Strydom: My Met Day Frustrations

'I just gave Van Niekerk a few nervous moments as he was celebrating prematurely!'

Piere Strydom

Piere Strydom – enjoyed Met day despite frustrations

Wildekrans sponsored champion jockey Piere Strydom is headed for a week of recuperation in Umhlanga Rocks after a slightly frustrating J&B Met day by his standards.

In an exclusive interview with the Sporting Post, the legendary jockey gave his impressions and thoughts about Met day.

Strydom landed up riding three feature second places, as well as a disappointing sixth on Sansui Summer Cup champion, Louis The King in the Met. He also rode two minor race seconds, to make it five runner-up commissions on the afternoon.

After an excellent effort in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, Louis The King failed to kick on and stayed on tamely into sixth and 4,40 lengths behind the Met winner, Futura.

“Louis should have still run second or third and we can’t blame the pace entirely. He may be a better horse in Joburg with the greater stamina requirements of a faster run race. I would still like to stick with him as he is a very good horse.”

“From a jockey’s perspective it is always an exciting and festive day to ride, although I personally felt that there were less people on course than in previous years,” he said.


Wildekrans Wine Estate

Piere was accommodated by his sponsors at the Wildekrans Boutique Wine Estate, a picturesque 1000-hectare estate tucked away in the beautiful Bot River Valley.

“What a professionally run establishment. It was my first visit and I cannot wait to go back and spend some more time there,” he said enthusiastically.

“On Sunday we returned to the airport and took the scenic route via Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay and then down into Gordon’s Bay. What a beautiful country we live in!” he said.

Piere was beaten on the odds-on favourite Act Of War in the R1 million Gr1 Investec Cape Derby.

“Act Of War came under pressure 500m out. He probably doesn’t really stay 2000m and if one considers his speed at 1400m and 1600m then that is not surprising. He has also had a long campaign and that could have told. He remains a top horse.”

He was then beaten a whisker by Grant Van Niekerk on Inara in the R1 million Gr1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes.

“We had a soft lead and I was lucky that they came around to lead me. She was never pulling in the race but Inara had the advantage of a 1 draw and is a Gr1 winner already. Cold As Ice ran her heart out– but she probably didn’t stay the mile.”


So close! Grant Van Niekerk will remember this one for a long time

We asked Piere if he had chirped Grant Van Niekerk in the finish.

“No, I just gave him a few nervous moments as he was celebrating prematurely. And it was very close!” he laughed.

Piere went into the last, the J&B Urban Honey Stayers, riding the recently revitalised favourite Coltrane for Joey Ramsden.

“This is the only race that really annoyed me. I was shouting from the 2000m marker to tell my colleague to step on it and not let the leader enjoy such a soft and easy lead. It was a really poor display of riding and judgement on his part. I am not going to name the guy. He knows who he is. These are stayers. They battle to turn it on in the straight when they have been cantering. In the end, Coltrane ran a decent race in the circumstances.”

Piere has been riding on anti-inflammatories for some time and has been receiving physio treatment on his intercostal muscles. These are the groups of muscles that run between the ribs, and help form and move the chest wall.


Beauty of Bot River

He said that he would be taking this week off and will return to ride at Turffontein on Saturday.

He is spending the week at the Wildekrans Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks.

“There is some good racing ahead and I am riding Siren’s Call in the R2,5 million CTS Book 2 Graduates Race next Tuesday evening at Turffontein. She is the highest rated runner in the race but the 1400m is probably too short for her. I have an agreement with Sean Tarry that I will be sticking with her in the feature season.”

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
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts