2017 NEW TURF CARRIERS RIDER CUP
South Africa’s top racehorses have been the focus of attention throughout Champions Season but at Scottsville in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday it will be the “little guys” on top that take centre stage in the 2017 New Turf Carriers Rider Cup Interprovincial Jockey’s Challenge.
Teams of riders from KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape will compete for top honours in a series of races on the day with their mounts being allocated by ballot.
The top three riders in each province at the end of May, based on the National jockey logs, will automatically be included in each team with the fourth rider being the “captain’s pick”.
Gold Circle’s Marketing Executive Graeme Hawkins explained that there could be riders with the talent to be competitive that, due to unforeseen circumstances, had not ridden enough winners to qualify. The new system of rider selection would enable the team captain to extend an invitation to that rider to join the team for the competition.
While some riders may be selected to ride horses they were familiar with, for most they could find themselves in the saddle of a runner they know nothing about which adds more spice to the competition.
The Highveld Hawks representing Gauteng are the defending champions and will be out to retain their status but will be up against top riders from the other teams. The KZN Falcons won the first challenge in 2015 with the Cape Eagles having finished second in both challenges and will be out to go one better and lift the provincial title.
The riders will contest four races with points being allocated as follows:
The teams are as follows: