THE Racing Association has announced the South African Jockeys team for this year’s Air Mauritius International Jockeys’ Challenge on Sunday 19 November, and a change in the format of the contest.
The honour of captaining the team goes to reigning champion jockey Anthony Delpech, who will lead Gavin Lerena, Greg Cheyne, Anton Marcus, S’manga Khumalo and Craig Zackey.
Unlike the last few years, this time the Challenge will comprise just the one meeting but will take place over six races, rather than four as has been the case previously. “Gavin Lerena came up with the suggestion that instead of spending the weekend running around the country, we have just one meeting but up the number of races,” explained Racing Association Chief Executive Larry Wainstein.
At this stage the international team has not yet been finalised but discussions are well on their way with UK Champion jockey Jim Crowley, Frenchman Gérald Mossé, Irishman Pat Smullen and Australian Corey Brown.
“A lot will depend on whether they will be riding at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in the US. Once we know what is happening with them we will be able to finalise the arrangements and the team,” said Wainstein.
The international team will gather in Mauritius from the Monday prior to the event and will then be flown to Joburg on Thursday 16 November by Air Mauritius. The next day they will be available for interviews for both print and television media. The jockeys will have a day off on Saturday when they can relax and acclimatise and on Sunday they will be fired up to do battle.
The Citizen is the media partner for the event.
Photo: Regular SA team rider Anton Marcus with Craig Zackey, new to the team.