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Bernie’s Looking To A Big 2023/24 Season In SA!

Top jockey set to be based in Cape for new season

One of South Africa’s leading heavyweight riders, Durban-born Bernard Fayd’herbe has decided to settle back into his Milnerton home and give the new South African racing season a serious ‘go’.

In the absence of Piere Strydom and Keagan de Melo, the enormously talented international Gr1-winning rider will be a welcome regular addition to the local jockey ranks.

“The racing vibe and happy spirit down here in the Cape is amazing. One can feel it on course, and even when riding work at Milnerton and Philippi. Also the atmosphere on Hollywoodbets Durban July day was terrific! I’d love to be a part of it again and given the uncertainty of Mauritius racing, where I do have a job, it makes sense to me to stay and ride here,” he told the Sporting Post.

Pleased as punch after his L’Ormarins King’s Plate win on Al Muthana (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

With Keagan de Melo’s contract in Hong Kong, Piere Strydom’s possible – dare we say the ‘r’ word – retirement, and the fact that Winning Form kingpin Richard Fourie is going all out for the national title next term, there is certainly space for a top rider.

Discussions with the Snaith stable have informed us that in light of Fourie’s stated quest for national honours and the fact that he will be travelling far and wide, have meant that they have undergone a  reconsideration of their own jockey needs.

Grant van Niekerk looks likely to inherit a lot of the Snaith opportunities, with Bernard Fayd’herbe also on their list of preferred riders. Lest we forget that it is over 20 years ago that the champion yard’s matriarch Sue Snaith was instrumental in persuading Bernard to move to the fairest Cape.

Bernard in Dubai a few years ago

“I have also been given some opportunities by Mr Vaughan Marshall, and he has a nice string of young horses. So I do have the support, and there are other trainers who have said that they will be needing my services,” he added.

It’s unbelievably a quarter of a century since Bernard rode his first winner at Hollywoodbets Scottsville at his very first ride on 28 April 1997. The horse was Dollar Deal trained by the late Michael Roberts.

Younger but never a coward – Bernie in the Amm’s River Jetez silks

It’s certainly been a busy and eventful 2023 for Bernard.

He took his career Gr1 tally to over 30 when Al Muthana shocked Hollywoodbets Kenilworth with a storming victory under a sensational ride over SA Horse Of The Year prospect Charles Dickens in the L’Ormarins King’s Plate, on a beautiful Cape summer day in January.

Al Muthana powers home to win the 2023 L’Ormarins Gr1 King’s Plate (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

But then things hit the proverbial fan in Mauritius.

Bernard was handed a twelve month suspension and a Rs 100 000 (ZAR 44 000) fine on the Indian Ocean Island after he was deemed to have not given his mount every chance in the third race at the Champ de Mars on Saturday 13 May.

The subject of the sanction was the Dominic Zaki-trained Castle Of Glass, who had been beaten into second.

While ARF member jurisdictions, of which SA and Mauritius are two, do honour and reciprocate penalties meted out on jockeys, Bernard utilised the NHA’s relatively new rule 91.1.3, which allows a rider suspended by specified horseracing authorities abroad, including Mauritius, to appeal against the suspension within 90 days of the finalisation of an appeal hearing.

Bernard Faydherbe with Pocket Power (photo: Roxy Joubert)

Bernard with his old friend, Pocket Power (photo: Roxy Joubert)

While a date is still to be set for the relevant hearing, Bernard was given the clearance to ride Snaith’s Pomp And Power in the Hollywoodbets Durban July , a race he was successful in on Pocket Power in 2008 and Marinaresco in 2017.

Bernard is confident that justice will prevail and with the assistance of the right legal counsel, his penalty will be overturned in Mauritius. But it did come back to bite him when the Macau Jockey Club declined him permission to ride eventual winner Master Hunter in the Gr1 Macau Derby which was run last weekend.

“Master Hunter won the Macau Derby. That was a bit of a knock, but it was the decision of their racing authority, so I have to respect that,” he lamented.

