Current South African Champion Jockey Anthony Delpech has confirmed his engagement on 2017 Gr1 SA Derby winner, Al Sahem in the Gold Cup on Dubai World Cup night on Saturday, 31 March 2018.
Delpech had a successful relationship with Al Sahem during his South African campaign, partnering him in 4 starts including his runaway win in the 2017 Gr1 SA Derby.
Bred and raced by Al Adiyaat SA, Al Sahem is a son of Silvano out of the three-time winning Al Mufti mare, Alderry. Trained by Sean Tarry during his South African campaign, he left our shores with 3 wins and 4 places from his 7 career starts and earnings of R 3,172,500.
He has had three starts in Dubai, making his international debut in the Gr2 Al Rashidiya over 1800m on turf on 1 February 2018. He subsequently finished 5 lengths behind Folkswood in the 2000m Gr3 Dubai Millennium Stakes on turf and 6 3/4 lengths off Hawkbill in the 2410m Gr2 Dubai City Of Gold on 10 March.
Chatting from the airport lounge en route to Johannesburg on Tuesday, 20 March 2018, Anthony confirmed that he’s looking forward to riding on World Cup night. “The atmosphere is very good. You’re racing against the best horses and riders around and as a jockey, you always look forward to those events. Even if you’re on a horse with no chance, just being there and riding with all those guys makes it something special.”
Having partnered Al Sahem regularly in South Africa, Anthony is looking forward to renewing their association. “I’ve ridden on the track and know it pretty well. The only thing is that you’ve got to be careful not to get caught on the fence because there’s no false rail.”
“I don’t know much about the rest of the field yet, but if you’ve got a ticket, you’ve got a chance. He was a top horse out here and I’m excited to get back onto him. His last run looked quite promising and he’s shown that he’s finding his feet there now, so I’m excited and looking forward to riding him in the Gold Cup.”
It is also special to be riding for Mike de Kock, who Anthony has enjoyed a long and successful association with. “I’ve ridden for Mike for 9 years now and we’ve got a great relationship. I’m so grateful to Mike for the opportunity – there are so many others he could have given it to. Let’s hope I can give a little back.”