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News


Rabada tops the boards
Published: 24 October 2016

Rabada tops the boards
Rabada is also 5-1 favourite for the Charity Mile...

Rabada has been installed 7-1 favourite for Sansui Summer Cup and last season’s Daily News winner  impressed when partnered by Anton Marcus in a solo spin over 1 400m at Turffontein on Saturday morning.

Brett Crawford, who flew to Johanesburg to supervise the work, said: “It was a good gallop and I was very happy with what I saw.”

Betting World makes Triple Crown winner Abashiri second favourite at 10-1 jointly with Liege and goes 12-1 Samurai Blade, 14-1 Juxtapose, St Tropez, 16-1 Mac De Lago, The Conglomerate, Master Sabina, Ten Gun Salute, Deo Juvente, 18-1 Negroamaro, 20-1 and upwards others.

Derek Brugman, Markus Jooste’s racing manager, said : “I am surprised that Rabada is favourite but I think he is good enough to be competitive. Obviously he is a little behind schedule [after missing his comeback run because of an over-reach] but he doesn’t take a lot of work. He will go on to the Summer Cup after running in the Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile.

“The Conglomerate will also probably run in the Charity Mile as a prep for the Summer Cup while St Tropez and Deo Juvente will go the same route.”

Rabada is 5-1 favourite for the Charity Mile with World Sports Betting which also goes 7-1 New Predator, 8-1 Champagne Haze, 9-1 St Tropez, 12-1 and upwards others.

Michael Clower

Rabada moves to Crawford
Published: 26 September 2016

Rabada moves to Crawford
Rabada has changed stables...

Rabada, winner of the Premiers Champion and Daily News for Mike Azzie, has changed stables and is now trained by Brett Crawford. The four-year-old is temporarily with Mike de Kock in Gauteng and is being prepared for the first part of the Johannesburg season.

Rabada (Nkosi Hlophe)

Rabada (Nkosi Hlophe)

Crawford said: “Rabada came to me in the middle of July and he runs first in the Joburg Spring Challenge at Turffontein on October 8. He is in the Sansui Summer Cup but his mission is the Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile on November 5.”

The Philippi trainer will run last year’s Horse Chestnut winner Captain America in the Kuda Matchem Stakes at Durbanville on October 9. The six-year-old is the highest rated horse in the 1 400m Grade 3 and was third in last season’s J & B Met after finishing fourth in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and beating Futura in the Green Point.

Crawford said: “The programme is again the Green Point, Queen’s Plate and Met if all goes well.”

Crawford has never won the Matchem or the fillies equivalent on the same card, the Diana Stakes, but this time he also has the top-rated in that –Alexis, winner of last season’s Tibouchina. The five-year-old will start her campaign in this and then head towards the Klawervlei Majorca on Met day.

Joey Ramsden won last year’s Matchem with Act Of War and the 2011 running with Variety Club. He is responsible for all five three-year-olds among the 22 entries and his quintet includes Langerman winner Table Bay as well as the third and fourth, Newlands and Attenborough. The last-named reappears at Durbanville on Wednesday.

Ramsden also has four of the five three-year-olds entered in the Diana including Irridescence scorer Captain Gambler.

Michael Clower

Silvan Star back on track
Published: 26 September 2016

Silvan Star back on track
...but she is the sort of filly you could run in the Gold Cup.”

Silvan Star could be in line for a crack at the Diana Stakes after bouncing back to form under Greg Cheyne in the All To Come Novice Plate at Durbanville on Saturday.

Glen Kotzen, who has already won the Diana four times this century, said: “The race comes up quite soon but I have nominated her and we will see how she pulls up.

“I thought she was going to be my Daisy Fillies Guineas runner but she had a dreadful Durban season with only one run in four months. She was suffering from travel sickness when she arrived and then she had foot abscess after foot abscess.”

Francia, on whom Cheyne led over a furlong out to become the first filly to take the Settlers Trophy since Let’s Be Cool in 2003, might find herself in the Gold Cup at the end of the season.

Justin Snaith said: “We were lucky to find a race like the Settlers – it was basically a 90 merit-rated Listed race – and I only stuck her in at the last minute when I saw the ratings of the entries but she is the sort of filly you could run in the Gold Cup.”

For the second Durbanville Saturday in a row Snaith won half the races but in the Itsarush.co.za Handicap it was Cheyne on 10-1 chance Union Jack who came off worst. In the closing stages Fifty Cents came off a straight line, possibly edging away from Richard Fourie’s whip, and Union Jack was squeezed like a lemon.

At least that was how it looked from the stands and on TV. The films in the boardroom showed rather more clearly how Union Jack, intimidated but not touched by the winner, bounced off the quarters of the strong finishing second-placed Icy Trail and lost his momentum.

The stipes decided there were no grounds for changing the result and Cheyne took the same view although he reported: “I was unfortunate. I was interfered with but I couldn’t win an objection because I was only third.”

The next Snaith winner, Sabine Plattner’s 22-10 favourite Twinkle Toes, also caused a stir but before the race. She dived into the parade ring gazebo and nearly decapitated rider Shadley Fortune. Her trainer then came up with the understatement of the month: “I’ve got to calm her down – she’s a bit hot.”

Fourie rode the stable’s other two winners and seemingly even he has joined the army of onlookers who openly wondered why he was so hesitant about taking his old job back earlier in the year. “It’s a thrill, and exciting how things are going at the moment,” he said.

It was also quite a day for Geoff Woodruff. At Turffontein newcomer Singapore Sling, backed from 8-1 to a still generous 3-1, lived up to the months of talk about him catching pigeons by romping home nearly six lengths clear in the manner of something special and at Durbanville the diminutive California Girl belied her lack of inches by following up her first time win, coming from last to first under Donovan Dillon.

Daughter Lucy said: “She is only 14.3 hands and she showed nothing until just before she first ran. Since then she has come on by leaps and bounds. She is a CTS Million Dollar candidate and hopefully she will be good enough to get in.”

Boyfriend Adam Marcus has taken his string from just ten when he started in 2012 to over 60 and he struck with the Grant van Niekerk-ridden Diva Fever in the opener while in the last Riaan van Reenen and Carl Burger made it three for their new partnership when Craig du Plooy sprang the shock of the season (so far at least) by making most of the running on 66-1 shot Royal Fleece.

Michael Clower

Lafferty honoured at Awards
Published: 29 August 2016

Lafferty honoured at Awards
Paul Lafferty: "I was truly humbled and honoured."

Popular Summerveld trainer Paul Lafferty celebrated being named Personality Of The Year at the KZN Racing Awards on Friday night with a fine double at Scottsville on Sunday.

Lafferty thoroughly deserved the award as he does a lot to promote the Sport Of Kings.

Not only is he trainer, but is also a director of Gold Circle, Chairman Of The KZN Trainer’s association, the South African ambassador for Australian sales company Magic Milllions, he co-hosts two Tellytrack shows,  Winning Ways and a new one about football, and he is also an on course racing presenter.

Lafferty has also had time in the past to be a highly entertaining Master Of Ceremonies at various racing functions. His witticisms on the latter occasions, as well as in everyday life, are the reason he was introduced on Friday night as, among other things, a comedian.

Lafferty has endured the probable toughest period of his life since being diagnosed with cancer over a year ago. He has coped admirably and has been on top of it to date due to his positive attitude as well as a tremendous show of support from the racing industry, which included raising funds for the medical treatment.

He said, “I was very surprised to receive the award, I had no idea it would be me, and I was truly humbled and honoured. It is a good award to win. I cannot state how grateful I am for the support I have received in the fight against cancer and it shows just what a wonderful industry we have. You are down all the time when fighting the disease and working through it, so it has been tough. But the industry were behind me from the jump and we didn’t allow it to get the better of me.”

Paul’s wife Jan is out from her home in England at present and this made Friday night a doubly special occasion for the Lafferty family.

Paul’s season was also memorable from a racing perspective as he made his debut as a trainer in Dubai.

On January 21 this year his crack Australian-bred colt Harry’s Son made that debut memorable by running second in the Gr 2 US$250,000 Al Fahidi Fort over 1400m on the turf, especially as his time was inside the previous Meydan course record. The prize money the colt earned covered the considerable costs of the arduous five month journey to Dubai. Harry’s Son followed with two fourth place finishes in a Gr 2 and a Gr 1, which qualified him for the prestigious Dubai World Cup night. Unfortunately, he jarred himself in the US$6 million Dubai Turf over 1800m and finished unplaced. He has been recovering in Spain since and the next big step in the roller coaster adventure for his passionate owners is his intended participation in the Gr 2 Prix de la Floret over seven furlongs on Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe day in France.

Yesterday Lafferty won the fourth race with the 14/1 shot Dress For Success, ridden by apprentice Diego De Gouveia, and the sixth with 6/1 chance Ole Gunnar, who was ridden by Keagan de Melo. The yard also had a second, a third, two fourths and a fifth from their total of twelve runners.

David Thiselton

Eagle lands Horse Of The Year
Published: 18 August 2016

Eagle lands Horse Of The Year
Deserving winners and a few hard luck stories at the 2016 Equus Awards...

The Sean Tarry-trained Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm Stud-bred Greys Inn gelding Legal Eagle won the most anticipated Equus Award, Horse Of The Year, at the glittering annual ceremony held at the Emperor’s Palace on Tuesday night.

The awards all had deserving winners, but at the same time there were a number of the usual hard luck stories.

The three horses who could be considered desperately unlucky were Smart Call, Abashiri and Mystic Spring, who in any other year would likely have had their names up in lights.

Lyndon Barends & Sean Tarry (GC Photos)

Lyndon Barends & Sean Tarry (GC Photos)

Legal Eagle received the Horse Of The Year award, as well as Champion Older Male and Champion Miler awards, due to his three Gr 1 victories. These included two weight for age Mile wins, in the L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate and the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes, as well as a win in the Gr 1 R4 million Premier’s Champions Challenge over 2000m.

However, the Mauritzfontein Stud-owned and bred Ideal World filly Smart Call put up one of the best performances ever seen on the South African turf when annihilating the opposition in the Gr 1 J&B Met by 3,5 lengths. Among the vanquished were Legal Eagle, whom she faced on weight for age terms. Her Met win followed a comfortable two lengths victory over the champion filly Inara in the Gr 1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes over 1800m, a race in which another champion filly, Bela-Bela, finished third.

Smart Call was merit rated 121 after her J&B Met win, one point above Legal Eagle.

