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Kaidan’s On The Up!

Dad Andrew is his Agent - so it's quite a team!

Johannesburg-based jockey Kaidan Brewer is the newest member of the Sporting Post sponsored jockey team.

The Pietermaritzburg-born Carter High graduate is one of South Africa’s promising young riding talents, and it’s evident in the two years since we last spoke to him, that the boy with stars in his eyes yesterday, has become a man on a mission today.

Kaidan Brewer partnered Woman’s World at Fairview last Friday for Kelly Mitchley (Pic – Pauline Herman)

Kaidan, or ‘Brewski’, as some of us know him, comes of age on 21 June, and says that he is happy to have grown up in the last few years, and also taken on the routine suburban responsibilities of having bills to pay – like rent, car finance, insurance – and the rest!

“I loved my years at the SA Jockey Academy and enjoyed the camaraderie. But it is an obviously protected environment, so one has a slightly rosy view of the real world and related pressures. Living in my own place now, and having commitments, without apron strings to hang on to, is a refreshing motivator, and I’m loving life,” he adds maturely as he chatted to his new sponsors earlier this week.

Talk of apron strings naturally brings up the topic of family – an important focal zone for the Brewer clan. The talented rider has always said that he places a lot of the credit for his early success at the door of his parents.

“As I think we touched on when we spoke some years back, I have always known that I had no excuses not to succeed. My parents worked hard. We lived in good areas, and I had a quality education. My older sister Kiara and I were always encouraged to do well. It sure makes a difference and is a beneficial cushion as we pursue our careers.”

His Dad Andrew, a former owner and now his son’s proud Agent, works for SASSA. Mom Claudelle is an HR Manager for a large corporate.

We put it to Kaidan that he is a jockey who couldn’t ever fire his Agent!

“No question!” he laughs.

“But I would never want to. Dad is my number 1 supporter. We talk every day. We analyse every ride together. Even the winners. They are resident in Pietermaritzburg, so I am independent up here on the Highveld. I could never wish for a better mentor or role model.”

Hard-working and energetic – Kaidan loves it! (Pic – Supplied)

Kaidan observes that he has learnt, with Dad’s guidance in double quick time, that every jockey is effectively a business unit on his own.

“One has to give a lot of thought to finding a balance between growing organically at your home base, or travelling and increasing your work-rate, which comes with exposure and opportunities, if you are making the grade. There are economic considerations to balance against it – for example, air tickets are not cheap. And when one is out of province, work-riding at regular yards needs to be sacrificed. I work constantly on my communication, and also apply my mind to trying to provide trainers with sensible feedback after work and race-riding,” he adds.

He says that he has been fortunate to enjoy support from the likes of veteran Alec Laird, Tony Peter, Robin Klaasen, and Lucky Houdalakis, out at the Vaal.

“I’d like to be racing down in KZN and Gqeberha regularly, as well as riding work seven days a week here in Gauteng! But one step at a time,” he laughs.

It’s been a winding road since Kaidan broke the ice on Monday 7 December 2020 in a modest Apprentice Handicap at Hollywoodbets Greyville, on the Foxwedge gelding Roy’s Magic for Kumaran Naidoo.

Behind him there were names like Luke Ferraris, Kabelo Matsunyane and Kyle Strydom – all upwardly mobile young jockeys today, who are set to make their mark on the game.

We asked how Kaidan copes with the ups and downs of racing.

“I have found that setbacks and challenges make one stronger. And racing is the one sport, where as a jockey, for instance, you are losing far more than you are ever winning. For me, maintaining a 10% win strike-rate is a minimum goal. Simple mathematics means then that I am losing 90% of the time. In no sport on earth, is 90% losing, acceptable! But that’s why racing attracts unique sportsmen with tough mental outlooks.”

Thumbs up from Brewski after another winner (Pic – JC Photos)

So does he make use of a sports psychologist?

“No. I have my family support, and my Dad, or Agent, to bounce things off. He is a wise owl. I stay in prime shape physically, and just go out to do my best on every horse I ride. So I can sleep well at night.”

And weight?

“My weight has actually stabilised as I have matured. I can ride at 54kgs, with sufficient notice. I am fortunate to be in that position as I can’t imagine how tough dieting and wasting must be. I take my hat off to my colleagues who endure that,” he observes.

We ask about feature horses for the season.

“Every jockey is looking to link up with a few good horses, that will carry your feature winning aspirations for the season. I have ridden a few – maybe Mr Laird’s Rule Book, who I won the Caradoc Gold Cup with on Champions Day, is one. I have an idea that he may be headed for the Gold Bowl on the Championships Finale Day. He stays well!

And where does Kaidan Brewer see himself in the next few years?

“I am going to aim high and say Hong Kong would be where I’d like to be! I love their racing, and it’s just a great show. But for now, I need to build my brand, work hard and ride winners. I also want to make the Sporting Post proud and carry the banner with success. Thank you for welcoming me to join your team. It means a lot. Onwards and upwards!”

We wish Kaidan every success and look forward to supporting him on his ride to greater things.

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1 comment on “Kaidan’s On The Up!

  1. Reggie Gounden says:

    Kaiden, you’re a lii Firecracker. You give off your best at every opportunity meaning your rides. Keep the faith, rely on instinct, advice from your mentors, trainers and trusted colleagues as well as your family. You will go places with your profession. Above all stay safe in your job. Best of luck in your future. “I’m gonna take my horse to the old town road and ride……. You Go boy…. Bless you Kaido…

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