Bernard Fayd'herbe

Bernard Fayd’herbe – after his 2017 Vodacom Durban July win on Marinaresco

Bernard has three nice rides on World Pool Gold Cup day, which brings the curtain down on the season on 30 June.

Race-8 (Turf) R1 250 000 1800m 15:40 Ref-966
1st R781250, 2nd R250000, 3rd R125000, 4th R62500, 5th R31250
Horses at Weight-For-Age
WFA: 2yrs-10.5kgs 3yrs-1.5kgs
No Apprentice / Female Sex Allowance
1 1 Dave The King 58.5 122 A Keagan de Melo Mike de Kock
2 2 Zapatillas 60 126 A Luyolo Mxothwa Brett Crawford
3 3 Trip Of Fortune 60 127 TBA Aldo Domeyer Candice Bass-Robinson
4 4 Safe Passage 60 122 TBA Lyle Hewitson Mike de Kock
5 5 Rascallion 60 121 A Bernard Fayd’Herbe Vaughan Marshall
6 6 Bartholdi 60 119 A Craig Zackey M G Azzie/A A Azzie
7 7 Pomp And Power 60 120 A Gavin Lerena Justin Snaith
8 8 Mk’s Pride 60 122 BA Muzi Yeni Robbie Sage
9 9 Second Base 60 120 BA Chase Maujean Robyn Klaasen
10 10 Princess Calla 57.5 127 A Richard Fourie Sean Tarry
11 11 See It Again 58.5 131 BA Piere Strydom Michael Roberts
12 12 Al Muthana (AUS) 60 130 A Grant van Niekerk Ricky Maingard
Same Trainer

“Captain Fontane runs in the Listed @Worldpool Twitter Handicap. He’s very decent, never runs a bad race and he comes in fit. He must have a chance. Seeking The Stars runs in a typically strong Gr1 Mercury Sprint field. He has his third run after a year break but hasn’t drawn well. We will see how it goes – he’s top class on his day. Rascallion has drawn midfield in a classy line-up in the HKJC Gr1 Champions Cup. His Hollywoodbets Durban July effort was off his best, but he is fit and his last victory – in the Gr2 Premier Trophy on King’s Plate day – was over 1800m. And we all know that Mr Vaughan Marshall knows how to win Gr1 races!” he concluded with a broad smile.

