Four events, from Race 2 to Race 5 have been selected to highlight this competition, in which jockeys from the Highveld, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Province square off. All four races will be run on the Polytrack and they are all highly competitive, so it is tough to call a winner.
The teams are: Western Cape Eagles: Greg Cheyne; Donovan Dillon; Richard Fourie; Corne Orffer
Highveld Hawks: Raymond Danielson, S’manga Khumalo; Gavin Lerena; Piere Strydom
KZN Falcons: Sean Cormack, Anthony Delpech, Anton Marcus, Muzi Yeni.
All riders will carry the owners’ colours but will be distinguished by different coloured caps. The KZN team will wear black caps with the Western Cape blue and the Highveld red.
Points being allocated as follows. 20 for first, 16 for second, 14 for third 12 for fourth, 10 for fifth, eight for sixth, and then continue six, five, four, three, two and one. Teams will get seven points for a scratched ride.
One would have to say that on paper at least, the Highveld Hawks look to have the strongest team with a five-time former champion in Strydom, current champion Khumalo, almost champion Lerena and perhaps a future champion in Danielson. However, you can’t do it without the horses and the contest will be most intriguing.
“The intention is to make this an annual Interprovincial Challenge that showcases the best of the best on The Mercury Sprint Day,” said Gold Circle’s Racing and Marketing Executive Graeme Hawkins. “This is something we have wanted to do for a while now.”