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Super Start For Greg Cheyne

South African rider is loving life in Newmarket

The South African jockey ranks lost one of its most experienced riders when Gr1 winning multiple regional champion Greg Cheyne emigrated to the UK with his wife Claire almost a year ago.

The ten-times East Cape Champion jockey has been working hard and kicking his heels while going through the process of obtaining a visa which allows him to ride again. And he started with a bang with two British winners from his first two winning rides in the past fortnight – a terrific start by all accounts!

Claire and Greg Cheyne were snapped enjoying lunch at Avontuur on a visit home in February 2023

Greg and his wife Claire are both employed at William Haggas’s Somerville Lodge Stables in the heart of Newmarket.

Claire has several courses under her belt, including a Diploma in Equine Physiotherapy and most recently The Diploma in Stud Practice & Management at The National Stud in Newmarket, UK.

The couple are excited about their new life and have just purchased a new home.

Speaking to the Sporting Post earlier this week, Greg explained that he could not obtain a riding licence as he needed to apply for a new visa.

“It took some time as these processes do. Then I had to jump through a few hoops with the British Horseracing Authority. There were tests and applications – quite a rigmarole, it was, but it worked out well. And I made a dream start when winning on Eastern Charm at Yarmouth. Then just days later, Kyle Strydom went down with flu and I picked up a ride on Silver Sword for Dylan Cunha and won again. I know Dylan well from back home. I rode winners for him as a trainer, and right back to the days in Gqeberha when he was an assistant to Justin Snaith. So it’s all quite emotional and sentimental,” said the 46 year old, who is clearly enjoying life in his new homeland.

Watch one of Greg Cheyne’s most memorable moments:

“The icy cold winters take some getting used to – believe me! It can get almost quite boring at times too as only a handful of horses of the stable of 200 are in work. The rest are just trotting for two to three months. But I am really enjoying the experience of working for a top trainer and have learnt so much – particularly stable management. The facilities can’t be compared to SA but it’s an eye opener and amazingly professional!”

Greg says that it’s also great to be able to ride on different tracks, but he says getting the rides is a very competitive business!

“Believe me, it’s pretty tough to get rides and amazingly competitive. I have signed up an agent and for now we will see how things go. I could not have hoped for a better start, though!”

Greg has no false illusions about any group race rides for now, but says that being part of an operation with top flight horses is a privilege.

Flashback to Sun Met glory in 2017 with the Kieswetters Whisky Baron

We asked him to nominate a handful to look out for.

“I’d have to say the exciting My Prospero, and then Maljoom is one to look out for later in the season. They are magnificent and exciting horses. It’s also great to have the Kieswetter family’s Girl Racer, who really shows promise and won well on debut. She ran a fair race in the Gr3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes last week and she will have her chance to earn black-type,” says Greg.

The Pretoria-born 46 year old, who has ridden over 2300 winners, joined the world renowned SA Jockey Academy in 1991 alongside the now late Alec Forbes, Marcus Samuel and Paul Devlin.

Outside of South Africa and the UK, he has ridden in Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Germany, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Macau, winning the Gr1 Malaysia Sprint and the Malaysian International Jockeys Challenge.

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1 comment on “Super Start For Greg Cheyne

  1. Malcolm Hall says:

    Good Luck you are great jockey

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