However, if anybody ever deserved to be on the right side of a contentious award it was Tarry, as he has had to swallow a few bitter pills in the past. Tarry received the Champion Trainer award for the second time in succession. He was the first to break the 200-winner barrier in a season, sending out 209 winners, and he also smashed the record for stakes earnings. He gave a thought provoking speech with one of his points quoting President Rooseveldt in which the message was to urge people of the racing fraternity to work hard in the arena rather than criticise from the side.

The Champion three-year-old male was another category which was difficult to call. The nominees included SA Triple Crown winner Abashiri and the horse who had captured the imagination of the South African racing public in the latter part of the season, Marinaresco. The panel sided with the Mauritzfontein Stud-bred Mike Bass-trained Silvano gelding Marinaresco. Marinaresco captured two legs of the Cape Winter series, before travelling to Durban and putting up an astonishing performance in the Vodacom Durban July, coming from 17 metres off the pace to run a close second. He later flew home to win the Gr 1 Mike and Carol Bass Champions Cup cosily, despite having had his initial run blocked. Bass, who officially retired after a glittering career at the end of last season, received a standing ovation when joining the connections on stage to receive the award.

The Champion Broodmare went to the Highlands Farms Stud-based Our Table Mountain, dam of Gr 1 winners during the season Silver Mountain and Cloth Of Cloud. She thoroughly deserved the award, but in any other year it could easily have gone to the amazing Cheveley Stud-based mare Mystic Spring, whose daughter Bela-Bela joined the like of Rabiya, Secret of Victoria, Spring Lilac, Rafiya  and Touch The Sky as stakes winners she has produced. Mystic Spring did receive a consolation Exceptional Broodmare award.

Smart Call’s consolation was to be named Equus Champion older female and Champion middle distance horse, while Abashiri received a Special Achievement award for landing the SA Triple Crown.

The Champion Two-year-old filly went to the unbeaten Sean Tarry-trained Highlands Farms Stud-bred Captain Al filly Cloth Of Cloud. Among her three wins was a victory against the boys in the Gr 1 SA Nursery.

The Champion two-year-old male looked clear cut and duly went to another horse by Captain Al, the Vaughan Marshall-trained Klawervlei Stud-bred colt Always In Charge, who won the hotly contested Gr 1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion over 1200m at Scottsville by three lengths.

The Champion three-year-old filly also looked clear cut and went to the Justin Snaith-trained Cheveley Stud-bred Dynasty filly Bela-Bela, who won the Gr 2 Daisy Fillies Guineas and the Gr 1 Woolavington 2000.

Andy O'Connor & Callan Murray (GC Photos)

Andy O’Connor & Callan Murray (GC Photos)

The Champion Sprinter went to the Coenie de Beer-trained Scott Brothers-bred Overlord gelding Talktothestars, who was merit rated 120 after winning the Gr 1 Tsogo Sun Sprint. The award completed a fairytale for small string trainer De Beer, who also owns Talktothestars.

The Champion Stayer was hard to choose as Abashiri completed the Triple Crown when winning the Gr 1 SA Derby over 2450m, while Enaad won the country’s premier staying race, the eLan Property Group Gold Cup over 3200m, as well as the Gr 3 Gold Vase over 3000m. The Gold Cup winner is usually a shoe-in for the award and it once again swayed that way as the Mike de Kock-trained High Chaparral gelding Enaad, owned and bred by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, was awarded the trophy.

Special achievement awards also went to Ormond Ferraris, who saddled his 2500th winner during the season; the Glen Puller-trained CTS Million Dollar winner Illuminator (the award was accepted by owner Francis Carruthers and jockey Heavelon van der Hoven); the Mike Bass-trained filly Inara for winning three Gr 1s during the season all in different centres (Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban).

The Champion Stallion award went to the Drakenstein Stud-based sire Trippi.

Summerhill Stud won the Champion Breeders award for the tenth time, regaining it from Klawervlei who had won it for the last two years. Summerhill owner Mick Goss was there to receive the award and delivered a typically rousing speech. The dam of Legal Eagle, Young Sensation, was acknowledged with an Outstanding Broodmare award.

Lammerskraal Stud received an Outstanding Breeder award as breeders of Abashiri. The Print Media award went to doyen Charles Faull chiefly for his Thoroughpedia project.

The Champion Apprentice award was received by Callan Murray. The Champion Jockey award was received for the second time by S’Manga Khumalo.

Markus and Ingrid Jooste were once again champions owner. In the season they won nine Gr 1s, including the elusive Vodacom Durban July.

David Thiselton

Legal Eagle named Horse Of The Year
Published: 17 August 2016

Legal Eagle named Horse Of The Year
Legal Eagle is the 2016 Horse of the Year...

Deemed by many as unlucky to have missed out on a single Equus Award last year, Legal Eagle received South African racing’s top accolade when voted Equus Horse of the Year at a plush function hosted by the Racing Association at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg on Tuesday, August 16.

Legal Eagle raced five times during the season and won three Grade 1 races in imperious fashion – the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes and the Premier’s Champions Challenge. His other two starts yielded seconds to Smart Call in the J&B Met in January and an Allowance Plate in his first run of the season.

