The Durban winter season is in full swing but I will be missing most of it as tomorrow I will be jetting off to Mauritius for a few months, writes Piere Strydom.

I’ve been in contact with a couple of trainers on the island for a while now because I’ve been battling to get rides in Joburg. When you can’t get top quality rides and have to take lesser quality mounts, it makes life tough. The amazing thing is that people still expect you to produce the goods on weaker horses. It was getting quite frustrating.

So, I thought Mauritius would be a good option because I have nothing to lose. Ironically since signing the contract I’ve had a couple of feature wins, including two Grade 1s and a Grade 2 so leaving now when everything has started to go well is even more frustrating. The quality of my rides was picking up and as you win, you form bonds with trainers and that relationship can go from strength to strength.

But I have committed myself to Mauritius and I’m hoping to make a success of it. If things don’t work out, I’ve really lost nothing but I think the change will be good for me. It could be a nice venture and a wake-up call for me to revitalise my interest in riding.

I am contracted to ride for trainer Rameshwar Gujadhur but part of my agreement is that I will be available to ride at the Durban July meeting at Greyville. There have been a few rides I have tried to book although nothing has been confirmed.

One of them is Doublemint, who is running today in the World Sports Betting 1900, but at this stage the weight is an issue. He ran a very good race in the Sun Met where he was beaten around three lengths, despite have been way out on handicapping, which means had the race been a handicap he may well have won the Met.

As the July is a handicap his, chances will be much better when he meets the same horses.