After a highly successful International Jockey Challenge in Singapore last year, a six-man South African team will take on an international team on home soil this year.
Larry Wainstein, CEO of the Racing Association, said the International Jockey Challenge will be held on 16 November at Turffontein.
Hayley Turner, the world’s best-known female jockey, and former UK Champion Paul Hanagan have both accepted invitations for the event.
“The contest will be taking place on the Monaco Million Rand Maiden day when we’ll have a Maiden Plate worth that amount, sponsored by Prince Albert and some businessmen from Monaco.
The Prince himself won’t be attending, but some of the Monaco guys already have racing interests here and we’re expecting a few of them to attend the meeting as our guests.
“We’re also expecting the former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar to be in attendance. He has ties with the Monaco business people and is a drawcard himself, a very well-known former soccer star with a following.”
The remaining four members of the International Team will be announced in due course, and Wainstein commented: “We always start at the top and go down the list of the best available riders so yes, we are talking to the likes of Frankie Dettori.”
The South African team will probably have to do without champion jockey Lyle Hewitson.
“Lyle is tied up in Hong Kong and the officials are unlikely to let him off for the day, which means we’ll have Muzi Yeni, the next three on the 2018 log being Anton Marcus, Gavin Lerena and Greg Cheyne, and two wild card selections,” said Wainstein.
“We’ll be hoping for a good turnout to the event and good support from trainers. It’s a beautiful time of the year. We’re planning some extra things.
“Mike de Kock suggested that we have tables in our dining areas hosted by some of our legendary retired jockeys like Anthony Delpech, who seldom missed an international contest, Karl Neisius, Kevin Shea, Johnny Geroudis and so on. That’s a good idea. We’ll send out updates when they become available.” – Turf Talk