opportunity to walk the course and plan their riding strategy for the race.
As part of his trip, Mathew will be visiting Criquette Head-Maarek’s stable for track and stable work and will also have an opportunity to explore a little of Paris.
They will leave for the races at 10am on Sunday morning and will face the starter at 14:30 local time.