S’manga Khumalo wins Equus award for jockey of the year

2014-08-14 10:13

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S’manga Khumalo added yet another feather to his already decorated cap when he walked away with the coveted jockey of the year accolade at the 2014 Equus Awards last night.

Held at Emperors Palace, a fitting venue and glittering ceremony for the man known as “Bling”, the awards are held to honour those who have excelled in the horse racing industry.

A total of 24 awards were handed out to horses and individuals who make the world of racing go round.

With 185 wins in the past season, including the 2013 Vodacom July, all agreed that the 29-year-old lad from KwaMashu, outside Durban, was a deserving winner.

“I am quite thrilled with this award,” gushed the young man in an interview with City Press. “It is all the result of hard work.”

Hard work has proved to be his middle name and ethos. As we spoke, he was fresh from the United Kingdom, where he was the first black jockey to ride at the hallowed Ascot in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup on Saturday.

“I had a fourth and second finish at the meet,” said the man, whose goal is now the glamorous J&B Met. “Having won the Vodacom July and the Sansui [Summer] Cup, the only big one missing on the local calendar now is the J&B Met, and my aim is to win it.”

Ah, by the way, on his hop to England, he visited Mary Slack’s Abington Place where was reunited with Heavy Metal, the four-year-old gelding he rode to a resounding Vodacom July victory last year.

Abington Place is the horse’s new home and trainer Mike de Kock’s new UK base.

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