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Disappointed Striker Returns Home

Six times SA champion's Mauritius sojourn ends

While he is disappointed to be leaving Mauritius after his contract was terminated by mutual agreement, multiple SA champion jockey Piere Strydom says that he is looking forward to returning home to his family.

Piere Strydom

Piere Strydom (pic: hamishNIVENPhotography)

Strydom took up a contract with the powerful Rameshwar Gujadhur yard in May and rode ten winners and twelve seconds from 51 rides.

At an inquiry this week, he was found guilty of failing to ride Man From Seattle to the satisfaction of the Stewards in the second race on 20 June.

He was suspended for 6 days (or six weeks equivalent in SA) and fined Rs 50,000 – the latter sum is the equivalent of approximately ZAR20 700.

The veteran jockey told the Sporting Post on Tuesday that he was taking a philosophical approach to matters and would probably fly home next week.

Strydom rewrote the record books when he became the first South African jockey to ride 5000 winners, that milestone achieved in the Selangor Cup on Act Of War on 22 November 2014 at Kenilworth.

He has six SA championship titles to his credit.

One of our greatest jockeys of all time, Striker  told the Sporting Post in an interview some years ago that he would probably consider retiring by the time he turns 55  on 7 June 2021.

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44 comments on “Disappointed Striker Returns Home

  1. Beach Boy says:

    Article slightly incorrect – he did not leave by mutual consent but was fired. In the enquiry, the assistant trainer had a go at him and criticised his ride. He was going to be suspended for 10 weeks but the stewards reduced to 6 because he otherwise has a clean record in Mauritius. The authorities will never allow him back after some of his rides here…

    1. Editor says:

      Are you a steward of the MTC, Beach Boy?

  2. Magic Mike says:

    Beach Boy’s mouth is obviously far more active than his brain.

  3. Cecil Pienaar says:

    What brain ?

  4. George Ellis says:

    From what I saw it looked like Striker was taken out on the turn

  5. Ted Hughes says:

    One of our greatest jockeys ever. Brilliant rider.

  6. Wayne Fouche says:

    Striker is a great rider. No jockey in SA can judge the pace like him.

  7. Charles says:

    Rameshwar Gujadhur stable did sack Strydom as they were not happy about his riding on certain horses.
    This is from various sites on the 3rd August
    So let us not hammer Beach Boy.

    1. Editor says:

      Plse post the site links here for good order, Charles

  8. Joe Jackson says:

    Beach Boy is spot-on.

  9. Skies says:

    Article which is French:

    At the conclusion of the Stewards inquiries, for the 20th race day held this morning, the jockey Piere Strydom was suspended for 6 days and fined Rs 50,000.

    He was found guilty of failing to ride Man From Seattle to the satisfaction of the Racing Stewards in Race 2.


  10. Skies Tam says:


    A l’issue des enquêtes des Commissaires de courses, par rapport à la 20e journée, tenues ce matin, le jockey Piere Strydom a été suspendu pour 6 journées et condamné à une amende de Rs 50,000.

    Il a été trouvé coupable de n’avoir pas piloté le coursier Man From Seattle à la satisfaction des Commissaires de courses dans la 2e course.

  11. Beach Boy says:

    Whoa! Just made a factual correction and everyone jumping on me. Get a grip. He was fired. Whether it was justified or not is not what I said, I just said that it was not a parting by mutual consent as the article wrong says. The stewards’ enquiries has been been reported on by all reporters in Mauritius in various Facebook groups. Stewards’ enquiries are open to journalists in Mauritius, so news gets out quickly with detailed reports on all enquiries. That’s how I know. And everyone else knows in Mauritius.

    And, for my two cents, if you want to have a go at me: my,opinion is that he should have been fired since long. Whatever Strydom achieved in SA (and he has a great record), he has been poor in Mauritius. And ‘poor’ is a gentle word. He was riding for by far the best stable and there were far far too many questionable rides. Don’t forget that he was taken off their best horse in a classic and the ride was given to Nunes, who duly won.

  12. Beach Boy says:

    This is an article in French on the enquiry. It mentions he’d have taken 10 weeks if he didn’t have a Clean record.

    This is the article posted shortly after the race day saying he is out and mentioning that there were 2 rides that the stable were unhappy with. It is for one of these rides that he was suspended.

    It’s disappointing that some posters talk about brains, etc when they don’t know what they are talking about. Was he sacked? YES, it’s a fact. A well-known fact. And don’t be surprised if there is a police enquiry and he doesn’t come back to SA anytime soon.

