Two decades of incredible feats in the saddle have catapulted Aslam Kader into the status of an icon of Indian racing. His power-packed finishes and dare-devil riding have made this pocket-sized dynamo, a darling of Indian race-goers.
In no other field of human endeavour does the ultra-violet of mental effort merge into the infra-red of physical powers so perceptibly as in horse racing. Success is a function of both mind and body and how much one influences the other gives the key to a man's temperament. Aslam Kader typifies these positive attributes.
Thirty-eight year old Aslam Kader's story is one of overcoming environmental disadvantage to emerge as a champion of champions. Coming from a humble background, Aslam Kader showed a strength of character that helped him to reach the pinnacle of glory. Aslam Kader's achievement speak more eloquently than words. Today, in his two-decade association with Indian racing, he has ridden well over 1600 winners, with 75 wins in Classic races. He was associated with the greatest Indian thoroughbred of all times namely Elusive Pimpernel who won 21 of his 22 starts at varying distances, the track conditions, the opposition, the back-breaking weights not having a bearing on the result.
Aslam Kader shot into fame when he outmaneuvered celebrated jockey Willy Carson in a nail-biting finish in the Indian Derby nine years ago. Astride Astonish, he drove out the gelding with all the resources at his command to contain the challenge of La Bon Vie who was ridden in splendid fashion by English ace Willy Carson. With both jockeys going flat out in the final furlong, it was a spectacle one worth going a long way to see. Incidentally, Astonish went on to become the first ever Indian bred horse to win two races abroad at Hongkong.
Though Aslam Kader's formative years were one of struggle, he made rapid strides after he was retained by India's leading owner Deepak Khaitan at the beginning of the last decade. He has never looked back since, accumulating winners with amazing regularity.
Aslam Kader is a natural. Blessed as he is with the ideal build for a jockey, Aslam Kader has been able to maintain himself at around 47 kgs for long which resulted in him being nicknamed AK 47 (AK 47 is an assault rifle) both for his weight as well as for the manner in which he fires winners in the saddle.
Aslam Kader has won the jockeys Champion Jockeys title quite consistently at all the racing centres in India. At the prestigious Bangalore centre, he has won it for an amazing number of nine times. He has won the title thrice at Mumbai. He holds the record for having ridden the maximum of numbers in one season at Mumbai which stands at a whopping 77.