Luchelle Kruger leads in Ideal Future after a recent win (Picture: 4Racing)
Highveld trainer of twenty years standing Luchelle Kruger has been called up as a late replacement in the Okapi Ladies International, a maiden plate over 1200m for amateur lady riders around the world, which kicks off Saturday’s much anticipated L’Ormarins King’s Plate meeting at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth.
Luchelle has ridden in a few work riders races over the years and has a best place finish of fifth, but she admitted she leaves those races, being a trainer, to “the professionals.”
However, she has vast experience riding racehorses as she workrides the horses in her yard everyday.
That includes giving them grass gallops and “final workouts” before the races.
Luchelle has landed a plum ride in the Okapi ladies International on the Justin Snaith-trained Gimmethegreenlight gelding Noon Day Gun, who is a a 6/1 shot with Hollywoodbets.
She said, “Jonathan Snaith phoned me on the 31st and said he needed a rider and asked me if I wanted to ride. The horse had been left in and he had declared him without a rider.”
She snapped up the opportunity.
Luchelle started out with the late great Buddy Maroun and she was also assistant to Paddy Kruyer when he had a stint in Gauteng.
She has a small stable and her biggest moment came when winning the Gr 3 Magnolia Handicap about ten years ago with the 110/1 shot Fanzene (National Emblem).
Luchelle said, “Most of the time I have about ten horses in the stable. Alistair (Cohen) always says I run a boutique stable, but my percentage strike rate is very good (this season 8 runs, two wins, for 25%)”
She said the three-time winner in her yard at present, Ideal Future, is one to follow.
Greg Bortz and Gina Goldsmith own Noon Day Gun, so it will be a big moment if she manages to pull it off on Saturday from a draw of two, which is sometimes a favourable side to be on but not awlays.
She admitted to being excited about the race.
She said about her charge and her stategy, “Justin says he is very well and he definitely has a chance of finishing in the first three. Sometimes they go too fast in these ladies races, so I might have to sit for a while and wait. But, Jonathan and Justin will give me the final instructions on raceday.”
Luchelle will fly in on the morning of the event.