Club grants Strydom return ticket
Jockey Piere Strydom will soon be booking a flight to Hong Kong, but it is JJ The Jet Plane that the South African can thank for his return to the Hong Kong Jockey Club, 14 years after his last stint here.
The Jockey Club's licensing committee yesterday confirmed that Strydom would be returning to the scene of last month's Hong Kong Sprint win, granting him a licence with the club valid from April 1 until the end of the current season in July.
Strydom, 44, was thrust back into the local spotlight with his upset win aboard South African star JJ in the International Group One on December 12, and has parlayed that result into a three-month riding stint in Hong Kong.
He has previously ridden with success here, recording 18 winners from 139 rides at a winning rate of 12.9 per cent when licensed for three months during the 1995-1996 season. The following season, he rode 37 winners from 350 rides at a winning rate of 10.6 per cent.
During his career, Strydom has ridden more than 4,000 winners and has been champion South African jockey five times. He has also recorded 57 Group One victories and won every Group One event on the South African calendar.
There was also some good news for fellow South African rider Greg Cheyne, who along with Australian talent Tye Angland, has had his licence extended from its February 2 expiry to the end of the season.
Cheyne, who has ridden seven winners this season, and Angland, who has chalked up 10, both applied to the licensing committee for contract extensions in the hope of landing a more permanent role with the Jockey Club next season.
Well-known New Zealand jockey Mark Du Plessis has also been granted a Club jockey license from April 1 until the end of the season.
Du Plessis rode six winners during his short stint here last season, but most notably enjoyed great success with the Caspar Fownes-trained Green Birdie - winner of the KrisFlyer International Sprint in Singapore.