Ken Nicol: Fransie Herholdt’s stint in South Korea has worked out very well, with the result that the Korean Racing Association have extended his contract for another six months up until August.
Taking the opportunity of the Chinese New Year break to pop over to Joburg for a week to see his family, he opened up on his impressions of racing in the Asian republic.
“It’s going very well, and I’ve ridden seven winners so far – including two for Bart Rice, who played a big role in smoothing the way for me to come to Korea.
“It’s a very different set up. Like for riding work you are given a schedule by the translator, and generally whatever you work you will be riding on the Saturday. So you don’t ride as much work as here, but it’s a lot fairer.”
Luckily Fransie is based in the southern city of Busan, as the winter weather came as a bit of a shock.
“It gets unbelievably cold. Busan is about 10 degrees warmer than Seoul fortunately, as when I was riding there recently it was -14C.
“They use a dirt track, but have to add lots of coarse salt to prevent it freezing over in the extreme temperatures.
“We have fantastic courses in Korea, and I’m looking forward to racing in summer, where it’s much more a jump and go style, which suits me.”
He has even managed to pick up a bit of Korean.
“I can ask for basic things, but nothing too complicated. But strangely enough I haven’t picked up any swear words, which are usually the first things you learn in a new racing centre!”