GAVIN Lerena has the first ride of what he hopes will be a fruitful spell in Britain at Bath Racecourse on Wednesday.
Lerena, who rode a double at the Shergar Cup meeting at Ascot in the summer, has come over principally to ride horses for Chelsea Thoroughbreds and will be based with Charlie Hills.
He gets his sojourn under way for Hills on Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Mudajaj (4-1) in the British EBF Maiden Stakes – silks he are quite familiar with having won the Gr1 Investec Cape Derby on Sheikh Hamdan’s Ertijaal, among others.
At The Races commented in their form column: “Mudajaj was fourth on debut at Leicester.
Lerena said in an At The Races interview: “At the moment I’ll be here for three months and if it all goes well I’d like to ride out the summer here. I’m looking to find a good horse and try crack a big one here.
“I’ve won 11 Group Ones in South Africa and about 45 other Group races. I’m just hoping to crack it here.
“Over here the pace is really on and it’s a true run race, in South Africa we tend to sit back a bit and sprint for home so I’m looking forward to the racing here and the testing tracks, it will be interesting.
“I’m based with Charlie Hills, but will ride for anyone. I’ve got a ride at Newmarket on Thursday (Dr Goodhead) and will be riding out there Friday morning.
“A Royal Ascot winner would be special, a dream come true.”
The Bath contest (Race 2 on the card), gets underway at 18:55, SA time.
-extracts from Racing UK, At The Races.