JOCKEY Anthony Delpech began the new season in style when riding three winners at Clairwood on Saturday. He won on Semra and Berlinetta for the Mike de Kock yard and Son Of Orimandes for trainer Kom Naidoo, writes JACK MILNER of Racing Express.
It was the victory of Berlinetta that brought him the most satisfaction – and relief! “I rode her in the Grade 1 (Golden Slipper) at Greyville. She was drawn 16 out of 16 and I chased her early, got across quite easily but she never gave me anything.
“I am so happy she came out today and showed how good she is because I did tell (owner) Mr Rattray that this is a very good filly and she let me down. Mr Rattray probably thought ‘this jockey doesn’t know what he’s talking about’. I’m happy she came back and showed how good she is.”
Berlinetta went off at 1-1, paid R2 for a Win with TAB and an amazing R1.50 for a Place and came clear of the field to beat Advance Warning by 3.25 lengths in a FM 74 Handicap over 1200m.
With a good early start, Delpech spoke about his approach to the jockeys’ championship for the season. “I always want to be competitive. I always want to finish in the top five. I’ll wait until the decent horses start running in Joburg and then I will start flying there because I don’t want to give somebody else my winners.
“As far as the championship is concerned, if you find with three months to go you are still in contention, you’ve got to be silly not to go for it. One day when we’re old and we look back on it, we can say we won the championship so many times. Your kids look it up, too.
“It is important to win the championship; we all want to win it. But I don’t want to kill myself to win because it takes a lot out of you and it affects your riding here (in Durban). I enjoy riding work in the morning and getting to know the horses. When you’re travelling you don’t get to do that.”
There is a long way to go but, as Piere Strydom showed last season, getting an early jump on the opposition is a good first step.