FORMER South African heavyweight jockey Brandon Morgenrood has opened his account in New Zealand.

Morgenrood struck his first winning blow when he was successful aboard four-year-old gelding Aongate Express for trainer Gary Alton in the Nottingham Castle Maiden over 2200m at Te Aroha on Wednesday.

Morgenrood (40) rode nearly 500 winners in South Africa and also enjoyed a successful spell in Mauritius. He left South Africa in May 2016 to take up a work riding position in Cameron, known as the horse capital of New Zealand.

He applied for his race-riding licence at the start of 2017 and had it granted in August.

South African Denicious Smitjh and former Zimbabwean Mark du Plessis are others based in New Zealand.


  1. We have good ambassadors everywhere and they’re all on a par or better than overseas jockeys. Gavin Lerena would have proved it in the UK as well but got a raw deal from Charles Hills.