YOUNG FACES TO THE FORE ON SA CLASSIC DAY
It’s often said that experience always trumps youth but it wasn’t the case at Turffontein Racecourse as young jockey Callan Murray trumped his rivals to land the SA Classic (Gr 1) on Saturday afternoon.
The SA Classic, the middle leg of the Triple Crown and run over 1800m, also helped seal a Classic winning double for the Mike de Kock stable after they’d claimed the Wilgerbosdrift Fillies Classic one race earlier with Orchid Island.
“This is a moment I’ve dreamed of since I started race riding,” Murray, who has quickly emerged as one of the rising stars of the sport, said of his achievement of riding a first Grade One winner.
There was also praise from another rising talent, Matthew de Kock who has quickly learnt what it takes to prepare horses to compete at the highest level
“We had full confidence in Callan. Many people don’t with a young, up-and-coming, jockey but he’s got a cool head.”
A special mention to the Sean Tarry stable as well after they managed to seal victory in the first six races of the card including success with current Horse of the year, Legal Eagle, in the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes (Gr 1).
The horseracing action provided the perfect dose of thrill to the guests in the Racing. It’s A Rush Member’s Lounge as they took full advantage of the opportunity to dress up for a day at the races and learn more about the sport thanks to several raceday tours that included getting close to the action in the parade ring.
There were also a number of standout looks from those who opted to race in the Country Garden and the City Deck provided the perfect afternoon in terms of food and a vantage point to soak it all in at the city track.
“It’s been amazing. The most important thing is that we’ve realised that there’s something out there we didn’t even know about,” Tshepo Mohlala, one of the guests in the Member’s Lounge, said of his experience.
“We’re taking it all in. You think horseracing is for older people but it’s really not and it’s definitely something for a younger crowd to consider,” the entrepreneur from Lynwood Ridge in Pretoria said of the experience.
Popular South African hip-hop artist Da L.E.S was also spotted enjoying a day at the races in the Racing. It’s A Rush Member’s Lounge and has hinted that owning a horse forms part of his short-term plans.
The third and final leg of the Triple Crown, the SA Derby, will be run on 6 May at the same venue as part of the Champions Day proceedings with the Intercontinental Village set to add flavour to that particular day.
Callan – A smiling Callan Murray weighs in after winning the SA Classic (Gr 1) aboard Hevenly Blue at Turffontein Racecourse on Saturday, 1 April. Picture: Racing. It’s A Rush.
DaL.E.S – South African hip-hop star Da L.E.S (white shirt) relaxes at the races on Classic Day ahead of a gig. The popular artist has hinted that owning a racehorse is a definite goal. Picture: Alet Pretorius.
Heavenly Blue – The grey, Heavenly Blue, got the better of the field in the SA Classic (Gr 1) at Turffontein Racecourse on Saturday, 1 April. It was a first Group 1 winner for jockey Callan Murray. Picture: Racing. It’s A Rush.