Fourie – Freelancing And Loving It

Riding at a 19,4% strike rate currently

Jockey Richard Fourie has lifted his game and work-rate dramatically since going freelance late last year.

While the 36 year old had to watch the World Sports Betting Cape Town Met from the sidelines this year, his superb ride on Aragosta in Saturday’s SA Derby was his fifth Gr1 strike of the term.

A graduation from a top Cape-based jockey to an accomplished national feature race winning freelancer. That has been the transition for the Carletonville-born Fourie since leaving the relative comfort zone of the Snaith Racing Team.

Thumbs up from Richard Fourie after Nebraas won the Caradoc Gold Cup (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

He is second on the national log with 131 winners at an impressive strike-rate of 19,4%. While Warren Kennedy leads the table some 67 winners ahead of Fourie, he has taken 500 more rides than the West Coast fisherman to achieve that.

On Saturday Fourie also picked up his first SA Triple Tiara trophy when Rain In Holland sailed home in the SA Oaks.

That was followed by Aragosta’s smashing SA Derby victory and rounded off with an inspired ride on Nebraas to win the stamina sapping WSB R10 000 1st Deposit Match Gr3 Caradoc Gold Cup on Sean Tarry’s Equus Champion Stayer Nebraas, who got the better of a short duel with his lightly weighted stablemate Black Thorn to win the 2850m contest by 0,60 lengths in a time of 186,68 secs.

It was interesting to hear Fourie pay a compliment to his mount.

“I was riding Silver Host last season and we played second fiddle to Nebraas – including in the Gold Cup. I often wondered who is this little horse who keeps beating me and my big horse! Now I’m fortunate enough to be riding him and can see why we battled to get past him,” he laughed.

Bred and raced by Al Adiyaat South Africa, Nebraas is on course for a defence of his Gold Cup title.

Nebraas is by the Gr1 Jebel Hatta winning sire Vercingerix (Silvano) out of the Archipenko mare Noor Dubai.

He has won 5 races with 8 places from 17 starts for stakes of R847 875.

Fourie’s association with yards like Mike de Kock and Sean Tarry is going to add extra interest to the SA Champions Season from next month.

De Kock quipped on Saturday that Fourie is doing everything right.

“You can see – he is thinking all the time,” he observed.

We will eat our hats if he doesn’t get a ride in the Hollywoodbets Durban July!

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