  13. Beach Boy says:

    Thank,you Charles. Seems that, just because some people are fans of the jockey, they can’t accept the truth. I wasn’t exactly insulting him, just correcting something factually incorrect.

    Editor: your sarcasm in asking me whether I am a steward is disappointing. But I like your site and have posted the links in a separate comment.

  14. Beach Boy says:

    Final link: the official website of the Mauritius Turf Club, saying that the stable has gone separate ways from him because they were not satisfied with some of his rides. Is there any doubt now that he has been sacked??? http://mauritiusturfclub.com/index.php/en/latest-news/local/16159-l-ecurie-r-gujadhur-se-separe-de-piere-strydom

  15. Mike says:

    The truth is Strydom got sacked because of his scandalous ride on Man From Seattle. It seems Strydom had a bullet pointed to his head to fake some kind of incident and aim to finish outside the quartet.
    Anyway, overall Strydom did very well during this short stint, and could have easily be among the top 3 in the jockey championship with a little bit of luck (12 second places, losing many races a few cm from the finishing line!). He turned a lot of hopeless donkeys into winners (Danger Rock, Flower Blue, Sacred Flame, Man From Seattle, Red Indy).
    Thanks to Strydom, Rameshwar Gujadhur stable is leading comfortably the Trainer Championship.
    But he was too expensive.

  16. Tj Steenekamp says:

    Racing has never been corrupt and everyone involved are paragons of virtue..! Yeah right. Wonder how Piere Strydom got his nickname..

  17. White Riv says:

    Local riders are preferred to him in selections here. Even his trainer favoured another top jockey from companion stable to him. Joke of a jock?

  18. Rob McCall-Peat says:

    Surely the island can build a proper race track that can accommodate big horses ..such a sharp turn and short home straight if someone brought over a couple of American quarter horses they would clean up

  19. Christopher Spence says:

    Watched this race. From the break languished at the back. Halfway through the race moved up strongly. Commentator even mentioned how much he had underneath him. Ran straight into the pack “imvho” and had to check his horse severely. Could’ve come wide into the straight as so many other jocks does week in and week out and win from there but chose to stay behind horses. Dropped his hands completely after that. I’ve watched Strydom ride in PE since I was 18 years old at Fairview and Arlington, one of the best around but this was a shocker. Agree with Beach Boy.

  20. Prasheen Harrimohan says:

    Mr tarry I hope you come to your senses and make him ur stable jock

  21. Mike says:

    @BeachBoy – Strydom was not riding for the best stable. Before RG got Strydom, they were struggling behind Allet and Rousset, and only had 6 victories. Enter Strydom, 10 victories, many second places, one harsh disqualification.
    As for White River in the Classic race, it was the owners of another horse who insisted in having Strydom ride their horse. After that race, Strydom won easily on White River. Strydom also won expertly on another horse twice, on which the other top jock you mentioned (Nunes) lost.

  22. Akesh Singh says:

    How on earth does a jockey achieve an almost 50 percent strike rate in the first two positions and still not be good , or be condemned for one ride?????

  23. Mayen Naidoo says:

    Hope Striker is bold enough to reveal what happened. Eish our SA jockeys in Mauritius are become famous with the stewards.

  24. Mike says:

    Let’s see how the stable performs with the local riders. The stable was struggling before Strydom came, and they were third. Enter Striker and they are now leading comfortably.

  25. Mike says:

    Every top SA jockeys have ridden in Mauritius and were big success – Lloyd, A.Marcus, B.Marcus, Whyte, Coetzee, Sutherland, Delpech, Fradd, Marwing.
    Strydom should have ridden in Mauritius in the 90s when he was at his peak. But I heard he refused offers from the top trainers back then.

  26. Oscar says:

    Striker you are one of the best jockeys in the world.Not every jockey gets 5000
    winners.The Mauritian loss is our gain.
    Welcome back and thrill one and all with your great riding skills.

  27. Brian says:

    Wow Beach Joy. You sure kicked up a storm! Point is so what if he got fired. When it comes to Mauritius look back how our jockeys got set up some years back

    Stiker should never have gone in the first place it’s way beneath him.

