The Hawks will be taking on the Eagles and the Falcons and racegoers will get an opportunity to watch three teams of the country’s top 12 jockeys compete in the inaugural Interprov Rider Cup at Greyville Racecourse on Saturday, July 18.
The Highveld Hawks have a particularly strong team and will be represented by champion jockey elect, Gavin Lerena, with strong support from current champion S’Manga Khumalo, former champion Piere Strydom and recent Daily News 2000 winner Raymond Danielson.
The Western Cape Eagles will fly with the internationally experienced Richard Fourie and Greg Cheyne along with Grant van Niekerk and Corne Orffer.
Richard Fourie: Western Cape Eagles.
The KZN Falcons will swoop with former champions Anton Marcus and Anthony Delpech and top riders Muzi Yeni and Sean Cormack making up their quartet.
Bernard Fayd’Herbe was originally pencilled in for the Western Cape team but has to honour contractual obligations at Kenilworth on the same day while Anthony Delpech has been laid low by a heavy bout of flu but will hopefully be back in the saddle come next Saturday.
“We are always looking for ways to promote and add entertainment to our racedays and this format has proved successful in the past,” said Gold Circle’s Racing and Marketing Executive, Graeme Hawkins. “It will give racegoers the opportunity to watch the best jockeys in the country go head-to-head and the bragging rights that go with winning the Interprov Rider Cup will hopefully add a competitive edge to the races.”
In order to give all riders an equal opportunity, the horses in each race will be ceded by a panel of form experts into four categories of three from top to bottom. The riders from each team will get a chance to ride in each category with the choice of horses done by ballot. This will give each rider a chance to showcase their skills on the best and the worst.
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.
The riders will contest four races, including two Listed features, with points being allocated as follows. 20 for first 16; 14; 12; 10; 8; 6; 5; 4;3;2;1 with 7 points for a scratched ride. Because of the narrow band of points allocation it is hoped that competition will be close and contain a little “needle”.