Horses / Columnists

Piere Strydom
1 minute read
19 Jul 2014
12:00 pm

Cheers to S’manga, Justin

Piere Strydom

We are nearing the end of the racing season and we have already crowned two new champions in jockey S’manga Khumalo and trainer Justin Snaith. We still have the Gold Cup meeting which is the last big one of the season but it cannot affect the outcome.

FILE PICTURE: South African champion jockey Piere Strydom.Picture: Supplied.

However, it will be the cherry on the top for both individuals if they could claim at least one of the four Grade 1 races on the day to end their respective seasons in triumph.

I will be handing the over title of Champion Jockey to S’manga. I won it last season but reluctantly I had to let that go this time. There are a couple of young jockeys coming through and even though there are some older jockeys who could win the championship, the balance of power now seems to be shifting.

I have to congratulate S’manga on his victory. It’s not a success based on a one-off ride but is culmination of wins throughout the year and it is not easily achieved. Sadly for Richard Fourie, he was hurt at a crucial stage of the season in which he started to catch S’manga. One cannot say he would definitely have won the championship but it would have been an exciting tussle had he not been injured.

Snaith Racing have all their angles covered from training to admin to marketing. They are a thoroughly professional organisation in all spheres of racing and they’re only going to get bigger and stronger. I’m by no means their stable jockey but I’m happy to get called upon when they need me.

While Justin is the main from the training perspective, don’t take away the importance of Jonathan behind the scenes, and the rest of the team. Can you imagine having an assistant in your dad who was a top trainer in his own right?

This was their first championship and I am prepared to take a bet there are still quite a few more to come.