Avontuur signs champion apprentice jockey!

Avontuur Estate, the home of highly rated sires Var and Oratorio, is happy to announce a sponsorship deal with champion apprentice jockey Luke Ferraris, who is one of the up-and-coming stars of the SA Jockey Academy.

“He joins long-time Avontuur-sponsored jockey MJ Byleveld and will be sporting the various Avontuur brands on race tracks country-wide from mid-August,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh.

“We’ve been incredibly lucky with our sponsored jockeys over the years. Starting off with MJ, Anthony Delpech and Greg Cheyne a decade ago,  followed by Callan Murray and most recently double SA Champ Lyle Hewitson, we have backed winners all the way.  People always joke that I seem to be able to see into the future as our jockeys have always performed incredibly well, which has obviously had positive spin-offs for our brand too,” Pippa explains.

Luke comes from a family with a long and illustrious history in South African racing.  His grandfather Ormond Ferraris (now retired) was the doyen of the Highveld racing scene, and it was a huge achievement when he chalked up two winners for his grandfather at the Vaal on Tuesday, 24 April 2018. 

His father David, has been based in Hong Kong as a trainer since the 2003/04 season, where he found early success with six-time Gr1 winner Vengeance Of Rain and has been plying his trade there ever since.  On Sunday, 10 June 2018 when three generations of the Ferraris family graced the winner’s enclosure in their separate capacities on the same day, it seemed as if it was the cherry on top for this blue-blood racing dynasty.

Looking at Luke’s family background, it seems inevitable that he would end up in the industry himself.  “I started having riding lessons in Hong Kong when I was three or four. Whenever the instructors gave me a break, I’d try and pull my irons up. When I was 5, we went on holiday to Zimbali and I remember galloping up the beach, not one bit of fear. That’s kind of when I knew it was what I really wanted to do,”he says.  Luke joined the SA Jockey Academy in 2017 and has loved the training, camaraderie and opportunities which has been coming his way ever since then.

“We have everything in place to kick off the sponsorship and look forward to seeing Luke representing Avontuur Estate.  From our side we hope to play a role in building and sustaining his career too,” Pippa concluded.