Legal Eagle (Liesl King)

Legal Eagle (Liesl King)

Trainer Sean Tarry’s charge also clinched the Champion Older Male and Champion Miler awards for his owners Markus and Ingrid Jooste. Anton Marcus, the Joostes’ retained jockey, rode Legal Eagle in all of his five starts.

Equus owner, trainer, jockey, apprentice, stallion and breeder awards go automatically to the table-toppers in each category for the season.

The Joostes won the Champion Owners award for the ninth year running by virtue of their runners earning R26.3 million during the season – R17 million more than any other owner.

Tarry won the Trainers’ Championship and the Equus Champion Trainer award for the second consecutive season. His first call rider S’manga Khumalo won the jockeys’ championship and the Equus rider’s trophy for the second time after also leading the pack home in the 2013-14 racing season.

Legal Eagle was a contender for the Champion Middle-Distance trophy (1800m to 2200m), but the award went to top female Smart Call, who beat him in the Met before being exported to compete at the famed Breeders’ Cup later this year.

Smart Call won four of five starts in South Africa during the season with her other victories including the Grade 1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes and the Grade 2 Ipi Tombe Stakes.

The recently turned five-year-old, who runs for Jessica Slack’s Mauritzfontein Stud and is trained by Alec Laird, was also named Champion Older Filly-Mare ahead of Carry On Alice and Inara.

Abashiri and Adriaan van Vuuren (Liesl King)

Abashiri and Adriaan van Vuuren (Liesl King)

The Tarry stable won another award when Cloth Of Cloud, unbeaten in three career starts including defeating the boys in the Grade 1 SA Nursery, was named Champion Two-Year-Old Filly.

The corresponding award for colts and geldings went to Vaughan Marshall-trained Always In Charge, who trounced his opposition in the Grade 1 Gold Medallion at Scottsville.

SA Triple Crown hero Abashiri was a strong contender for the Champion Three-Year-Old Colt-Gelding award ahead of other Grade 1-winning nominees in Cape Derby victor It’s My Turn, Cape Guineas and Dingaans (Grade 2) winner Noah From Goa, Daily News 2000 hero Rabada and rising star Marinaresco.

But the award went to Cape-based Marinaresco, who got better and better as the season progressed. Trainer Mike Bass’ charge was only third behind It’s My Turn in the Cape Derby, but went on to win two legs of the Cape winter series before closing fast late from way back to finish second to The Conglomerate in the Vodacom Durban July.

He wrapped up the season and Mike Bass’ training career with an impressive and emotional victory in the Champions Cup on the last day of the season.

Abashiri’s connections did not go home empty handed though. Adriaan and Rika van Vuuren’s gelding was given a Special Achievement award in recognition of his accomplishment in becoming only the third winner of the SA Triple Crown.

Drakenstein Stud’s Inara, winner of 1600m Grade 1 races in all three major racing centres, inaugural Million Dollar winner Illuminator and trainer Ormond Ferraris were also honoured with Special Achievement awards. Ferraris has had a long and illustrious career and reached the 2,500-winner milestone during the season.

Champion Sprinter went to owner-trainer Coenie de Beer’s Talktothestars.

This was a tough category because the four nominees each won one Grade 1 race during the season with Talktothestars’ claim resting on a grand victory in the 1200m Tsogo Sun Sprint at Scottsville in May carrying top weight in the only Group 1 handicap.

Bela-Bela with Anthony Delpech up (Nkosi Hlophe)

Bela-Bela with Anthony Delpech up (Nkosi Hlophe)

The Champion Stayer award went to eLan Gold Cup hero Enaad, trained by Mike de Kock for Al Adiyaat South Africa. The Gold Cup is South Africa’s greatest test of stamina, in spite of its Grade 2 status, and Enaad had earlier won the 3000m Gold Vase on Durban July Day.

The battle for the Champion Three-Year-Old Filly award was between Silver Mountain, who won the Grade 1 Cape Fillies Guineas and placed in the Cape Guineas and Million Dollar, Varsfontein Stud’s Bela-Bela and Juxtapose, winner of the Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic and Grade 2 SA Oaks.

The panel of judges ruled in favour of Bela-Bela based on her successes in the in the Grade 2 KRA Fillies Guineas and the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000, as well as her third behind Smart Call in the Paddock Stakes and close sixth in the Durban July.

Apprentice Lyle Hewitson’s career has been explosive since he was first licensed to ride in races in March, but Callan Murray held on to win the Champion Apprentice title and the corresponding Equus Award by just five wins.

CHAMPION TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE (DISTANCE IMMATERIAL)
ALWAYS IN CHARGE

CHAMPION TWO-YEAR-FILLY (DISTANCE IMMATERIAL)
CLOTH OF CLOUD

CHAMPION THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT (DISTANCE IMMATERIAL)
MARINARESCO

CHAMPION THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY (DISTANCE IMMATERIAL)
BELA-BELA

CHAMPION OLDER MALE (DISTANCE IMMATERIAL)
LEGAL EAGE

CHAMPION OLDER FILLY/MARE (DISTANCE IMMATERIAL)
SMART CALL

CHAMPION SPRINTER (1000-1200 METRES; AGE/GENDER IMMATERIAL)
TALKTOTHESTARS

CHAMPION MILER (1400-1600; AGE/GENDER IMMATERIAL)
LEGAL EAGLE

CHAMPION MIDDLE DISTANCE HORSE (1800-2200 METRES; AGE/GENDER IMMATERIAL)
SMART CALL

CHAMPION STAYER (2400 METRES UPWARDS; AGE/GENDER IMMATERIAL)
ENAAD

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
ORMOND FERRARIS
ILLUMINATOR – Glen Puller, Frances Carruthers and Ian Robinson
INARA – Mike Bass, Gaynor Rupert, Ross Fuller and Kevin Sommerville
ABASHIRI – Mike Azzie & Adriaan and Rika Van Vuuren

