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Lorenzo Karriem has started his career as a licensed trainer well and Al’s My Daddy (Captain Al) and Anton Marcus made it win number eight for him in the last race at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday.
Lorenzo has been the private trainer in KZN for big owner Mario Ferreira for some time and lives and trains off the latter’s Summerveld-based farm.
He had been working under a couple of other trainers names until recently taking the plunge and officially going on his own.
His first runner was on January 31 and to date he has had 35 runners for a win strike rate of 22.86% and a place strike rate of 45.71%.
Karriem’s career in horseracing started in 1995 when he joined the South African Jockey Academy (SAJA).
He rode in KZN for two years and then in his third year went to Zimbabwe and rode for twice Zimbabwean Champion Trainer Michael Clements.
He later became Glen Kotzen’s apprentice in Cape Town.
Weight soon got the better of Kariem after he had gained his professional jockeys license.
He career in training started as assistant to Cape Town’s Greg Ennion.
He then landed a job with Joey Ramsden and came to KZN with his string in roundabout 2009.
He worked with such great horses as Variety Club in his years with Ramsden.
When Ramsden shut his KZN operation Lorenzo joined Charles Laird and worked for him until his retirement.
Later, he had a stint with five-times SA Champion trainer Sean Tarry.
He was then offered a position to take care of the horses on Ferreira’s Summerveld equine farm and he jumped at the opportunity.
The horses were first under Dennis Bosch’s name and later Gareth van Zyl.
He said, “The yard ran under other people’s names but I finally decided to go on my own. For him to support me is a great privilege.”
He said not much had changed since officially taking out his license but elaborated, “To me it feels the same because I’m doing the same thing and it becomes a habit but obviously being on your own it is a different ball game … you have to answer now.”
He still has knowledgeable industrymen he is able to consult with.
He said, “Mario’s racing manager Des Gonsalves is on the farm with me. We discuss everything, he is my right hand man at the moment and we work well together, it is a team effort. We get a lot of help from Anton Marcus and also Athandiwe Mgudlwa and Serino Moodley. I have Andrew Fortune in Jo’Burg who I can call on, Charles Laird is just a call away too. So there are a few guys who I can rely on if I’m in a puzzle and who I can fall back on for advice.”
He said his approach varied from horse to horse, depending on the type of individual it was, but he said the biggest influences on his methods had come from the combination of the “great” trainers Sean Tarry, Charles Laird and Joey Ramsden.
On his most exciting inmates he said, “I have a lot of babies at the moment and I just want to see them come through the ranks, although nothing stands out. Princess Calla (Flower Alley) is obviously close to me. She is in Johannesburg at the moment with Ashley Fortune and hopefully she comes back here for the Champions Season.”
He concluded, “Gunsmoke (Noble Tune) was my first winner, so will always be close to me and I think he is a progressive type of a horse.”
The latter certainly showed plenty of zip on the Hollwoodbets Greyville poly today when finishing a 0,90 length third first time out the maidens off a 74 merit rating.
Picture: Lorenzo Karriem leads in the well-bred Captain Al gelding Al’s My Daddy at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday after he had won easily under Anton Marcus. (Candiese Lenferna).