Soweto-born jockey bags his biggest win at the Durban July

Soweto-born jockey Kabelo Matsunyane

Soweto-born jockey Kabelo Matsunyane

Published Jul 6, 2023


Johannesburg - Soweto-born jockey Kabelo Matsunyane bagged the biggest win of his career after finishing Gr1 at the prestigious Hollywoodbets Durban July at the Hollywoodbets Greyville event.

The animated 24-year-old revealed that despite having had a number of victories, winning his first Gr1 was one of the highlights in his career journey.

Matsunyane developed an interest in racing after going to a career expo where he learned more about horse racing.

“It’s been a blessing, and it’s all come into play very well, and I have improved in my riding for someone who did not have any racing background. I definitely did my best to get myself to where I am today.”

Asked how his victory will change his life and career, he said: “It’s a high step up in my career at the moment; hopefully, I get the exposure that I need to get opportunities to even go riding overseas. But for me, I just strive for more. Keep my head down and keep working hard. Just keep the wins coming.

“I believe my winning the July was just the beginning of many more good things to come. So it is to just build up and get my reputation up there, and then get my name out there as much as I can. Take all the opportunities that come my way with both hands.”

Matsunyane said coming from humble beginnings has kept him going in his career journey and shared advice with those aspiring to be in the world of horse racing.

“You can do anything you put your head to, and nothing must stop you. Never doubt yourself, and when you have something in your head, do not procrastinate; act on it. If you have a plan in your head, don’t go tell people and get approval from other people. If you feel that it is something that you want to do for yourself, you need to go for it. And just keep working hard.

"What has kept me motivated throughout the whole journey is that I come from humble beginnings, and when I think back on where I come from, it always motivates me to wake up in the morning and do better and to improve my status and my family status.“

4Racing CEO Fundi Sithebe hailed the win, saying the victory is a testament to the quality of the horse-racing product and the fantastic trainers, jockeys, and staff they have in the region.

"We were there to support our operators, and what they put together on Saturday from a horse racing perspective was just superb. So we are very proud of our fellow operators," said Sithebe.

The Star