CHAMPION STALLION
TRIPPI

CHAMPION BROODMARE
YOUNG SENSATION

EXCEPTIONAL BROODMARE ACHIEVEMENT
MYSTIC SPRING

CHAMPION BREEDER
SUMMERHILL STUD

OUTSTANDING BREEDER AWARD
LAMMERSKRAAL STUD

MEDIA AWARD – Print
CHARLES FAULL

CHAMPION APPRENTICE
CALLAN MURRAY

CHAMPION JOCKEY
S’MANGA KHUMALO

CHAMPION TRAINER
SEAN TARRY

CHAMPION OWNER
MARKUS AND INGRID JOOSTE

HORSE OF THE YEAR
LEGAL EAGLE

A memorable season
Published: 15 August 2016

A memorable season
Reflecting on a memorable Champions Season...

The dust has settled on another highly successful Champions Season in KwaZulu-Natal and the 2016 National Championships of South African racing again produced many memorable and exciting finishes as well performances out of the top drawer by both horse and rider.

From the time Bela Bela and Black Arthur opened the Season back in early May with scintillating victories in their respective Guineas all the way through to Marinaresco’s brilliant season-ending emotional and nail-biting success in the Mike and Carol Bass Champions Cup, the Season thrilled racing fans around the country and indeed the world. Piere Strydom, who celebrated his 50th birthday during the year, was seen at his brilliant best from the worst of the draw when winning on The Conglomerate in the Vodacom Durban July. Another highlight was certainly Enaad’s Gold Vase/Gold Cup double, the first time ever that this staying double has been achieved.

Not to be outdone Anton Marcus rode the race of his life to get Rabada home in the Daily News, despite dropping his stick at the top of the straight, and Coenie de Beer’s Talktothestars took our breath away when carrying top weight to an effortless victory in the Tsogo Sun Sprint.

Greyville turf track

Greyville turf track

But while all this glorious action was taking place, Gold Circle came under fire for the condition of its turf tracks at both Greyville and Scottsville. While remaining silent at the time, so as not to further shift focus from the quality of racing, Gold Circle now wishes to set the record straight. The Company is satisfied that the condition of the tracks at no stage proved a threat to horse and rider. “Naturally in winter the tracks do not look as green as the summer tracks but the underfoot surface was good throughout the season, notwithstanding the torrential downpours in May and July, each of which delivered more than 200mm of rain within a 24-hour period,” said Marketing Executive Graeme Hawkins.

“At Greyville in winter the Cynoden grass takes over from the Kikuyu which results in a mixture of green and brown turf – not aesthetically pleasing but the underlying surface was good and certainly fit for racing. This is borne out by the evidence and feedback we have had from NHA and private veterinarians as well as many of the leading trainers, locally and from around the country, who raced horses throughout the Season at both Greyville and Scottsville. The statistics appear to suggest that fewer injuries occurred during this past Season and KZN Champion trainer, Dennis Drier, was one of the leading trainers who reported that his runners all came through the Season largely unscathed,” added Hawkins.

“Scottsville, like the tracks on the Highveld, is subject to frost in winter and the colour of the turf quickly changes during the course of Champions Season. Unfortunately, the perception of draw bias down the straight persisted but by adding a false rail to the inside of the course we were able to counter this and ensure safe and fair racing for all at our big Sprint race meeting,” concluded Hawkins.

The Equus Awards take place tomorrow evening at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg and the KZN Racing Awards are scheduled for Friday night 26 August at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban.

KZN Award nominees
Published: 10 August 2016

KZN Award nominees
Vote for your Ride Of The Season...

The KZN Racing Award takes place at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban on Friday’ August 26, where KZN’s finest will be honoured. The criteria for this year’s awards have been changed slightly and the various racing categories were judged on a “Best Performance” basis by KZN-trained horses – the exception being Horse of the Season that is open to any horse that raced in KZN during the three months of South Africa’s Champion Season.

Ashburton trainers were the only KZN-based trainers to have recorded Gr1 victories over Champions Season with the Paul Gadsby-trained Gunner victorious in the Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes and Weiho Marwing’s Mac De Lago in the Gr1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge.

Gunner is up against the two unbeaten colts Hack Green and Red Chestnut Road in the two-year-old male category while Mac De Lago is up against No Worries and Punta Arenas in the Older Male category and has three in opposition in the Best Middle Distance performance where he faces Exit Here, Olma and Same Jurisdiction.

The two-year-old filly’s category is dominated by another Ashburton-based trainer. Duncan Howells has all three of the nominees in his yard these being A Womens Way, Dawn Calling and Lunar Rush.

Best performance by a three-year-old male will be a hotly contested category with Exit Here, Isca, Redcarpet Captain and Ten Gun Salute the nominees.

