Former Singapore based jockey BAREND VORSTER kicked off his Australian career in amazing fashion by winning the $1.25m Newmarket Handicap (G1) at Flemington racecourse last weekend.
Born in South Africa, VORSTER spent the best part of 15 years riding in Singapore where he won more than 700 races, including four at group one level.
The affable hoop only moved to Australia this month to take up the position as stable jockey for leading trainer Tony McEvoy in Adelaide. A natural lightweight who can ride 50kg, Vorster guided 3yo filly SUNLIGHT to an all the way victory to claim his fifth career group one race.
McEvoy, who had heard of Vorster, looked into the jockey’s riding record, thought “wow”.
“He’s a very good jockey,” said McEvoy.
“He’s not a new kid on the block.
“He’s come out here and handled the great occasion. What a great start for him.”
As for Vorster, he knew McEvoy was a good trainer with good horses. He also knew it was time for a change.
“Singapore has been good to me but I just felt that change was coming, and what a change to have,” said Vorster.
The jockey Vorster replaced as McEvoy’s stable rider in South Australia, Jamie Kah, claimed Super Saturday’s other big race in a history-making ride.