Cape Town - Jockey
Richard Fourie has won a number of feature races in his career, but the Sun Met
celebrated with G.H. MUMM is one that has eluded him.
he believes, that will all change on Saturday when he climbs aboard
Do It Again to ride in this year’s R5 million Grade 1 race over 2 000m at Kenilworth Racecourse.
It Again won the Durban July last year when ridden by Anton Marcus.
After that victory Do It Again was given a break and since his return in the
Green Point Stakes last month, Fourie has been at the helm.
Do It Again
finished third in his comeback race, beaten just 0.10 lengths by Legal Eagle,
but the Justin Snaith-trained runner demonstrated his well-being with an
eye-catching performance in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate where he beat the best
horses in the country in what was already being tagged “The Race Of the
was over 1 600m and there is no doubt Do It Again will be better over 2 000m.
After that win he was given a merit rating of 125 by the handicappers, making
him the highest rated horse in the country. As a result, bookmakers have
installed him as the even-money favourite for the Sun Met.
has earned his rating,” says Fourie.
“He’s a very special horse and he
deserves to be favourite.
is something about him; he has the ‘X factor’. He is forever improving, and you
probably will only see the best of him when he is five years old.”
is an astonishing statement as Do It Again won the Durban July as a
“For him to win the Durban July at his age was amazing. But I
would have to put him as one of the three best horses I have ever ridden.”
to name the other two, Fourie added: “Legislate and Dancer’s Daughter.”
Legislate went on a feature-race roll, winning the Cape Derby, KZN Guineas,
Daily News 2000 and Durban July in less than six months.
Daughter was the best filly in the country when she ran and even dead-heated
with Pocket Power in the Durban July.
“I only rode her once. I won a C Division
race on her. But she was really exceptional.”
the final field comes out there are always debates about barrier positions and
the pace of the race.
“For me, the draw is not a concern. If I have to worry
about the draw then I’m not on the right horse. I hear jockeys saying that they
were hoping for a better draw but you have to play the hand you’re dealt - you
got a ticket, you got a chance.
also not concerned about the pace because with Do It Again, it does not matter.
He’s quite versatile and he’s easy to ride. There are only 13 runners in the
field so it will probably be a very tactical race.”
how is Do It Again doing so close to the big race?
“He’s doing alright, hey,”
“A lot of preparation has gone into him over the past six
months but what you put in, you get out later. He’s doing well at home and he’s
a delight of a horse to ride. Everything has gone according to plan.”
Do It Again has his quirks.
“He does get worked up at the start and you do have
to keep him calm. He doesn’t like standing in the starting stalls but then most
horses have that problem.”
Snaiths engaged the services of horse whisperer Malan du Toit to help school
him, but Fourie remans the calming influence at the start.
That should be a
matter of mere instinct for 33-year-old Fourie who has exudes tranquillity.
suppose it’s different for everybody, but I don’t really feel the pressure,”
“When you walk into the jockey room everybody is in the zone.
Once the race starts your heart rate goes up to about 100 beats per minute. So
the aim is to just stay focussed and clear the mind of any extraneous stuff.
and his team have done their job with the team now it’s my turn to do my job.”
he points out, there are enough nerves coming from the owners.
“Owners are just
as excited and even more nervous. Having a runner in this race is a dream come
true for many of them.”
for Fourie, the owners of Do It Again - Nic Jonsson, Bernard Kantor and Jack
Mitchell - are well steeped in the world of horseracing.
“It’s easier to ride
for owners who understand the game and the way everything works. They’ve been
down this road and know what can go wrong.
think it all changes once an owner has a Group 1 winner. Those are the races
everyone wants to win but there are not than many of them so it’s very hard.
there are expectations from the owners, and they expect the trainers and
jockeys to produce the goods.”
was instrumental in getting the sire, Twice Over, to South Africa and Fourie
points out that must add to the success of Do It Again.
“It must be
unbelievable to breed and own a horse who has achieved this sort of success. He
has already won two Grade 1s and could win his third on Saturday.”
Fourie says, in general, he gets to choose his rides.
“The arrangement we have is that
I freelance within the Snaith yard. I don’t work for any specific owner so invariably
I can get on the best one. We all work hard because Justin has a very big
string of horses.
they have success because everything is done right. There’s a good rhythm in
While Fourie has a ridden in Hong Kong, he has no plans to ride overseas in the near
“It’s a dog-eat-dog world in Hong Kong, but it was a very good
experience. I learned a lot about racing and people while I rode there. But
right now my kids are in school, they’re in a good space and I’m not going to
he does have plans for after the Sun Met.
“I’m going to try and catch a marlin.
One of the best places to do that is off Cape Agulhas and that’s where I’ll be
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