Anthony Delpech was an easy winner of the KZN Champion Jockey Award judged on most wins in the province while Eric Ngwane will be crowned Champion Apprentice.

Champion Trainer, also judged on most wins in KZN, goes to Dennis Drier who finished on 80 winners, seven ahead of nearest rival Duncan Howells.

A new category is Ride of the Season that will be judged and voted for by the racing public. Watch Tellytrack DSTV 239 for more information on voting for your favourite.

Six races have been singled out, those being:

Anthony Delpech – Black Arthur – Canon Guineas

S’manga Khumalo – Enaad – Gold Vase

Anton Marcus – Rabada – Daily News

Anton Marcus – Zante – Queens Palm Stakes

Weichong Marwing – Exit Here – Cup Trial

Piere Strydom – The Conglomerate – Vodacom Durban July

 

Gunning for the future
Published: 4 August 2016

Gunning for the future
Paul Gadsby said, “I have always had big faith in Gimmethegreenlight..."

Ashburton-based Paul and Beth Gadsby have reason to be optimistic about the future because they have five Gimmethegreenlights in their yard and one of them, Gunner, landed the promising sire his first Gr 1 on Sunday when winning the Premier’s Champion Stakes over 1600m at Greyville under Brandon Lerena.

Lerena has shown tremendous courage to come back from a broken vertebrae after a nasty fall in training last September and this was the fifth Gr 1 victory of his career.

Paul Gadsby said, “I have always had big faith in Gimmethegreenlight. As a racehorse he beat Variety Club fair and square twice. Any horse who can do that has to be a champion.”

Gadsby selected Gunner purely on looks at the CTS Cape Premier Yearling Sale in January last year and was subsequently impressed by the pedigree too. He said, “Gunner was very neat and reminded me of Sea Warrior.”

Gadsby, a former jockey, had broken in and spelled the Vaughan Marshall-trained Gr 1 Richelieu (Cape) Guineas winner Sea Warrior back in the 1980s.

Gunner is out of the decent Captain Al mare Play Nice, who won three times between 1200m and 1300m. Gadsby said, “Two no brainers as broodmare sires are Captain Al and Fort Wood.”

He continued, “I had tried to buy a couple of Gimmethegreenlights previously but couldn’t afford them, but I managed to get Gunner for R200,000 and have bought more Gimmethegreenlights since.”

Gunner was bred by Hassen Adams’ Nadeson Park stud farm. Adams kept a quarter share in the horse and allowed him to stay on his farm while Gadsby put an ownership syndicate together. Gadsby said, “It took me a long time to put him together and I aged five years, but perhaps this is what us KZN trainers have to do, otherwise we are not in the game.”

Gadsby was thankful to prominent KZN owner Morgan Pillay for introducing him to Neshal and Anusha Lalla. Gadsby said, “Neshal and Anusha came up to see Gunner and I told them he was a very nice horse. I told them he would come early and thank goodness I was right about that.” The couple are first-time owners.

Shakthi Banwari and Keith and Melanie Carelse were others to come to the party. Gadsby had advised the latter couple, who are good supporters of his yard, to buy into a “proper” horse.

Gunner won on debut over 1000m on April 10 and was gelded after his next start. Two runs later he was stepped up to 1400m in the Gr 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe over 1400m and managed to stay on strongly despite having been caught wide throughout the turn.

If only he could find cover in the Premier’s Champions Stakes, he would have to have a shout. The other questions were whether he would stay the trip and whether he would handle the testing, rain affected going.

Gadsby was also concerned by him not having eaten up to his maximum capacity in the week of the race. However, he became upbeat about an hour before the race when the Dennis Drier-trained Hack Green became Gimmethegreenlight’s first stakes winner, hacking up by three lengths in the Gr 2 Umkhomazi Stakes over 1200m.

Brandon Lerena said, “I was very grateful to be given the ride by Mr Gadsby and the owners.”

Lerena spoke of the valuable race riding lessons he had learnt from Gadsby while the latter was chief riding master at the South African Jockeys Academy and of the tremendous support Gadsby had subsequently given him upon renewing his trainer’s license.

Lerena said about Gunner, “He has the whole package, a good action and he is laid back and does what you want. If a stallion is to have a chance he has to be sent the right mares and Gimmethegreenlight looks to have had that. Gimmethegreenlight and Captain Al looks like a nice cross.”

Lerena reined Gunner back early from a tricky draw of seven. The horse responded beautifully and showed no sign of fighting. He was at the back, one wide, but, crucially, was covered up. Lerena said, “At the 450m mark he was the only horse still on the bridle.”

Lerena swung Gunner outward to the centre, but not before noticing 17/20 favourite Zodiac Ruler coming under pressure.

He patiently waited for a gap to open. Gunner then burst through and had caught the leader Africa Rising by the 150m mark. However, the big horse Zodiac Ruler had found top gear and was suddenly in front on the inside.

Gunner, despite probably being the smallest horse in the field, has an impressive stride and once again responded to the powerful and rhythmic urgings of Lerena. He found another gear and passed the favourite inside the 50m pole to win going away by half-a-length. Lerena said, “The way he quickened up was impressive.”

Gadsby was impressed by the courage Gunner had shown in going through the patchy area close to home so well. On the downside the time was 1,11 seconds slower than the Gr 1 Thekwini Stakes for two-year-old fillies.

