Rhino’s Rider Speaks

I Got Goosebumps!

Serino Moodley and Run Rhino Run with their sensational victory

Serino Moodley, Kumaran Naidoo and Roy Moodley’s Run Rhino Run have become overnight sensations with their spectacular 21.25 length win at Greyville on 22 October 2017.

Several days after the race, Serino was still on Cloud 9. Asked whether there had been much reaction to the race, he exclaimed, “It’s gone viral everywhere!”

Asked to talk us through the build up to the race, he said after he’d been confirmed to ride the horse, he’d asked Mr Naidoo whether he thought the horse would stay. “Mr Naidoo said he’d looked up the breeding and thought it would get the trip.”

Run Rhino Run has a history of wayward behaviour and Serino confirms that the horse had previously bolted the course at Scottsville with Billy Jacobson. “My only worry was going from the grass to the poly. I thought if he’s going to run out anywhere, it will be there and that’s what he did.”

While it looked a little hairy from the footage, Serino relates cheerfully that he stayed calm under pressure.

“I spoke to the guy who works with him at the start and I said I wasn’t sure what I was going to do if the horse ran off again. He told me that it’s a tough horse and if anything goes wrong, I should just let him run. So when he took the bit, I decided not to fight him and to just let him go.”

Did it ever cross his mind that they might have a winning chance? “I honestly thought we couldn’t win. He’d gone left, he’d gone right, I thought they would definitely catch him. But at about the 1000m I just squeezed him and he went again. I thought ‘geez, now I’ve got a chance’ and you know what? He ran to the line. He never stopped once. I was quite shocked myself, to be honest!”

With tales of the whole of Greyville being on their feet and cheering him home, did he have a warm reception in the winner’s enclosure? “The feeling I had going through the 200m, I can’t describe. I got goosebumps – the crowd was going crazy! I think it was a shock. I don’t think anyone expected him to win by that many lengths,” he laughs. “There was a big buzz on course. Everyone was asking me what happened, and how did we win, but the connections were very happy. They know he’s a tough horse and difficult to ride in a race.”

Run Rhino Run patently comes with a basket of idiosyncrasies and has changed yards several times in his career, most recently to the Kum Naidoo stable. “It was his first run for Mr Naidoo. I think he used to run with different equipment, but it seems the change has paid off.” Serino confirms that he has ridden the son of Silvano at work and says that strangely, the big gelding is an absolute gentleman at home. “It’s weird, but horses can make a fool of you.”

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