Goodbye Warren Kennedy – Now Zackey Follows

A ten-time Gr1 winning rider goes

Following the departure of reigning SA Champion jockey Warren Kennedy earlier this week, it has been reported that former SA Champion apprentice, a talented fully-fledged jockey, Craig Zackey will follow suit to New Zealand next month.

Racing News New Zealand reports that in response to the shortage of senior jockeys in New Zealand, Byerley Park founder and Director Daniel Nakhle has engaged the services and expertise of current South African Champion Jockey Warren Kennedy and former South African Champion Apprentice Craig Zackey.

Craig Zackey will take his chances in New Zealand (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

At just 27, Zackey has already notched up an impressive 10 Gr1 winners, nine Gr2 winners and 11 Gr3 winners and finished eighth on the South African Jockey Championship.

He will be accompanied by fiancée Sasha and daughter Sierra (2).

Nakhle believes that the loss of some of New Zealand’s senior riders is being felt throughout the industry.

“New Zealand racing will benefit greatly from the quality and calibre of two Champion South African riders,” Nakhle said.

The arrival of the South African jockeys is also being enthusiastically received by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing.

“It is exciting to be able to welcome two jockeys of the calibre of Warren Kennedy and Craig Zackey and we look forward to both of them making their mark on the New Zealand scene,” NZTR chief executive Bruce Sharrock said.

“Having lost a number of senior riders due to retirement and relocation over recent months, being able to insert two jockeys who have achieved so much in their home country into our riding ranks can only be of benefit to New Zealand racing.

“I would also like to acknowledge the proactive approach taken by Byerley Park to secure Warren and Craig, and their ongoing efforts to support the industry in training and development as a whole.

Kennedy and Zackey will be managed by former Gauteng-based jockey Donavan Mansour.

Further boosting the ranks will be South African apprentice jockeys Triston Moodley and Donovan Cooper, the first two internationals to join the newly formed New Zealand Jockey Academy.

Created by Nakhle and Mansour, the Apprentice Academy is based at Byerley Park and boasts a bespoke complex, housing a purpose-built gymnasium, two classrooms and a world-leading MK10 racehorse Simulator, the first of its kind in Australasia.

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