Workriders’ Challenge kicks off

Workriders’ Challenge kicks off


Leg 1 of the 2020 Work Riders’ Challenge will take place at the Vaal on Monday.

The good news for all concerned is that despite the current economic difficulties, the prize money for this challenge remain at R50,000.

The third and final leg of last season’s Work Riders Challenge was not run due to the lockdown, but it was decided that the log leaders after the first two legs would be declared the winners.

As a result, Joe Gwingwizha, who topped the table with 75 points, will claim the R20,000 first prize with Chamu Mabaya, second with 62 points, receiving a cheque for R10,000 and Tshepiso Matsoele, third on 44 points, getting R5,000.

They will receive their payments at the Vaal on Monday.

The work riders’ programme has been run with dedication and enthusiasm by former top jockey James Maree, who points out that the programme is important on so many levels. “Skills development, transformation and the welfare of the horses – all of these factors are looked at,” said Maree.

“Today jockeys travel almost every day and are not able to ride work every morning. So trainers need to rely on their work riders and they need people with practical experience to work this horses.”

By riding in races on a regular basis, work riders are getting that practical experience. “In fact, there are a lot of trainers who like their horses to come out for the first time in a work riders’ race. There horses are more relaxed with somebody they know on their back and can enjoy the experience with less tension.

“I also encourage punters to bet on their races. Do you know that in the last 10 work riders’ races, eight have been won by the favourite and one by the second favourite? That is an amazing statistic.” 

Maree added that the work riders’ programme had also helped with the careers of some youngsters who were unable to start off at the SA Jockey Academy for some reason. “Jockeys like Lyle Hewitson, Sereno Moodley, Diego de Gouveia and Calvin Habib all started riding in work riders’ races and then moved to the academy.

“We also have work riders who have landed themselves jobs overseas after having gone through our programme.

“They learn the need for consistency and commitment needed to become a jockey.”

Maree also points out that this programme is unique. “It is the first and only one anywhere in the world.”

He also thanked all the racing bodies, in particular the National Horseracing Authority, the Racing Association and Phumelela for their full support in keeping the programme going. “I must take my hat off to all those who have helped us over the years,” said Maree.  


Top 10 workriders on the Highveld from 1 Augst 2019 to 4 November 2020.

     Name                           Runs Wins   Win% 2nd 3rd 4th Win/Pl%      W/Stake      P/Stake     

  1) Joe Gwingwizha*                  48   12  25.00   6   6   4   58.33    640700.00    169150.00   

  2) Tshepiso Matsoele*               50   11  22.00   6   7   2   52.00    542325.00    176300.00   

  3) Sam Mosia*                       51    7  13.73  13   5   3   54.90    349150.00    295975.00   

  4) Goodman Fundile Dadamasi*        41    7  17.07   3   2   6   43.90    355775.00     99850.00   

  5) Chamu Mabaya*                    43    6  13.95   6  10   5   62.79    338325.00    219500.00   

  6) Daniel Baase*                    37    4  10.81   2   4   5   40.54    188400.00     94125.00   

  7) Nkosithandile Ngqwangi*          16    3  18.75   2   1   0   37.50    124200.00     44800.00   

  8) Kelly Fisher*                    36    2   5.56   2   5   3   33.33     72000.00     90950.00   

  9) Martin Mhlongo*                  15    2  13.33   2   2   0   40.00    104400.00     57300.00   

 10) Phillip Mlangeni*                45    2   4.44   1   3   4   22.22    118750.00     74425.00   



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