Lerena has experienced plenty of back trouble since making his comeback at the end of Novemner, two months after the fall. However, he is doing extensive excercises under the guidance of a personal trainer to strengthen the back muscles. The always talented rider is eager to be back to 100% well-being in order to chase his ambitions to full capacity.

Gunner has pulled up well and will have a holiday before likely being prepared for the CTS $US500,000 Sales race over 1600m at Turffontein next January.

David Thiselton

Green light for Drier star
Published: 3 August 2016

Green light for Drier star
Dennis Drier made an early prediction of Hack Green’s ability...

One of the two-year-olds to follow next season is undoubtedly Sunday’s Gr 2 Umkhomazi Stakes winner, the Dennis Drier-trained Gimmethegreenlight colt Hack Green.

As part owner Hassen Adams remarked after the race, Hack Green had “looked the splitting image of his father” when he saw him at the Sale and he had to have him.

Gimethegreenlight throws them in all sizes and this colt is one of the bigger ones around.

Drier said in the winner’s enclosure on Sunday he had made an early prediction of Hack Green’s ability and had told the connections he felt they had “a bit of a star here”.

Hack Green (Nkosi Hlophe)

Hack Green (Nkosi Hlophe)

Jockey Veale said this “special horse” gave him “a tremendous feel” everyday in work.

Veale was confident after cantering down on Sunday and felt it would take a good one to beat the good looking Varsfontein-bred colt.

He duly rode a confident race, reining his mount back from a wide draw early on.

Hack Green quickened superbly in the straight and burst through the centre to hit the front just before the 100m mark. He went on to win by three lengths.

He is in good hands and the maestro trainer will likely be wanting to put an overall disappointing season by his high standards behind him.

Even then Drier romped home in the KZN Trainer’s championship with 81 winners to Duncan Howells’ 72.

However, the yard lacked a Gr 1 winner for the first time in many a season, and the likely backlash makes the yard’s young horses a must to follow this term.

David Thiselton

Media


eLan Gold Cup Sunday
Published: 26 July 2016

eLan Gold Cup Sunday
2016 eLan Gold Cup postponed by a day to Sunday 31 July...

Following 200mm of rain at Greyville over the past 36 hours, Gold Circle has decided to postpone the 2016 eLan Gold Cup by a day to Sunday 31 July, with all race times remaining as published.

“The weather forecast from Thursday is pretty good and we are hoping the extra 24 hours will allow the track to dry sufficiently. Strong winds are also forecast for Saturday and this should further assist in the drying process,” said Gold Circle Racing Executive Raf Sheik.

As a consequence of Gold Circle’s decision, Phumelela has agreed to bring forward their race meeting scheduled for Sunday to Saturday 30 July to fill the void left by the postponement of the eLan Gold Cup.

Super Sunday Betting Menu updated

Gr2 eLan Gold Cup final field and betting menu
Published: 22 July 2016

Gr2 eLan Gold Cup final field and betting menu
Gr2 eLan Gold Cup final field and betting menu

GoldCupFinalFld1

Betting Menu_GoldCup1

FINAL FIELD: 2016 Gr2 ELAN GOLD CUP
Published: 19 July 2016

FINAL FIELD: 2016 Gr2 ELAN GOLD CUP
Draws to be televised live @ 5.18pm on Tellytrack this evening (19 July 2016)

FINAL FIELD for the R1,25MILLION Gr2 ELAN GOLD CUP to be run over 3200m on Saturday July 30:  

DRAWS TO BE TELEVISED LIVE @ 5:18pm ON TELLYTRACK THIS EVENING (19 JULY 2016)

Sc# Horse               Mass   MR       Draw   B  A  T  Jockey         Trainer

1   MASTER SABINA       60.0  107 (107)    0      A  T  G Lerena       Geoff Woodruff

2   HELDERBERG BLUE     59.5  105 (105)    0      A     G van Niekerk  Mike Bass

3   OVIDIO              59.5  105 (105)    0      A     P Strydom      Justin Snaith

4   COLTRANE            58.5  102 (102)    0   B  A     B Lerena       Joey Ramsden

5   KINGSTON MINES      58.5  102 (102)    0   B  A     D Dillon       Mike de Kock

6   BALANCE SHEET       57.5  101 (100)    0   B  A     K de Melo      Dean Kannemeyer

7   THE CENTENARY       57.0   99 ( 98)    0      A     W Marwing      Mike de Kock

8   ARCH RIVAL          56.5   97 ( 97)    0   B  A     R Danielson    Geoff Woodruff

9   SOLAR STAR          56.5   96 ( 96)    0      A     S Randolph     Dean Kannemeyer

10  CAPE SPEED          55.5  100 ( 93)    0      A     A Delpech      Dean Kannemeyer

11  STEBBINS            54.5   98 ( 91)    0   B  A  T  …………   Weiho Marwing

12  FORTUNE FELLA       54.0   90 ( 89)    0      A  T  …………   Devin Little

13  ENAAD               53.5   89 ( 88)    0      A     S Khumalo      Mike de Kock

14  ZAFIRA              53.0   93 ( 86)    0      A    *C Murray       Weiho Marwing

15  KINAAN              53.0   84 ( 77)    0      A     D David        Mike de Kock

16  SMART MART          53.0   83 ( 82)    0   B  A     M Yeni         Mike de Kock

Reserve Runners

17  THREE BALLOONS      53.0   85 ( 84)    0   B  A     Reserve 1      Mike Bass

18  STORM WARNING       56.5   96 ( 96)    0      A     Reserve 2      Johan Janse van Vuuren

ends

 

FINAL FIELD: 2016 Gr1 MIKE & CAROL BASS CHAMPIONS CUP
Published: 19 July 2016

FINAL FIELD: 2016 Gr1 MIKE & CAROL BASS CHAMPIONS CUP
FINAL FIELD for the R1MILLION Gr1 MIKE & CAROL BASS CHAMPIONS CUP...

