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Sean Veale Rides Under SP Banner

Welcome to the team

The Hollywoodbets Kenilworth racemeeting last Saturday was Sean Veale’s first as a newly-sponsored Sporting Post jockey.

While he managed a second on Mister Monocle, and a third on Highlyconfidential, a win eluded him, and he’s keen to break the ice.

Sean Veale chats to Gareth van Zyl and Anthony Delpech after a recent win at Hollywoodbets Greyville

Sean Veale chats to Gareth van Zyl and Anthony Delpech after a recent win at Hollywoodbets Greyville (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

“I am really excited to receive the support of the Sporting Post, and every emotional and financial incentive and encouragement is welcome in this tough industry,” he added, saying that Winning Form-sponsored Richard Fourie’s recent record-breaking achievements had raised the bar for every jockey aspiring to do well.

“There is no question that hard work pays dividends, and for me it’s having a beautiful family behind me, that are proud of me, and that keep me motivated to be the best that I can,” added the man who once harboured ambitions of becoming a pro baseballer.

But it was a school project on horses that piqued his interest, and encouragement from his Dad to follow his dream, that saw Sean Veale join the SA Jockey Academy at the turn of the century – and the Grade 1 winning jockey has never looked back, hitting a host of personal ‘home runs’ over the years.

The Cape Town born rider loved life at the SA Jockey Academy and fondly recalls his first ever winner in August 2002 at the now closed, Clairwood Park.

Des Egdes trained the Modern Day filly Emmency, and Sean rode a perfectly judged race for a thrilling maiden success – the first of many to follow over the years.

Sean Veale enjoyed a winning association with the Dennis Drier yard over many years, and on the retirement of the master trainer decided to travel to his former hometown of Cape Town, to create more opportunities between his current family home province of KZN and the fairest Cape

“My timing was good. I started travelling to Cape Town and a winner or two in the beautiful city ignited the fire. It’s interesting, in KZN every yard has their jockeys. You can ride work here, there, and just about everywhere. And you won’t get the extra rides. But in Cape Town, I got lucky. They at least give you something – they throw one a bone. I converted a few chances and one thing led to another. I say again, it’s called confidence and it’s a major factor in any jockey’s success,” he told the Sporting Post.

But the life of a jockey has its ups and downs and in October 2023 Sean suffered a shocking fall at Hollywoodbets Durbanville when his right-side stirrup leather broke when he was guiding the Justin Snaith-trained Sun Spectacular into the bend at about the 900m marker. He ended up in hospital and had wires placed in his upper jaw to fix the fracture, and his nose restructured to fix the break.

But the tough-as-teak rider has boxed on and now 38 years old, he is very keen to win the Hollywoodbets Durban July.

He has had three rides to date in Africa’s greatest race – his best being a fifth placed finish on Vaughan Marshall’s Rascallion in 2021. While his engaged ride Mucho Dinero failed to make the cut for the 6 July spectacular, the big one remains a career ambition.

The fact that he is one of the most hard-working jockeys around and rides at 52kgs, certainly increases the chances of his getting the opportunities to convert to winners.

The gregarious Sean lives by the ‘happy wife, happy life’ credo, with the lovely Maxine and their energy-sapping young sons, Cody and Troy keeping him busy away from the rigours of racing.

We welcome Sean and wish him every success.

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