Autumn Carnival Awards
Congratulations to Ali Iftikhar Sydney Strapper of the Year 2015-2016
Iftikhar Ali is from Pakistan and moved to Australia almost 10 years ago. Ali, as he is more commonly known around the stable, was a professional jockey in his home country, where he rode 25 winners before moving to Australia in an endeavour to gain further experience in the horseracing industry. He also made the move (with very little understanding of the English language) with a hope to earn a more substantial income to support his family, who remained in Pakistan.
Ali spent the first 6 years working for David Payne before starting with Chris Waller Racing almost 4 years ago. Ali is one of Chris’ most senior track work riders. He is very good with the older horses who exhibit some quirks and may prove difficult for others to ride. Ali is reliable, always on time, hardworking and overall is a huge asset to our stable team. He also straps at the races; most notably Press Statement and You’ll Never.
Since being in Australia, Ali lost his wife in 2007 and has since lost his father and one of his sisters. His four young children, aged between 9 and 13, still live in Pakistan and are being brought up by one of Ali’s sisters while he supports them financially from Australia. Ali sends the majority of his wage home to Pakistan where he is employing his extended family to build a house for his children. This gives each of his family members job security and a source of income. He has also funded a school bus to ensure that the local children can get to school each day. Unfortunately, he rarely gets the opportunity to travel home to Pakistan and he was last home in January, for the first time in some years.
Ali is a key member of staff at Chris Waller Racing and we feel very privileged to have him as part of our team. His work ethic in both his professional and personal life is something to be greatly admired.
(The Sydney Strapper of the Year Award is sponsored by Racing NSW and coordinated by Australian Racing Christian Chaplaincy. It is presented at the NSW Racehorse Owners Association “Night of Champions”. Photo courtesy of NSW Racehorse Owners Association)