Mercury Rising For Freddie

Top Jock Turns To Training: Watch the Scottsville first race on Sunday

Rock Steady. Freddie Macaskill is ready to train winners

Rock Steady. Freddie Macaskill is ready to train winners

Former top jockey Freddie Macaskill sends out his first runner as a trainer, when the Drakenstein Stud owned Trippi filly Almost Heaven runs in the first race at Scottsville on Sunday.

The 58 year old horseman brings 45 years equine experience to the training ranks in KwaZulu Natal after a distinguished 33 year career as a jockey. He followed his retirement from the saddle in 2001, by becoming a consultant to two of the biggest owners in South Africa.

Calling his progression to training ‘a natural next step’, Macaskill said that he had long yearned to have his own string of horses, and acknowledged that he realised that race riding and training were like ‘night and day.’

“When you are riding, you can jump off after the race, express an opinion and go home. Training is a full time job, and I’m really enjoying the challenge,” he said.

Macaskill enrolled at the SA Jockey Academy in 1968 and qualified as a jockey in 1973.

He won most of the major races countrywide, and besides three Gold Cup wins he also won the Cape Derby on Artistry and a likely highlight, a smashing win on Beau Art in the 1980 Durban July.

He romped home from a 17 draw in a ride still lauded as one of the greatest of all time. Beau Art incidentally holds the joint record for July attempts. He was 6th in 1977; ran second in 1978; was 5th in 1979; won the race in 1980 and ran 8th in 1981.

Better Half. Accomplished horsewoman Karen Macaskill

Better Half. Accomplished horsewoman Karen Macaskill

On retirement from the saddle, Macaskill worked as a work rider cum racing advisor to the powerful Sabine Plattner operation. It was during his tenure that the yard won the Computaform Sprint with the brilliant Laisserfaire, the Met with Angus and the Gold Cup with Reveille Boy.

In 2005 he and his wife Karen sold their farm in Summerveld and moved to Silveroaks in Wellington. They tried their hand at breeding, but he concedes that they enjoyed ‘limited success’.

“Breeding is not for the faint of heart. It is tough to break through, but we had lots of fun and enjoyment while we  did it,” he admitted.

He was also appointed a work rider / racing advisor to Gaynor Rupert at Drakenstein Stud, but misfortune struck after a year, when Freddie fell off while riding work.

“It was quite a bad fall, and I landed up having a hip replacement, which put paid to my riding,” he said.

Freddie started considering taking out his trainer’s licence,and after a chat with Gaynor Rupert, made his mind up.

“Mrs Rupert said that she would support me if I started training, and she has been true to her word. It is an absolute honour to train my first runner for one of the most recognised and powerful owners in South African horseracing,” he said.

Freddie and Karen have bought a ‘little farm’ at Camperdown, down the road from Ashburton, where he has started out with seven horses.

“I am very competitive and like to be associated with winners. I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support and show of interest from so many top people. I am happy to train horses for folk who enjoy winning and having fun,” he said.

Want to give your horse a winning chance? Contact Freddie on email: [email protected]

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts