Leading South African owner Markus Jooste is slowly spreading his wings internationally with horses racing in Australia, Europe, England and Ireland.
Last Friday, 54 horses were entered for the Gr1 Investec Oaks, the premier English fillies’ Classic and highlight of Ladies’ Day at Epsom Downs on Friday, June 2, day one of the Investec Derby Festival, with Jooste having connections with four of the Oaks hopefuls.
He has three in conjunction with the world’s leading ownership partnership according to the TGR rankings, Magnier, Tabor and Smith and one in his own right.
Key To My Heart, Longing and Pocketfullofdreams are owned in partnership with Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith and trained in Ireland by Aiden O’Brien.
The Sky Is Blazing races in the familiar Jooste silks and is trained in England by William Haggas.
Ireland’s champion trainer O’Brien has won the latest two renewals of the Oaks, with Minding (2016) and Qualify (2015), and been successful six times in all. He has the most entries (12) of any handler in 2017.