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Rachel Venniker to miss historic Durban July ride after freak accident

Rachel Venniker, apprentice jockey, injured at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse

Rachel Venniker, apprentice jockey, injured at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse. Picture: Gold Circle/Candiese Lenferna

Published Jun 28, 2022


Durban - Rachel Venniker will not compete in the Hollywoodbets Durban July on Saturday following a freak incident in a race at the Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse on Monday.

Venniker was set to make history as the first female rider to compete in the event.

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The 21-year-old suffered misfortune as she fell as the gates were opened prior to the start of the eighth race on Monday. Venniker was set to ride Red Saxon at the main race at the Hollywoodbets Durban July.

Gold Circle Racing Executive Raf Sheik has said that Venniker suffered a concussion and whiplash. She is set to be out of action for up to two weeks.

Trainer Joey Soma expressed his sympathy for Venniker.

“I am so sad and sorry for Rachel. She is such a professional and I know that she was proud and excited to have her first Durban July ride and make history,” Soma was quoted as saying by the Sporting Post.

Soma has said that he will select the best possible rider to replace Venniker. One that could be in line for the seat is veteran rider Julius Mariba and other possible candidates are Gareth Wright and Denis Schwarz.

“Please allow me to reassure the public that I will always make the decision to select a replacement rider in the best interests of the horse. We are considering our options and will sleep on the curved ball and make a decision in the morning. These things happen in racing. But for for now we wish Rachel a speedy recovery and thank her for all her hard work,” said Soma.

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