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Greg Cheyne after winning a big Heritage Handicap at the York Ebor meeting on the Dylan Cunha-trained Silver Sword

Cheyne has an admirable seven winners from only 50 mounts in the UK

Neil Andrews

I’ve been presenting sport and horseracing for 40 years. Over the breadth of my broadcasting career I’ve met and interviewed numerous famous people. Most were lovely, a few darn right horrible and whilst you might think it would be otherwise, in my experience the bigger the star the nicer the person.

Of course there’s the odd exception, but generally an A-list celebrity such as Will Smith is God’s perfect ingredient for cooking up a captivating interview. In contrast B-listers can be bad eggs, and even a Michelin Star chef can’t whip up a good omelette with rotten eggs.

What applies to the wider world of entertainment holds true to sportscasting.

Every now and again a broadcaster is gifted a gem. A guest whose eloquence and knowledge of their subject matter elevates the interview-format into a conversation through which the content becomes a masterclass.

Those television moments are gold and you never forget them. To this day I still cite my face-to-face chat with golfer Lee Trevino as my most enjoyable interview and that must have been a quarter of a century ago.

On Saturday my guest for the live coverage of the Green Point Stakes was jockey Greg Cheyne. Simply put, he was marvellous.

When it comes to knowledge-transfer Greg is clearly a natural and his pre- and post-race analysis produced incredible insight.

As a horse race the Grade 2 Green Point demanded high quality analysis and Greg delivered. It was billed by many as the day Charles Dickens would put Princess Calla in her place and stake his claim for January’s LÓrmarins Kings Plate, but it didn’t pan out like that. Instead, it was See It Again who blew his opposition away and in so doing laid down a monster of a marker for the season.

Greg Cheyne’s expert contribution shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’ve always billed him as a thinking man’s jockey and his most recent overseas experience has improved his considerable skillset even further.

Cheyne is much travelled. From 2009 to 2013 he spent two and a half years in Hong Kong and then the last 18 months in Singapore. Throw in short stints and invitations to Germany, Korea, Macau, Mauritius and Malaysia and you can see he’s a man who’s not afraid to explore new horizons.

Greg was kind enough to give me an update on how his move to the United Kingdom has gone.

He is based in Newmarket at the Somerville Lodge operation of trainer William Haggas.

His days are mad busy, he rides out in the mornings and Haggas has got him learning the ropes in every facet of stable life from mucking out and grooming to assisting head lads with feeding, bandaging, wound care, basic medication. For the past few months he’s been working alongside the three yard assistants and learning their duties.

It seem that the planets might be aligning as literally over the road from Somerville Lodge another South African has moved into the William Jarvis yard. Jarvis retired in October and Dylan Cunha is now training out of Phantom House Stables.

Whilst burning both ends of the candle, Cheyne has also booted home an admirable seven winners from only 50 mounts. Those 50 starts have taken him to some of the UK’s big racedays and he’s already ridden at 24 different racecourses.

To the last point Greg told me, “The tracks are all so different, each one is unique and the phrase ‘horses for courses’ has never been more relevant.”

By way of confirming that their move to the UK was what they were looking for, Greg and his wife Claire recently purchased a house in Newmarket.

Whether it’s Tattersall Sales, Rowley Mile or July racemeets, they love the buzz in the village, and as sure as Greg was going to ride winners for Alan Greeff at Fairview on Friday, the introduction of a braai and a dog is guaranteed to follow.