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Former South African Apprentice champion Derreck David has ridden over 750 winners overall in six different countries and is a once Mauritius Champion Jockey but is now homeward bound and is timing his return to coincide with Turffontein’s big Classic day meeting on March 5 where he is obviously hoping to get a few rides. 

The talented lightweight jockey has in fact won the Grade 1 WSB SA Classic before as he was the regular rider of the Gary Alexander-trained Pierre Jourdan, who was denied Triple Crown glory by Irish Flame in the SA Derby of 2010.

He said, “I miss South Africa and my family very much. I’m ready to  take up the reins from Classic Day. I’m hoping I can ride many winners in my home county in the near future. I’m super fit right now, I also look forward to work riding every morning so I can offer my expertise to any trainer/owner willing to give me the opportunity.”
Derreck has a fine race-riding pedigree being a cousin of the legendary Bartie Leisher and a nephew of Donovan Habib.

He was SA Champion Apprentice in the 2008/2009 season, pipping Karis Teetan in the last meeting of the season, 
Apart from riding Pierre Jourdan, he was stable jockey to five-times  SA Champion trainer Geoff Woodruff before being lured to Mauritius in 2013.

He made an immediate impact on the island and was Mauritius Champion Jockey in 2015.

He was inducted into the Mauritius Hall Of Fame that same season when riding five winners at a meeting.

He recalled not expecting it that day on July 23, 2015, as he did not have the best rides but it was a day when everything just fell into place and by the time of the jump for the last Hall Of Fame-clinching ride in the last race of the day he was “just riding with so much confidence … it was unreal!”  

He then left for Singapore and in one-and-a-half seasons rode 47 winners.

He rode in Mauritius from 2018-2020 and was then forced to take a sabbatical because of a rule that foreign jockeys who have ridden there for three seasons in succession are not allowed to ride there for the next two seasons.

He has ridden a total of over 190 winners on the island.

Other countries he has ridden in are Zimbabwe, the UAE and Bahrain.
It was a pity he had to take the sabbatical because he was runner up in he 2020 Mauritius Championship. He has been able to continue work-riding during his enforced layoff and enjoy some quality time with his family.

He has been riding for 17 years in total and has ridden seven Grade 1 winners in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mauritius.

The highlights are Pierre Jourdan’s two Legs of the Triple Crown, the Grade 2 Gauteng Guineas and the Grade 1 SA Classic, and the Grade 2 Charity Mile.
Derreck goes to scale at just 50kg.