Clairwood Hosts Internationals

Two top SA riders at final racemeeting

JP van der Merwe

JP van der Merwe was the first South African in 2011 to participate in this challenge

The sixth renewal of the Asian Young Guns Challenge, an event for top apprentice riders from Asia and Oceania, will be held at the final meeting at Clairwood Racecourse on Saturday 2 August.

Clairwood Racecourse will close its gates after a proud 93 year history that day and besides word that champion mare Beach Beauty may appear to say a final goodbye to her legion of fans, the planned events should provide for a fitting send off on what will be a sad occasion.

The Asian Young Guns Challenge was initiated by the Victoria Racing Club of Australia and is held every other year at Flemington Racecourse. In alternative years, the show moves on to other venues in Asia or Oceania.

The Asian Young Guns Challenge as a concept, was conceived in January 2009 by then VRC Chairman, Mr. Rod Fitzroy.

It was designed to provide a platform for a racing and competition opportunity at Flemington, for leading apprentices from Asia and Victoria, with a form of overseas reciprocity for Victorian apprentices attached to it.

The concept was based on a desire to provide a cultural exchange between racing’s leaders of tomorrow, which would strengthen the friendly relationship that Australian racing enjoys with its Asian neighbours.

Craig Zackey

Craig Zackey

After being endorsed by the VRC Board in February 2009, the concept was favourably received by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Singapore Turf Club and Japan Racing Association, while in Australia it enjoyed the support of both Racing Victoria Ltd and the Victorian Jockeys Association.

The 2009 Challenge was conducted at a VRC race meeting at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday 8 August, across the first three races on the program.

In 2010 the Singapore Turf Club conducted a three race apprentices Challenge at Kranji on Sunday 18 July. Two riders from Victoria took part, alongside apprentices from Singapore, Japan, Macau, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

In 2011 then apprentice JP van der Merwe became the first South African to participate and his performances opened the door for South Africa to host the event.

This year, promising apprentices Craig Zackey and Franklin Maleking have been selected and will represent South Africa in the first week of the new season in three weeks time, with the rest of the world being made up as follows:

Australia: Jye MC Neil

Hong Kong:Yin Cheuk Lui

Singapore: Noh Senari

New Zealand:Rory Hutchings

Malaysia:Tham Kin Chong

Macau:Chon Fong Wong

Japan:Ryu Abe

South Korea:Chan Ho Lee

Mauritius:Guru Dev Aucharuz

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