Vorster’s visa approval
Highly successful South African jockey Barend Vorster is looking to build his Australian profile now that he can accept rides from outside stables.
Vorster, 42, has built an impressive winning strike rate of 31 per cent since coming to Australia to ride for the McEvoy Mitchell stable of Tony and Calvin McEvoy.
The natural lightweight took no time to demonstrate his talent winning the Group One Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on champion mare Sunlight at just his second ride in Australia.
Vorster said he was looking forward to the next chapter of his career while Tony and Calvin McEvoy are excited for the jockey.
“When I first came to Australia my first visa was to ride for just Tony (McEvoy),” Vorster said.
“Now, I have my permanent residency approved which means I can take other rides and I think the timing is right with the spring carnival coming up.
“Nothing will change with Tony and Calvin, they will always have first call on my services.
“I have to thank Tony and Wayne (Mitchell) for their commitment to me.
“They gave me the right exposure, and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Co-trainer Calvin McEvoy said Vorster was the ultimate professional.
“Barend has been an invaluable asset since coming to our stable,” McEvoy said.
“Apart from riding more than 60 winners, his feedback at trackwork, and post-race, is outstanding.
“His guidance to the younger riders at Kildalton Park is brilliant, and his work ethic cannot be questioned riding six mornings a week.
“Barend is a true team player and I’m sure he will build on his success as he is a proven international jockey.”
The diminutive jockey, who has ridden about 1700 winners during his career in South Africa, Singapore and Australia, said he would eventually employ a manager to handle his rides but wouldn’t rush into any decision.
“Nothing will change with my work with Tony and Calvin, I will be based riding trackwork at Kildalton Park.
“I will be available for rides when not required for them. It might be a bit of a balancing act early but I’m sure it will develop.
“Hopefully I might be able to pick up feature rides during the spring carnival with my light weight.
“I can ride normally at 51.5kg and can get down to 49.5kg with a bit of notice.
“I am not riding next Monday or Wednesday because I will be heading to Ballarat to have a look around for when the McEvoys open a stable there next year.
“I need to have a look at the areas to see where I will live, and also look at schools for my son Brendan.”
Vorster said he was looking forward to the challenge of building on his impressive record.