FINAL FIELD for the R1MILLION Gr1 MIKE & CAROL BASS CHAMPIONS CUP to be run over 1800m on Saturday July 30:  

SC DR HORSE            WGT  M/R     JOCKEY          TRAINER

1  15 ICE MACHINE        60.0 106   A  B Lerena          Charles Laird

2   8 PUNTA ARENAS       59.0 110   A  K de Melo         Dennis Drier

3   3 JUDICIAL           59.0 105   A  K Zechner         Tyrone Zackey

4   9 NO WORRIES         59.0 103 TBA  W Kennedy         Gavin van Zyl

5   6 GOLD ONYX (NZ)     59.0 102 T A  ……………   Sean Tarry

6   5 IT IS WRITTEN      59.0 102   A  P Strydom         Justin Snaith

7   1 SARATOGA DANCER    59.0 101   A  C Zackey          Duncan Howell

8  11 DYNAMIC            59.0 100   A  D Dillon          Justin Snaith

9   4 ST TROPEZ          59.0  99   A  A Marcus          Joey Ramsden

10  7 BEZANOVA           59.0  96  BA *C Murray          Alec Laird

11 14 MARINARESCO        57.5 109  BA  G van Niekerk     Mike Bass

12 10 EXIT HERE          57.5 107  BA  W Marwing         Charles Laird

13 13 BARITONE           57.5 104 T A  A Delpech         Justin Snaith

14 12 MAMBO MIME         57.5 103   A  S Randolph        Dean Kannemeyer

15  2 ROCKETBALL         57.5 103 T A  G Lerena          Gavin van Zyl

16 16 MALAK EL MOOLOOK   57.5  97 T A  ……………   Sean Tarry

ends

 

FINAL FIELD Gr1 Mercury Sprint
Published: 11 July 2016

FINAL FIELD Gr1 Mercury Sprint
Final field for the R800 000 Gr1 Mercury Sprint to be run over 1200m at Greyville racecourse on Saturday, July 16:

FINAL FIELD for the R800 000 Gr1 Mercury Sprint to be run over 1200m at Greyville racecourse on Saturday, July 16: 

Sc# Horse               Mass   MR       Draw   B  A  T  Jockey        Trainer

1   TALKTOTHESTARS      60.0  121 (121)   15   B     T  G Lerena      Coenie de Beer

2   TRIP TO HEAVEN      60.0  114 (114)    5      A  T  S Khumalo     Sean Tarry

3   GULF STORM          60.0  113 (113)   11      A     C Orffer      Brett Crawford

4   TRIP TEASE          60.0  112 (112)    1      A     P Strydom     Louis Goosen

5   CAPTAIN ALFREDO     60.0  109 (109)   12      A    *L Hewitson    Dean Kannemeyer

6   BARBOSA             60.0  108 (108)   16   B  A     I Sturgeon    Dennis Drier

7   RED RAY             60.0  108 (108)   10   B  A  T  A Marcus      Joey Ramsden

8   HEARTLAND           60.0  106 (106)    2      A     W Marwing     Justin Snaith

9   NIGHT TRIP          60.0  106 (106)    3   B  A    *C Murray      Mike Bass

10  TRIPTIQUE           60.0  106 (106)    8      A     S Veale       Dennis Drier

11  EXELERO             60.0  103 (103)    9   B  A     M Byleveld    Vaughan Marshall

12  REAL PRINCESS       57.5  108 (108)    7      A     A Delpech     Dean Kannemeyer

13  LANNER FALCON       57.5  107 (107)    4      A     S Randolph    Mike Bass

14  FLY BY NIGHT        57.5  105 (105)   13      A     B Lerena      Mike Bass

Reserve Runners

15  REDCARPET CAPTAIN   59.5  101 (100)    6      A     Reserve 1     Gavin van Zyl

16  MOOFEED             60.0  102 (102)   17      A     Reserve 2     Mike de Kock

17  LONDON CALL         60.0  101 (101)   14      A     Reserve 3    Mark Dixon

WATCH SAIL SOUTH WIN THE DAISY BUSINESS SOLUTIONS HANDICAP
Published: 3 July 2016


WATCH REDCARPET CAPTAIN WIN THE TABGOLD SPRINT
Published: 3 July 2016


WATCH INARA WIN THE JONSSON WORKWEAR GARDEN PROVINCE STAKES
Published: 3 July 2016


WATCH LUNAR RUSH WIN THE KZN YEARLING SALE MILLION
Published: 3 July 2016


WATCH THE CONGLOMERATE WIN THE 2016 VODACOM DURBAN JULY
Published: 3 July 2016


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