Happy Year of the Horse! Racing returns next weekend.
The lot of a foreign jockey here is not an easy one. And it’s especially not easy if there are 3 other foreign jockeys ahead of you when you arrive.
However, one French jockey is trying to overcome those odds. Jerome Lermyte made his Korean debut at the beginning of November last year.
While on first inspection his bottom-line figures of 2 wins since then do not seem especially impressive, new light is shed on them when it is considered that those 2 wins have come from just 22 rides and that he’s found the money with 10 of those.
The 24-year-old Lermyte started his apprenticeship in France in 2006, winning the apprentice championship the following year.
In Europe, Lermyte has ridden in Germany, Spain and Switzerland as well as riding 20 winners in a 6-month stint in Macau and 15 during 3 months in Qatar.
In total he has over 300 career winners, 20 of them coming in group or listed races.
Lermyte’s first Korean winner came for Peter Wolsley at the end of December but it is his 2nd, which was last Friday at Busan that may be more significant. That win came on the first Korean runner for South African trainer Bart Rice who Lermyte is set to act as jockey for.
It was a good ride, with the French rider getting the better of Darryll Holland in a tight finish. He’s going to need plenty more of those to help the Rice stable get established. For both jockey and trainer, February is looking like an important month.