Two Old Academy Mates – 40 Years On

At an emotional informal “reunion” at the Hollywoodbets Greyville winners’ corral on Friday night, some forty years after they first nervously walked through the doors of the SA Jockey Academy to begin their brand new careers, two multiple SA champions embraced jockeys and reflected .

Hollywood Syndicate Race Director Anthony Delpech and fellow former academy member Mark Khan, both international champions of their day, teamed up to win race two with Clifton Stud-bred VAR gelding Phaka Imali on the evening of Global Team Horseracing.

Still life in the old master! Mark Khan rides a powerful finish on Phaka Imali (Image – Candies Lenferna)

The Gary Rich-trained Phaka Imali, which means ‘hand out the money’ in Zulu, started 9-2 and was one of two winners of the night for the Hollywood Syndicate, who started their new term in style with Brett Crawford blaming Teatro Less than 24 hours later in Kenilworth a runaway winner.

Anthony and Mark, now 52, ​​joined the SA Jockey Academy in 1982 and trained alongside Anton Marcus, Marthinus Mienie and Frikkie Vermaak, who was a year younger.

Still in the saddle as Phaka Imali was brought in, Mark Khan felt a lump in his throat as he quipped, “I’m just so happy I was able to ride a winner for my friend Anthony.”

Anthony Delepch and Mark Khan flanked by Anthony’s youngest daughter Brooklyn and trainer Gary Rich (Image – Candies Lenferna)

While Mark Khan, who doesn’t race as regularly as he would like, has faced his personal challenges with injuries that mean multiple retirements and comebacks over a 12-year span, Anthony Delpech’s life has changed on April 7th Changed forever in 2018 when he was badly injured. from Majestic Mambo during the SA Classic in Turffontein.

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“Mark Khan and I both relate to this horseracing hook. Believe me, it’s very hard to walk away from this game. That’s all we’ve known since our teenage years. All jockeys experience injury – it’s the nature of life in the saddle. Personally, I have struggled to process my experiences of ending my career. The management of the Hollywood Syndicate fills me with so much joy and pride and goes a long way in filling the void as I have a strong connection to this great game,” added Anthony Delpech, also remembering those early ’80s days remembered.

“Every other weekend in my parents’ house on the Berea, apprentices slept on the floor and wherever they could find a place! Mark Khan and Anton Marcus were both from Cape Town and were two regulars,” he added.

Can you name these trainees? Image provided by Anthony Delpech.

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