Author: Duane Fonseca

His move to the UAE materialised so quickly, that jockey Sherman Brown would only have been able to get to know his UAE employer Rashed Bouresly in the days that followed his first rides. “I landed on Wednesday night and was at his stables briefly this morning. So we haven’t really had a chance to meet,” said Brown at the end of his night at Meydan which included two rides in the orange silks of the Ras Al Khaimah-based Kuwaiti owner and trainer. “I’ve come here to ride winners, show my craft and show that I can get horses to run. I’ve only come to do my best here and hopefully I can bring the stable some winners.

I ride until the end of the season. At the moment it’s just to see how it goes and we’ll take it from there.” The 43yo South African is no stranger to riding in the Emirates, having ridden for Mazin Al Kurdi, the former Millennium 2 Stables boss way back in 2005. At the same time, Brown’s stint in the company of journeyman Bouresly is bound to be his first real UAE test. His move to Dubai was orchestrated by top South African trainer Mike De Kock. “I was here in 2005 and was riding for a yard that was undergoing a bit of difficulty,” explained Brown, who managed to ride two winners during his first stint. “Mazin Al Kurdi was trainer that season but then he was replaced and training changed hands with Rod Simpson taking charge and then another trainer taking over so it was more of a tumultuous season because we couldn’t really get a foot into the horses and get them going.

“Mike De Kock was in touch with me and he had obviously put my name forward to Rashed and from there it became a phone call between us two. “I had met Rashed briefly in 2005 when I was here but hadn’t really spoken with him. The I had a call the other day asking if I’d like to come back and I took the opportunity with both hands.” He seems to be liking it here already, finishing fourth aboard Shanty Star in his first ride and then eighth on the second aboard Aqqadeer. “From what I could see the training track is very nice, the stable is very good and the horses seem to be in good condition so I’m hoping that things will go well for us,” Brown said. “It’s been good so far. I’ve had a fourth on my first ride and then the next maybe the horse just needed a run.” Born in Zimbabwe, Brown has clocked quite a few miles under his belt as a rider having ridden in Mauritius, Macau, Zimbabwe and his native South Africa during his near 30 year career.

According to South Africa’s National Horseracing Authority website, his career tally stands at a respectable 1,437 winners. “I ride in Zimbabwe every second weekend and I ride in Johannesburg and Durban backwards and forwards; every week three meetings in Durban and three in Joburg,” said Brown who is a top 10 regular in the South African Champion Jockeys’ race and was crowned Mauritian Champion Rider in 2008. “I had some winners in Dubai, some in Macau when I was there and in Mauritius too. I was Champion Jockey there one season so it’s been good all over the place. I wouldn’t know the exact total of how many wins I’ve accumulated but it’s been good so far,” Brown said. A frame fit for riding nudged Brown to consider stepping into the saddle. “I was just very small as a kid and people started to suggest at school that I become a jockey.

I did that and I haven’t looked back since. I have been riding for the past 29 years now,” he added. “It’s an adrenaline rush every time you get on a horse and it does well and you can come prove your point that you’ve worked with the horse. When you see it win you obviously feel elated.” Brown is a gifted handyman as well and is known to make his own gear and he is said to be customising one for his time with his new employer. “I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I make all my own saddles and training kit. I am designing some at the moment in Mr Bouresly’s colours: bright orange and black.” That’s fine but no prizes for guessing what Bouresly would really like him to fashion for his small but keen operation.