Race-3 (Turf) R150 000 1600m 12:20 Ref-961
1st R93750, 2nd R30000, 3rd R15000, 4th R7500, 5th R3750
WFA: 2yrs-9.5kgs 3yrs-1kgs
No Apprentice / Female Sex Allowance
1 1 Cosmic Highway 61 110 A Keagan de Melo Dean Kannemeyer
2 2 Royal Victory 61 112 BA Muzi Yeni Nathan Kotzen
3 3 Whafeef 59.5 107 A *Philasande Mxoli Stuart Pettigrew
4 4 Battle Force 59.5 107 T A Tristan Godden Peter Muscutt
5 5 Captain Fontane 60.5 109 A Bernard Fayd’Herbe Garth Puller
6 6 Lord William 58.5 107 A Lyle Hewitson Glen Kotzen
7 7 Ameena 60.5 111 A Denis Schwarz Glen Kotzen
8 8 Meridius 58.5 107 A Craig Zackey Tony Peter
9 9 Silvano’s Dasher 62.5 113 A Luyolo Mxothwa Brett Crawford
10 10 Look For Hounds 60 108 BA Robert Khathi Vaughan Marshall
11 11 Forever Mine 60.5 109 A Juan Paul v’d Merwe Mike de Kock
12 12 Tempting Fate 59.5 107 A Calvin Habib Dean Kannemeyer
13 13 Good Traveller 61 110 BA #Rachel Venniker Michael Roberts
14 14 Quasiforsure 62 112 T A Grant van Niekerk Peter Muscutt
15 0 Money Heist 58 106 A Reserve 1 Gareth van Zyl
16 0 Captain Casey 56 102 A Reserve 2 Tony Rivalland
17 0 Platinum Sky 55.5 99 A Reserve 3 Dean Kannemeyer
Same Trainer
(1,12,17) (4,14) (6,7)
Race-6 (Turf) R1 000 000 1200m 14:10 Ref-964
1st R625000, 2nd R200000, 3rd R100000, 4th R50000, 5th R25000
Horses at Weight-For-Age
WFA: 2yrs-7.5kgs 3yrs-0.5kgs
No Apprentice / Female Sex Allowance
1 1 Gladatorian 59.5 114 T A Sean Veale Stuart Ferrie
2 2 Sheela 57.5 121 A Lyle Hewitson M G Azzie/A A Azzie
3 3 Danilo Danilovitch 60 108 T A *Philasande Mxoli Paul Matchett
4 4 Gimme A Prince 60 130 A Keagan de Melo Dean Kannemeyer
5 5 Val d’Orcia 60 103 A Craig Zackey Tony Peter
6 6 Thunderstruck 59.5 117 TBA S’manga Khumalo Sean Tarry
7 7 Surjay 60 119 A Luyolo Mxothwa Brett Crawford
8 8 Cabinet Shuffle 60 102 A Kabelo Matsunyane Robyn Klaasen
9 9 Isivunguvungu 60 130 A Richard Fourie Peter Muscutt
10 10 Pearl Of Asia 60 109 BA Serino Moodley Robbie Hill
11 11 William Robertson 60 125 JA Muzi Yeni Corne Spies
12 12 Silver Operator 60 114 BA Grant van Niekerk Vaughan Marshall
13 13 Seeking The Stars 60 123 BA Bernard Fayd’Herbe Vaughan Marshall
Same Trainer

Bernard last won the HKJC Champions Cup in 2015 on Futura for Justin Snaith.

A win on Rascallion on Sunday 30 July would be a pleasing way to end the season on a high, and kick-start the new term.

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7 comments on “Bernie’s Looking To A Big 2023/24 Season In SA!

  1. Bronwell Tobias says:

    The late Michael Robert’s?????.

    1. Editor says:

      Correct Bronwell.
      There was a trainer, Michael Roberts. Died tragically.

  2. Neill De Bruyn says:

    Excellent memory mr Ed! I think the best horse the late trainer ML Roberts had was Big Swinger, who ran second to the mighty Politician in the Cape Guineas, if not mistaken. Donkey years ago, ’76 or ’77.
    As an aside, that was an era when many trainers still wore hats (fedora?) to the race meetings, amongst others I recall Syd Laird, Herman Brown Snr and Johnny Nicholson wearing them (and looking very distinguished!).
    One seldom sees a photo of a trainer in the UK not wearing a flat cap (aka paddy cap, cabby cap) in his training environment.
    Wonder what happened to old Andy Capp, the comic strip. Probably took a job as ‘andicapper in South Afica 😂 .

    1. Editor says:

      It comes and goes, Neill.
      Big Swinger ran in Beck colours, if memory serves.

      The whole world dressed smarter then – many of the owners in the old maiden lead in pics wore jackets and ties.
      Theo de Klerk was a dapper gent – always in a suit, with a carnation I think it was, in his lapel
      Willie Kleb, Lionel Witkowsky , Stanley Amos are some that come to mind.

  3. Editor says:

    Our timing talking to Bernard this week wasn’t bad!

  4. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Oh Rascallion owe me Big …

    Now with Bernie Up maybe I can make some money back 🙂

    But the 23 local Cramond Punters are shouting See it Again again

    What a nice Card. Long term Forecast looks good for HWBets Durban

    Hoe lyk dinge daar in die mooie Kaap Mnr Ed

    Albert Falls Greetings

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Cecil
      Die Kaap is sonnig maar koud.
      Agree, terrific card for 30 July – R12 million Pick 6 possible.

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