It is amazing how life changes when you start doing well. I’ve had a couple of winners but it has a lot to do about getting the right ride at the right time.
Multiple Champion jockey Piere Strydom, who has won the Vodacom Durban July twice in the past six years, writes on Tabnews that often he will phone for the ride he thinks is the best in a race and gets turned down.
He continues . . .
I then call for my second choice, then third and fourth and get rejected on all of them.
I go down to my fifth selection, and get the ride. To my dismay, I find my horse priced up favourite.
Now the trainer expects the horse to win because he tops the bookmakers’ boards and he in turn has to tell his owner the horse can win. So after the race when we haven’t won, nobody is happy and the first person who gets the blame is the jockey.
So the next time when the horse runs against weaker opposition, because of all the disappointment I don’t get the ride back.
If you keep taking rides at the wrong time you basically shoot yourself in the foot. As a jockey you have to earn a living and you hope that overall you’ll come out on top. Otherwise I would be watching from the grandstand and might as well turn up the game.
At the moment there are a number of top jockeys injured so I am able to get some of their rides.
I am still getting support at times from the smaller yards but the big change is that the Azzie yard is using me on a more regular basis, Paul Peter is putting me on more of his better horses and now, as Randall Simons has moved to the Mike de Kock yard, I’m getting more rides from Alec Laird.
So hopefully now my form will continue.
When I broke my collarbone two years ago I came back strongly to win the July and hopefully it is a good omen for this year.
The runners and draws for this year’s race have been revealed.
It’s a rare occurrence for me to cry when I end up with No 2 draw but because Abashiri is not a good starter and as it is a big field, there is chance it can get so bunched up that I’m definitely not going to be able to place him where I would like him to be.
I galloped Abashiri last week and even though he is not the fastest of horses, it was a pleasing gallop but what is good is that he is in a very happy mental state.
We will be going through the final field this week but my early fancies are African Night Sky and White River and both have attracted betting support.