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Newly Crowned SA Champ Joins Avontuur

Rising star joins leading Cape breeders

Avontuur Estate, the home of highly rated sires Var and Oratorio, has announced a sponsorship deal with newly crowned SA champion apprentice jockey Luke Ferraris, who is one of our up-and-coming stars.

Luke Ferraris (photo: JC Photos)

Luke Ferraris (photo: JC Photos)

“He joins long-time Avontuur-sponsored jockey MJ Byleveld and will be sporting the various Avontuur brands on race tracks country-wide from mid-August,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh.

“We’ve been incredibly lucky with our sponsored jockeys over the years. Starting off with MJ, Anthony Delpech and Greg Cheyne a decade ago,  followed by Callan Murray and most recently double SA Champ Lyle Hewitson, we have backed winners all the way.  People always joke that I seem to be able to see into the future as our jockeys have always performed incredibly well, which has obviously had positive spin-offs for our brand too,” Pippa explains.

Luke and his proud parents at the Equus Awards (Pic – Charl Pretorius)

Luke hails from a family with a long and illustrious history in South African racing.  His grandfather Ormond Ferraris was the doyen of the Highveld racing scene until his recent retirement. It was a proud moment when Luke chalked up two winners for his grandfather at the Vaal on Tuesday, 24 April 2018.

His father David, has been based in Hong Kong as a trainer since the 2003/04 season, where he found early success with six-time Gr1 winner Vengeance Of Rain and has been plying his trade there ever since.

Luke, David and Ormond Ferraris (photo: Candiese Marnewick)

Luke, David and Ormond Ferraris (photo: Candiese Marnewick)

On an historic Sunday -10 June 2018 – three generations of the Ferraris family graced the Scottsville winner’s enclosure in their separate capacities on the same day. An iconic moment for this blue-blood racing dynasty.

Looking at Luke’s family background, it seems inevitable that he would end up in the industry.

“I started having riding lessons in Hong Kong when I was three or four. Whenever the instructors gave me a break, I’d try and pull my irons up. When I was 5, we went on holiday to Zimbali and I remember galloping up the beach, not one bit of fear. That’s kind of when I knew it was what I really wanted to do,”he says.

Luke joined the SA Jockey Academy in 2017 and has loved the training, camaraderie and opportunities which have been coming his way ever since then.

Luke gets Miss Florida’s head down in a Gr1 thriller (Pic – Candiese Marnewick)

He rode his career first Gr1 winner on Miss Florida in the Allan Robertson Championship in May this year.

“We have everything in place to launch the sponsorship and look forward to seeing Luke representing Avontuur Estate.  From our side we hope to play a role in building and sustaining his career too,” Pippa concluded.

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16 comments on “Newly Crowned SA Champ Joins Avontuur

  1. Navin says:

    Luke Ferraris sponsored by Avontuur.

    What must young up-and-coming “previously disadvantaged” jockeys do to secure such sponsorship?

    If you review Luke Ferraris’s rides on July day it was clearly evident that he was completely out of his depth on the day.
    Yet trainers continue to give Luke Ferraris good horses to ride rather than to more experienced, better jockeys who could best provide the greatest opportunity for punters and racing. Good horses make it much easier to succeed.

    Before Callum Murray left South Africa he was provided with some of the best opportunities and horses to ride. This continued further with Lyle Hewitson.
    Riding abroad on a level playing field can be extremely challenging and Callum Murray has returned to our South African shores for “better rides”. I believe Lyle Hewitson after his stint abroad will follow suit back to South Africa.

    Aldo Domeyer and Grant Van Niekerk have been absolute “champions” in Hong Kong. But whilst in South Africa they failed to attract the best sponsorship deals or top “horse rides” outside of their Cape Town base.
    Group races globally attract the best jockeys and on occasion trainers are compelled to bring in the best jockeys from outside of their countries. This provides owners and the racing public the spectacle of the best horse racing.
    However, in South Africa Aldo Domeyer and Grant Van Niekerk could never get good rides outside of their base or with their trainers.

    If Avontuur had chosen to give the sponsorship (merit based) to a “previously disadvantaged” jockey it could have been an “injection in the arm” to horse racing and a target that other jockeys could aspire to.

    South African horse racing clearly lacks transformation and in it’s efforts to survive require drastic changes of inclusivity and fairness

  2. Cecil says:

    Congrats Luke 👍 Here is to many more winners. The Gr1 race mentioned at my home track, Wow, I was there to see it.

    Also 👍 to The Sponsors

  3. Warren says:

    Very well put Navin.

  4. B Steele says:

    Ride bloody winners that’s all they have to do.This in not a SOE nothing gets giving to you at someone else expense.Aldo and Grant both rode for the top owners and trainers in C T .Get over it.

  5. Sarvan says:

    Well said Navin, I cant agree more. One of my very good friends has horses passed onto to him at the back end of their careers, he doesn’t moan, he gets on with it and with what ever limited stock he has, he does well with them and he has stats to prove it too. He’s also a GR1 winning trainer, when you look at some of the stock some trainers have and look at what they have done or rather not done, then you question how much more my friend has to do to get proper horses. It’s wrong to support on association, rather support on merit.

  6. Titch says:

    How the hell did this become a racial debate????
    Both Muzi and Smanga have sponsors and have had for years, the reason??? Simple, they earned it….
    Well done to Luke and Pippa may your partnership go from strength to strength…

  7. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey…Friend/Brother and Agent to a WORLD class rider Weichong Marwing (Wings) for many years Luke Ferraris will follow suit there’s no if but or maybes about that…The world is your oyster young Lad…Can’t wait to see you wrapping up Group 1 races around the world…Pity your stay is limited…talent is rare… Triple GGG spot them at a young tender age

  8. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey…Titch you good🤣… BTW are we meeting for a bunny chow or curry later ? I believe the German is fully booked

  9. Wayne Fouche says:

    Why does the race card always have to be played?? Well, here’s a card for those guys. Most of them are simply not good enough capeesh???

  10. Navin says:

    B. Steele it surprises me that you think horse racing is a transformed sport with equal fairness to all. I am sure you would agree that It is easier for jockeys to ride winners with good horses.

    What next? Do you want Markus Jooste back?

  11. Ugie says:

    Editor. I posted a comment. It’s not posted. Any reasons why

    1. Editor says:

      Check our comments policy

  12. B steele says:

    Jooste no ….P W Botha perhaps ……no not him either ,just plain old mr merit

  13. Ugie says:

    Navin. You have said it Like it is and I applude you. I have posted but unfortunately sporting post have decided for whatever reasons to not post it. Please email me at [email protected]

  14. bob kistnasamy says:

    Companies that advertise look for the profile of the individual who is going to market their products and services. Tiger Woods and Lewis Hamilton are two of the many high profile individuals who have tens of millions of followers on social media and rake in huge amounts because of their “marketing strength”. Although he was terribly off form, Tiger has a huge following when on the golf course.
    in other words, a champion is regarded as one who can take your product and services to the next level.
    Luke Ferraris is a talented rider who also has his off days, as do other champions.
    Avontuur look at him as a young rider can give them a lot of exposure going forward.

    There are quite a few of our non-white jockeys who have sponsorships.
    Owners and trainers dictate who will ride their horses and we cannot blame the jockeys for getting plum rides. It’s all about economics. If one looks at the Snaith yard, they give the non-white jocks a chance to hone their skills and ride winners.

    I am also of the view that we should stop using the race card. Where justified bring out the issues but rather use the race card where we will find the winners.

  15. Ugie says:

    Bob please email me at [email protected]. I will have a constructive discussion with you.

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