    Thing is he’s out of favour here and Pierre maybe it’s time to consider another option in horse racing, although I can’t for the life of me I understand why you cant get rides when you bring the donkeys home in feature races

    But that’s irrelevant, because in the life of any sportsman there’s a time when you play for your pension

    By now you’ll know not to listen to the armchair jockeys who cant wait to say, “he was fired”. Those are the guys who lost 10 bucks on the favourite when you brought home the donkey

    I’ve been in my business long enough to have most of my clients as, ” the have beens” believe me.

    Yet, rather like you, we’ve lived and plied our trade in an era that will never come again.

    To many stewards not only in this sport but most where the television has changed things, sometimes for the better, but sometimes not so good.

    For me I think its taken the fun out of it and and in doing so taken the characters out of sport and replaced them with know all critics. You always know a dumbass when you hear, ” bet on the grey, or, the jockeys pull the horses”.

    My very best wishes and I still wish you’d let me know if London News is still the best you’ve ridden

  28. bob kistnasamy says:

    Akesh, the strike rate does not come into the equation when there is one poor ride.
    Striker is a top jock in his own right. He has given us great thrills with his rides and a master at the judgement of pace.
    He has ridden for practically all of the top stables but currently has been finding it tough to secure a single ride from them. Why has he not been retained. Age is not an excuse. Currently, younger jockey are getting rides from the top stables and why is Striker being overlooked?
    Editor, will Striker be serving his suspension in South Africa when he returns and will the period be 6 days or 6 weeks?

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Bob
      We spoke to Striker on Tuesday.
      We noted that the MTC have reported his fine as Rs50 000 & 6 DAYS.
      Striker said that it is effectively 6 WEEKS here, as they count racedays when sanctioning a jockey.
      We have tried on numerous occasions to phone the MTC but their lines are perpetually busy.
      He told us he expects to return to his family in SA next week.

  29. Shanil says:

    Reminds me of when the Indian press reported about Hansie and match fixing. People here was upset and annoyed with the Indian Press. Until they showed the proof.

  30. Akesh Singh says:

    There’s racing everyday in SA so theoretically 6 racemeetings only covers one week in SA…should only be banned for a week then?

  31. bob kistnasamy says:

    Thanks for the update, Ed.

  32. Theuns says:

    Ask Kevin Shea about the Volkswagen that duly escorted jocks to the airport back to SA when not found riding to certain instructions!

  33. Pottie says:

    Gents ,it’s been very entertaining reading all the comments ., thank you .!
    My 2 cents and opinion if I may ., the “island racing “is undoubtedly the most twisted , warped , corrupt racing in the world , run by bookmakers NOT the MTC , week after week the paranoia sets in , jocs will come and go year after year and yes we will be chatting about the very same ” suspect rides “well into our retirement !
    In the years to come they will struggle to get any international jockey to go and ride .,ultimately turning there racing into nothing more than bush racing .! such a toxic environment where know one trusts anyone ? wouldn’t bet on island racing with stolen money ??
    Great place for a holiday though ?

  34. Nico says:

    While Striker might be a legend, there’s a reason he doesn’t get rides locally anymore, he probably wants to do as he pleases on what he rides, big trainers don’t stand for that.. Still a legend though. Happy retirement. P.s the above isn’t a fact, opinion.

  35. TubThumper says:

    LOL Pottie.. that does not bail out any striker or non-striker for that matter to ride such a disgusting race.. One knowledgeable person once said, jockeys would even swim across the ocean to come and ride here.. talk about the sea and the sunshine.. any normal racedays fetches more people you can gather for the july.. food for thought!

  36. Abhishek says:

    In today’s race meeting, no Strydom for Rameshwar Gujadhur and the result was a disaster.
    Big losses on hot favourites Captain Gone Wild (on which Strydom brilliantly rode twice to win) and Seventh Silver (a banker according to so-called experts in the media but poorly ridden to 2nd place). Zero win, 4 races among the last places.
    A few owners in the stable want Striker back!

    1. Editor says:

      A fickle game this some days, Abhishek!

  37. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Hmmh… Hope these weren’t Mauritius Police bankers !

    LoL – Piere, kom net huistoe… £%k die Lot.

  38. Titch says:

    Mauritius an entire nation of Pocket Talkers…every time a punted horse gets beat its because the Jock’s a crook and that is without exception…Strikers record speaks for itself as does the MTC …
    Beach Boy and co are not alone in their miserable attitude the entire Mauritian racing fraternity are like minded….I will continue to advocate for a complete boycott of Mauritian Racing with every rider I know…

  39. Titch says:

    Pottie’s comment is the TRUTH in a nutshell…well said (y)

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