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Jockey legend Weichong Marwing took out his trainers license recently and had a winner with just his third runner on March 31. 

“The riding eventually just became difficult, stop start, stop start, I developed a couple of problems, injuries, and eventually the neurosurgeon made the decision I should stop riding.”

“So now I have ventured over to a new career in training. I have been at it for a couple of months and it’s not going too bad. Things are looking bright, we’re up to 24 horses now, the more the merrier, but everyday one step at a time.”

He elaborated, “We bought at the BSA Cape Yearling Sale and at Nationals. We bought eight for clients at the Cape Sale and five at Nationals. We just have to try and build up the yard and see how it goes.”

He added, “I have a couple of owners. Colleen de Klerk was one of the first owners I acquired; Dr Jani Coetzee; Jani’s mother Martha Coetzee, also a doctor (in America), and she’s bought me a couple; Chris Booysen bought three, and then there is a new owner who joined the yard, Clive Barnard, I’m very grateful to him, he’s got a couple of nice horses.”

Weichong had strong associations as a jockey with two of the best trainers in SA history, Mike de Kock and Ormond Ferraris.

He added, “I had wonderful experiences with both of them. I’ve also had experience with Champion Trainers Ivan Allan and John Moore in Hong Kong and another trainer in South Africa I have been associated with is Mike Azzie, also a very good horseman.”

He continued, “So I would like to think I’ve had a good grounding.”

Weichong said travelling abroad with Mike de Kock had been a particularly valuable experience from a horse-care and conditioning point of view. 

He said, “When you travel aboard you obviously can’t take all the staff you need so we have got to do the work ourselves. So I learnt a lot from Mike like that and of course in other countries when I rode for different trainers. That has played a major part in my learning curve.”

He explained he used to multi-task in De Kock’s overseas yards, “I would ride work, come back, tack up horses, check stables, do feeding and general stable work, so what I learnt there is all part of this next step I am taking.”

Weichong had his first Grade 1 runner on Saturday in the Allan Robertson Championship.

His filly Time For Glory (Time Thief) won on debut for the yard of Dorrie Sham, who recently retired.

She ran third second time out for Sham.

In her first start for Weichong, for owners GW Jooste, KG Hunter and Marwing himself, she finished a fine 3,75 length second in the Grade 2 SA Fillies Nursery at odds of 33/1, beaten only by the smart Paul Peter-trained Maharanee (Flower Alley).

That was the first small black type that Weichong has achieved and he was out to gain more on Saturday.

Time For Glory acquitted herself well in the Allan Robertson, sitting behind the inside group and running on well for a 5,65 length seventh, a short-head behind the favourite Miss Cool. 

Weiching said, “I thought she ran a nice race, I don’t think she disgraced herself, beaten only 5,65 lengths first time here at Maritzburg, I think she ran well. It takes a special filly to win the Allan Robertson. It is a Group 1 and it is a tough Group 1. She may not be Group 1 material right now but she’s got a chance of maybe getting there.”

He concluded, “I think 17 of our 24 are unraced so they are taking a bit of time but they will get there.”

Picture: Weichong after a third place finish with his first runner Lazer Grace (Coup De Grace) on March 3 this year at Turffontein. The filly was ridden by his son Wesley and is owned by Dr Jani Coetzee (JC Photos).