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Keratile’s Four Winners – ‘This One’s For You Dad’

Sunday 2 October 2022 - a day to remember forever!

Keratile makes it winner 21 and rounds off his four-timer on Casa Rosada (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

On the eve of writing his final matriculation exam, 18 year old Winning Form-sponsored Apprentice Keratile Katjedi joined the sparsely populated ranks of 4kg-claimers to ride a four-timer at a racemeeting when he stole the show at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday.

2 October 2022 will go down as a singularly memorable and emotional day for the young man from Naboomspruit, who honoured the memory of a talented jockey Dad he hardly knew, when the stars aligned and a plan came together in just over four magical hours on a special Sunday.

Keratile Katjedi proudly shows his big four! (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

A quartet of well-taken winners in Cape Princess (Pat Lunn), Wave Warrior and Valiente (Peter Muscutt), and rounded off by Casa Rosada (Garth Puller), went by like the proverbial flash. He now rides off 21 winners as a 2,5kg claimer from his next meeting.

“Mr Puller has helped me since my first day and he is a true inspiration. I have also enjoyed loyal support from Mr Peter Muscutt, Mr Darryl Moore, Mr Gary Rich, Mr Kum Naidoo, Mr Yadev Singh and of course, Mr Niewenhuizen, who gave me my first winner,” he adds politely.

That first winner, Golden Tune, arrived at the Vaal on 13 January this year.

“I went into December of 2021, my second year, without a winner, and feeling quite down. But that all changed in January, and look at what happened today – it feels surreal,” he says humbly.

We asked Keratile if he woke up to a cloudy Durban on Sunday morning believing that he could rewrite the record books.

Keratile is led by the Muscutt team (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

“No! I really thought I’d go very close on Valiente – the rest were a bonus, which I will gratefully grab with both hands. Funny enough, my family forecast that I would ride three winners. That’s not bad for a horseracing prediction from my little hometown,” he laughed.

Keratile was just 18 months old in 2006 when his popular Dad ‘LJ’ Katjedi tragically died in a car accident in at the age of 26, having qualified as a jockey only eight days earlier.

‘LJ’ was a groom at Gary Alexander’s Turffontein training stables and did a work riders’ training course at Eikenhof-based James Maree’s Racing and Equestrian Centre, before, with the backing of the Racing Trust, he became a special apprentice and was awarded a scholarship to the South African Racing and Equestrian Academy at Summerveld.

A record-breaking talent, LJ rode his 50th winner in December 2004. The promising start to his career attracted the attention of Philip Georgas of Sun International, who offered the young man a sponsorship and he became one of the first apprentices here to carry corporate branding.

Today a proud Keratile shows off his Winning Form kit, and is determined to follow in his Dad’s giant bootprints.

Young man going places (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

“It was a very emotional afternoon all round. After I won on Casa Rosada, I felt a bit overwhelmed and a tear coming to my eye – but I stifled it and just bit my lip and felt proud. I have been so fortunate – I have a large wonderful family that have been behind me every step of the way, and so many trainers and educators who have helped me along,” Keratile told the Sporting Post as he was about to board a flight from King Shaka to Johannesburg and a week’s break with his family in Naboomspruit.

Describing himself as an average student with a preference for mathematics as his best subject, Keratile weighs just 44,5kgs and is keen to bulk up. It was his late Grandfather – the late LJ’s Dad- who was determined to get him on the path to a career as a jockey.

“I think he took me to see Mr Robert Moore at the Gauteng Academy when I was only 10! That clearly was a bit early. I’m so glad he inspired me. Today my Granddad has passed on but my Grandmother and my family are waiting to enjoy this week and I hope to see my Mom Nora Selemela,” he added.

Naboomspruit – ‘not a big place’ , says Keratile

Asked if Naboomspruit would be rocking and partying, Keratile says that socialising isn’t really his scene.

“Other than my Academy brothers, I have no family in KZN. So I am really looking forward to getting home to spend some time with everybody.”

On Friday he hopes to fly into Gqeberha to ride for the Gavin Smith yard at Fairview.

“I have ridden a winner for Mr Smith and he asked if I’d like to come down again. So that’s exciting. I’m also really keen to complete my matric and get my riding career going. I have no excuses but to do well. I just want to thank everybody – from my sponsors Winning Form, to all the trainers, and the SA Jockey Academy staff. I am truly blessed.”

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1 comment on “Keratile’s Four Winners – ‘This One’s For You Dad’

  1. Geoff Logan says:

    Very well done young man! Ever so polite and humble. Great example of Jockeys from the academy.

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