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Comeback Kid Striker Moves To Cape

A legend of the saddle!

At the age of 56, champion jockey Piere Strydom is tying up professional loose ends and making changes in his life.

This includes a move with his Attorney wife Chrisna to the affluent wine-producing suburb of Constantia in the Cape, where the excited couple intend running an Airbnb.

One of the greatest riders to grace the turf in this country, Piere Strydom recently made a sensational comeback to the saddle after an injury-enforced absence  of some 14 months following a semi-detached retina.

Piere’s comeback winner, Nexus (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

While his first ride back was a winner, as the dependable Nexus came home powerfully under the Snaith banner, Piere’s brave bid to equal Anton Marcus’ Durban July quintet of winners failed to materialise. Former winner Belgarion finished well down the illustrious field.

“I feel that Smanga Khumalo won the Hollywoodbets Durban July at the start on Sparkling Water as he had her out and placed beautifully. Belgarion didn’t jump well and after that the muddled pace and our position meant that we were always playing catch up of sorts. I was also forced to switch wide as after they eased it up a bit, he was running on to Kommetdieding’s heels. The Hollywoodbets Durban July is a no-holds barred race where you need luck to go your way. Belgarion is a lovely horse and a victory would have meant plenty to me and the connections– but it was not meant to be,” the veteran told the Sporting Post.

Piere takes Belgarion to post for the 2022 Hollywoodbets Durban July (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

He says that fitness had not been an issue on his return to the saddle, but weight was a different story.

“We aren’t as young as we used to be! So losing weight is not a case of a quick-fix crash diet and exercise. I was about 5kgs overweight after the break and thought that would be manageable to lose. I lost 3kgs but battled with the other 2kgs. So from looking for rides at 55kgs, I am now limited to 57kgs plus.”

When he returned to the saddle, Piere was also chasing his 11 win shortfall to reach a sensational 5500 milestone.

“I am currently only nine winners short on that score, and I will be pursuing that goal during the Cape spring and summer as we are relocating down South,” he says, adding that he and Chrisna will be vacationing in the UK during August.

Piere is introduced to the crowd before his final Durban July ride (Pic – Candiese Lenfrena)

“Chrisna practices law and has quite a few clients in the Cape. We thought we’d combine the change in environment with a lifestyle adjustment and will be running an Airbnb. I hope that the racing industry out-of-towners from Gauteng, KZN and Gqeberha will be supporting our new venture!”

Questioned about any rides on Marshalls World Of Sport Gold Cup day, Piere says that most of the top yards have their jockeys entrenched.

“It’s not easy getting a good ride these days as there is a new generation of talented rider around and they have forged relationships with the top trainers. But I am available if anybody requires my services,” he adds with a smile.

Piere and Chrisna will make Cape Town their home

Piere tells us that he is also open to offers of a sponsorship. Given his achievements in a career spanning almost 40 years, it could eventually lead to a movie on the back of his status as a legend in the annals of South African turf history.

“I’d be happy to consider a sponsorship. It’s good positive media and I hope to reach the milestone in the Cape summer season. I’m not going to go on past my sell-by date, either though!”

Watch the 2022 Hollywoodbets Durban July replay:

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6 comments on “Comeback Kid Striker Moves To Cape

  1. Leonie Ermacora says:

    So incredibly proud of him.. Such a humble and wonderful man. Wishing him and his wife all the best and he will get that goal.. 👏

  2. Pradeep Jeenarain says:

    This jockey is top class. Made lots of money when I backed Pomodoro and The Conglomerate at huge odds.

  3. Leslie Lambert. says:

    Stricker brought us lots of joy, and put lots of pula in our pockets, whenever he raced in KZN we were there to cheer him on. Old Ballies.

  4. Barry Dunnett says:

    An incredible talent and one of the finest SA has produced. What a milestone to ride virtually 5500 winners. And a jockey that reads a race so well and talks sense. A very smart move to Cape Town for lifestyle. My very best wishes.

  5. James DiBlasio says:

    Pierre for me the most talented rider the globe has seen in his prime he was unbeatable.

  6. Mully says:

    One of the best!

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