Rahmi Canpolat is gradually getting better with his English.
The apprentice jockey will certainly have a much better grip of the language when he returns to Turkey after a stay in Ballarat as part of an international racing industry mentorship exchange program.
Understanding English has been no obstacle for the 19-year-old though while at the stable of Matt Cumani.
He has let his horsemanship do the talking and everyone has been impressed.
And no one could more happier than Ballarat veteran horseman Darryn Murphy, who played a key role in getting the youngster to Australia.
Murphy first met Canpolat while in Turkey as a foreign riding instructor from 2014 to 2016.
Murphy, who is a stable foreman with trainer Darren Weir, said getting Canpolat to Australia had realised a dream he had had since his time in Turkey.
“He’s been outstanding as has the whole experience.”
Murphy said even though Canpolat was not permitted to ride in races while visiting Australia, it was a huge learning experience.
“I can’t thank Matt and his staff enough for their support.
“They’ve taken him in…it’s been great.”
Canpolat, using a mobile phone interpreting system with the help of Murphy to help generate a conversation, said he had learned a great deal at Cumani’s.
Racing Victoria athlete and careers development manager Melissa Weatherley said Canpolat had been one of 18 recipients to benefit under the racing scholarship fund as part of the International Federation of Horse racing Academies mentorship program this year.
She said the initiative fell under the umbrella of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, which helped provide professional mentoring opportunities for horse racing industry students outside their own countries.
The program has also assisted students from Denmark, Ireland, Oman, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Sweden, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and Australia.
Victorian apprentice jockeys Stephanie Thornton and Melissa Julius spent three weeks at Newmarket in England earlier this year.
What Canpolat, who can ride at 51kg, is hoping that the Australian experience helps him make him more successful in the saddle.
While he has had more than 100 race rides, he has had just the one win to date.
Murphy explained that racing in Turkey was a mix of thoroughbreds and Arabians, with two meetings a week.