• Manifold wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
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www.indiarace.com:- Interview Jockey Rajendra

“I Am A Self-Trained Jockey”


www.indiarace.com:- Jockey Rajendra

Undoubtedly, he is one of the finest jockeys around in Indian racing circuit. He is about to turn 40 but the age is not catching him up. More over, he is the "darling of Delhi" what was called by late SN Harish - voice of Indian horse racing - during his last visit at the Delhi Race Club. The Delhi champion jockey Rajinder poured out his heart while talking to me before making it to Kolkata.  

Indiarace: How did you get in to this profession?
Rajinder: When I was barely eight or nine years old, I used to go to the stable of trainer Sinha (who was the maternal grandfather of jockey D Singh) along with my grandfather Shri Puran Singh. Both were good friends. They intended me to sit in the roll. That was the early basics. Moreover, my residence was alongside the race track. The colourful silks and jockeys' flat out riding induced me to adopt this profession.

IR: What are your basic qualifications?
Rajinder: I did my matriculate from Lions Vidya Mandir (Kashmir House) which is situated near the Prime minister’s house. To be frank, I was never good in studies. That’s why I paid more attention towards becoming a jockey.

IR: From where did you get the training?
Rajinder: I am a self-trained jockey. Even though many jockeys had extended their helping hands in giving me valuable racing basics during initial stages.

IR: Please tell us about your career.
Rajindeer: I was handed over the apprentice licence under the tutelage of trainer SR Chauhan. In a short period, I completed apprenticeship. And after becoming the full-fledged jockey, I opted for freelancing and that paid dividends. I have topped the jockeys list for more than 15 times.

IR: How many races have you won so far?
Rajinder: I do not believe in counting but since you have asked for, it would be between 850 to 900 wins to my credit. I would also like to add that the record of winning 74 races in 1997 is still a record in Delhi.

IR: Which is the best horse you have ridden so far?
Rajinder: It is "Brahmaputra". I love to ride him till he runs.

IR: Is there any event you would always like to remember?
Rajinder: It's North India Derby in 1996. When I guided Brave Punto (late Remember The Time)  to snatch the victory from the jaws of one of the southern India challengers in the silk of  "Gold and brown belt".

IR:What made you go to Bangalore?
Rajinder: I admire Mr PS Sodhi, the then stipendiary steward. One day he called me and asked to go outstation to show the calibre. The same year, after becoming the champion, I went to Bangalore but unfortunately, I got only three mounts. I felt bad and returned home.
Despite this I am thankful to Sirajuddin and Savi Jain who provided me those mounts.

IR:  Do you remember the first success at outstation?

Rajinder: Celtic Storm was the first horse to brought laurel for me in Pune. It was owned by Major BP Singh, who had engaged me for Delhi season.

IR: You are very familiar with the Delhi track. But apart from that, which race course you find the best?
Rajinder: Of course, it’s Pune race course where I succeeded in 18 races and was the third champion once.

IR: Which trainer whom you find the best?
Rajinder: Imtiaz A Sait.

IR: What about your association with the Delhi-based owners Sultan Singh and Rajesh sahgal?
Rajinder: It has been wonderful. What I am they have made me. It has been an outstanding association with them which has been going on strongly over a decade.

IR: What is your future plan?
Rajinder: I have no plan. I do believe in present. As far as my jockeyship is concerned, I can ride as long as my fitness is with me.

IR: Since you have no racing background, would you like your son to carry your legacy?
Rajinder: Yes. My son Aakash Rajput is 13 years old and has started giving work- out to the horses. 

IR: Any basic mantras for the upcoming jockey?

Rajinder: Be honest and do hardship.

Delhi. July 6, 2009