Sons and daughters often follow in the footsteps of fathers and mothers, career-wise. It’s in the blood, they say, and in horse racing it seems particularly prevalent.
Glance at a race card and family names are everywhere: Ferraris, Greeff, Kannemeyer, Spies, Van Zyl, Bass, Habib, Rich, Azzie, Lerena, Laird, Dillon, Snaith, Sham, Woodruff… We could go on. And that’s just among trainers and jockeys; owners and punters would take up ledgers.
The name Strydom has been a feature of Eastern Cape racing for generations – the newest addition to the history being apprentice jockey Kyle. The 20-year-old is reigning champion apprentice, on the brink of losing his weight-claiming allowance and tipped to challenge the lofty heights of uncle Piere “Striker” Strydom.
On Friday at Fairview, where racing takes place on the Polytrack, Kyle Strydom rides horses for both his grandfather, trainer Hekkie, and his father, Jacques, and could land a notable family double.
Grandad will give the instructions on how Talia Al Ghul should be ridden to win Race 3, a 1200m FM70 Handicap and the first leg of the Pick 6.
Actually, Kyle will know quite a bit about this five-year-old mare as he was in the driving seat when she was a facile winner last time out, on this track a fortnight ago.
That was her fourth win in 23 starts and saw her merit rating kick up from 66 to 74. The resultant 62kg impost here might be Talia Al Ghul’s biggest hurdle in a competitive line-up – but she has a bright chance, nonetheless.
Half an hour later it’ll be dad Jacques giving the orders as the appropriately named Born A Star goes to post for Race 4, a Maiden Handicap over 1600m.
This is probably Kyle’s best prospect on the day as the three-year-old gelding has been improving nicely with racing experience and has two seconds and two thirds to his name for seven outings.
1: 9 Wife Of Windsor, 3 Bold Captain, 2 Flower’s Ridge, 1 Emerald Flame
2: 7 Siever’s Point, 1 Mezzyoona, 10 Social Spirit, 3 Bold Leah
3: 2 Talia Al Ghul, 7 Rose Of Bayeux, 9 Forward March, 6 Just Adore Her
4: 4 Born A Star, 2 Fort Snow, 6 Mr Linebreaker, 7 On The Warpath
5: 6 Respectable Miss, 2 Gimme Gimme Gimme, 7 Scarborough Fair, 3 Mifid Two
6: 5 King Julian, 4 Fresh From The US, 9 Lotus King, 1 Capernaum
7: 9 Line Of Power, 10 Que Es Var, 11 Global Design, 6 Sovereign Supreme
8: El Romiachi, 1 Atkinson Grimshaw, 10 Joint Effort, 9 Undisclosed
Pick 6: 2,6,7,9,11,12,13 x 2,4 x 2,3,6,7,13 x 1,3,4,5,9 x 9 x 1,4,9,10,11 (R1750)
PA: 7 x 2,7,9 x 4 x 2,6 x 4,5 x 9 x 1,11 (R24)