Strydom Carves The Turkey

Striker Strydom wins International Jockey Challenge

Champion! Piere Strydom receives his trophy in Istanbul last night

Champion! Piere Strydom receives his trophy in Istanbul last night

Top South African jockey Piere Strydom beat some of the world’s best jockeys in Turkey last night to clinch victory in the fifth annual International Jockeys’ Challenge held at Veliefendi racecourse in Istanbul.

Strydom was a member of the five man international side that took on a local team of riders with €22,000 in prize money up for grabs

The visiting riders competed as individuals and as a team against the Turkish-based riders.

The international lineup included Frankie Dettori from the UK, Japan’s Yutaka Take, US-based Venezuelan-born Javier Castellano, and Frenchman Stephane Pasquier.

The Turkish team was made up of the host country’s finest – Halis Karatas, Selim Kaya, Ahmet Celik, Gokhan Kocakaya and Ozcan Yildirim.

The challenge consisted of four races at the July 17 night meeting, two on turf and two on the artificial surface.

Strydom rode a cracker from the front to win the seventh race on Queen Amidala.

He finished on thirty points and beat local hero Halis Karatas  with 27 points.

Stephane Pasquier took the bronze medal.

Piere Strydom walked away with a cheque of €8000 while Halis Karatas received  €4000 and Stephane Pasquier  €2000.

The winning team also shared  €8000.

Veliefendi racecourse is located on the shore of the Marmara Sea on the European side of Istanbul.

It is the oldest and biggest racecourse in Turkey and was constructed in 1912 and boasts a turf 2020m track, 1870m Polytrack course and a sand course of 1720m

The Turkish betting market is a $1.5 billion closed pari-mutuel industry with 2,400 betting shops that feature domestic and international racing.

Last year Cornelio Velasquez’s was victorious in the challenge to become the first U.S.-based rider to win the competition.

Strydom returns to South Africa on Sunday and will be crowned SA champion jockey within two weeks.

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