As we near the end of another season, we turn our minds to totting up the achievements of the past racing year to evaluate and celebrate our best. While statistics do not necessarily define greatness, they do lend us insight – or at least something to base discussion and opinion on!
When Aldo Domeyer rode a second set of six wins on a card this year, I did a bit of digging to see who else has achieved the feat. It was a really fun exercise and turned up a surprising number of names and trips down memory lane, so I thought I would share the results.
Finding the stats was somewhat hard going as so little of our history has been digitised and it is sadly not available at an easy touch of a button, so I should state in advance that this is not a definitive list, but is the best I could cobble together with the help of the NHA, jockeys, jockeys’ wives, friends, family and racing fans from all over (and my thanks to you all).
If I’ve missed anyone, please feel free to drop us a line at the Sporting Post or in the comments section on our website so that we can verify and log any stray records.
One of the earliest records I could find was for multiple champion jockey, Harold ‘Tiger’ Wright, grandfather of current top SA rider, Bernard Fayd’herbe. Wright rode 7 winners from his 8 carded rides at Newmarket on 3 February 1960. He rode two winners (Grassmere and Aden Peace) for trainer George Azzie (grandfather of current trainer Mike), he rode another two winners (Gold Chain and Double Diamond) for the EJ Sparks string and one each for ETC Passmore (Review), DC Littlefield (Pachberry) and R Ralphs (Maritonic).
Basil Marcus rode 6 winners from 8 rides on the Milnerton card as an apprentice on 21 June 1975. His list of winners was Tracy Ann, Double Joy, Farsi, Persian War, The Kajar and Mithra. Five were by Persian Wonder and all six winners were trained by Theo de Klerk. Basil also has the distinction of being the first South African rider to achieve 100 winners in a single season as an apprentice.
Basil also rode 7 winners from 9 carded runners at Greyville on 3 December 1986 when he won on all of Singing Boy, Foreign Attache, Business Liner, Bold Candidate, Miss Lobkowiez, Harry’s Champ and Hunting Queen.
Although never crowned SA Champion jockey, Basil was Champion Jockey in Hong Kong on 7 occasions (1991 – 1994, 1995 – 1999) and twice rode 5 winners on a card at Sha Tin (3 April 1993 and 29 May 1994).
Garth Puller rode 7 winners from 9 rides at Kenilworth on 27 September 1980. Puller, who was SA champion jockey in the 1978/1979 season and is now a trainer, rode the first five on the card as well as race seven and race nine. Four of his winners were for Peter Kannemeyer and three for Bert Abercrombie.
MJ Odendaal, SA National Champion Jockey for the 2004/05 season, rode 6 winners on the Clairwood card on 6 April 1993 and repeated the achievement at Turffontein on 9 July 1994, when he won aboard Can’t Buy Me Love, Race Me, Crystal Kid, Miami Beach, Nordicus and Mighty Millie. To add to the feat, all six winners were trained by Gary Alexander.
Six time SA Champion jockey, ‘The Guv’ has had such an extraordinary career that his list of achievements needs to be told in three parts. He has ridden 7 winners on no less than 3 occasions in South Africa. The first time was on the Turffontein card on 18 May 1991. He also rode 7 winners at Clairwood Park on 16 June 1995 as well as at Scottsville on 11 February 2001.
Jeff rode 6 winners on a card on no fewer than 5 occasions, starting with the Vaal on 21 August 1991, Turffontein on 28 March 1992, Clairwood on 30 January 1993 and at Clairwood again on 9 February 1993. Perhaps his most spectacular six was on 27 January 2007, when his six wins at Kenilworth included three Gr1’s – the Majorca Stakes on Sun Classique, the Cape Derby on Jay Peg and the J&B Met on Pocket Power.
Lloyd emigrated to Australia in 2007 and has more or less continued where he left off, clocking 5 wins on the Eagle Farm card on 17 September 2016 and 7 winners at the Sunshine Coast on 30 November 2016.
Speaking of international exploits, Doug Whyte may not have a South African champion title in his trophy cabinet, but 13 Hong Kong Championships is not bad going. From a card of 8 rides, he also rode 6 winners (plus 2 close seconds) on a Hong Kong card on 7 April 2013, racking up a record-breaking 94 points for the jockeys challenge.