Malmoos (Craig Zacke) works with a companion at home last week
Malmoos In Mother City Cape Ups The Ante
Kenilworth Racing Chairman Bradley Ralph said in a statement earlier this week that stimulating the racing economy in the Western Cape requires a considerable increase in the stakes on offer to encourage sufficient levels of support to allow betting turnover to recover and profitability to return to pre-COVID levels. “The priority for the Cape Summer Season is to attract the highest quality horses for features and larger fields to produce the most competitive races, creating more interest for racegoers and more opportunities for punters,” he added. And the plans have been given an immediate boost with the news that Mike de Kock’s unbeaten ‘real deal’
Malmoos will give the WSB Summer Cup day Dingaans a miss on his home turf when he lines up at Kenilworth on the CTS raceday on Saturday as the highest rated 3yo in the R175 000 Avontuur Estate Gr2 Concorde Cup. He takes on ten locals in the traditional Guineas pointer race from top local classic yards like Vaughan Marshal, Dean Kannemeyer, Glen Kotzen, Brett Crawford and Justin Snaith. The 1600m contest, known as the Selangor Cup up to 2017, has produced six Cape Guineas winners in 22 years, including some serious big-hitters of the ilk of Act Of War, Variety Club, Le Drakkar Jay Peg, Express Way and Alpha Omega. SA Champion apprentice Luke Ferraris, who was aboard at Malmoos’ stakes
success has been engaged to ride the Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes winner, who is unbeaten in three starts to date. Grouped in the same league as his star stablemate, Mount Pleasant, Mike de Kock has previously expressed the opinion that it would be a pity for South African racing if Malmoos were to miss the Cape season and it’s great to see that the leading conditioner is venturing into the lion’s den of the strongest racing arena in South Africa. A full brother to the dual Group-winning stayer Captain
Cover Image: ‘‘Trainer Zietsman Oosthuizen and his WSB Summer Cup hope, Atyaab” Image courtesy of Pauline Herman
Splendid, Malmoos is bred on the same Captain Al/Fort Wood cross as Gr1 winners Captain America and William Longsword. He is out of the Spook Express Handicap winner Justthewayyouare, a half-sister to Varsfontein’s boom sire Master Of My Fate. The second top lot at R4,4 million sold off the 2019 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, he races for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum.
Rising star Malmoos takes on the locals on Saturday
Cape Summer – Hot Stuff
A tidal wave of positive news maintained the positive vibe and results from last week’s Emperors Palace National 2yo Sale into a flying start to the week for both the Cape and South African racing. The Sporting Post has also heard that a new sponsor for the Met could be announced soon – terrific news in these testing times! Kenilworth Racing has announced the restructuring of stakes levels for both the feature race schedule as well as the all-important regular race programme that sustains horseracing week in and week out Read the detailed structure as published – click here Exciting news is that the new brooms are are sweeping clean and that renovations have already commenced on the 1st floor at Kenilworth Racecourse, which will mean that the RA Room will not be operational for racing at the Southern Suburbs venue today. Read more about the plans – click here
Seeking The Stars team after the Cape Classic - another big day ahead
Marshall Star Hard To Beat
Vaughan Marshallâ€™s Cape Classic winner Seeking The Stars looks the standout in the R1,25 million De Grendel CTS Ready To Run Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday.
The 1400m contest is restricted to eligible graduates of the 2018 CTS Ready To Run Sales and has attracted a capacity field of 16, with 2 reserves. Sean Tarry, who saddles a quartet of runners, has been a major player in this race over the years and he joins
Summerveld visitor Paul Gadsby in the away attack. The race is run in the same week that Cape Thoroughbred Sales announced a R7,5 million race innovation loosely based on the successful The Everest concept, so popular in Australia. The R7,5 million Gold Rush, to be run over a mile with the winner banking R5 million, is scheduled for Met Day in 2023.
The Groom of the winner will receive a R50 000 bonus, with the Groom of each of the other runners banking R10 000 each.
The move is bound to create plenty of interest around the forthcoming De Grendel CTS Cape Premier Yearling Sale. The CTS Gold Rush will see 16 prospectors stake their claim for the finest graduate at the 2021 De Grendel Cape Premier Yearling Sale
14 slots will be sold for R400 000 each prior to the 2021 Cape Premier Yearling Sale Two slots will be reserved for buy-ins at R600 000 each. Prospectors or ticket-owners will have the right to 16 slots in the race, irrespective of who owns the horse who qualifies. This allows the ticket owners to negotiate outsight purchases, partnership deals or lease deals with any potential contending sale graduate, creating opportunities for each and every CTS buyer â€“ not only
for the 16 Prospectors. So 16 slots will be available for 16 CTS CPYS graduates â€“ with 6 emergency acceptors in place.
Read the CTS Gold Rush Race conditions
The 2021 De Grendel/CTS Cape Premier Yearling Sale has been scheduled for Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 January 2021.
The Sporting Post Sprint is interactive. Click on the live links throughout and enjoy the read!
SUGGESTIONS? Please email editor@sportingpost. co.za
KZN raider Tristful enjoys the pole position draw
Summer Cup Countdown
The Class Of 2020
Equus Horse Of The Year Summer Pudding has stood her ground and despite a wide draw, will be taking her place in the R1-million World Sports Betting Gr1 Gauteng Summer Cup over 2000m on the Turffontein Standside track on Saturday 28 November.
Paul Peterâ€™s charge, unbeaten in eight races, has drawn No 18 for the Grade 1 race and will be ridden once again by champion jockey Warren Kennedy. She will carry 59kg. Peter also has Riverstown, with Donovan Dillon up, and Astrix, with Piere Strydom in the irons, in the 20-horse field. Christopher Robin, winner of the Gr3 Victory Moon Stakes over 1800m on
Saturday, had his merit rating upped to 109 and will take his place in the final Summer Cup field. St John Grayâ€™s charge is beautifully drawn at No 2 and will carry 54kg. Gray also has Dance Class in the field but has yet to name his two jockeys. Champion trainer Sean Tarry has five runners in the line-up, including defending champion Zillzaal. His others are Tierra Del Fuego, Tree Tumbo, Victoria Paige and Cornish Pomodoro. Tarry has also yet to name his jockeys. Zietsman Oosthuizen travels from Fairview with former Mike de Kock runner Atyaab. The Australian-bred Gr1 winner is quoted at 50-1 and has not run in ten months. Mike de Kock pulled Queen Supreme
out of the race and is likely to aim her at the Gr2 Ipi Tombe Stakes over 1600m. He does, however, have Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile runner-up Charles in the line-up. Callan Murray rides and he will jump from barrier No 11.
See the final field here
Summer Cup Countdown v
50-1 Shot Attie Takes On Big Guns
10 Aiming for the Cup! Ziets & Attie
When Zietsman Oosthuizen hits the Joburg road headed for Turffontein and WSB Gauteng Summer Cup glory next week with a Mike de Kock discard called Atyaab, aka ‘Attie’, he is riding on the back of a dream with his loyal owners, Suzette and Basie Viljoen. Originally an A$260 000 Inglis Easter purchase for Shadwell from the Arrowfield Stud draft, the now 5yo gelding and WSB Gauteng Summer Cup hopeful was acquired by the Viljoens off one of the monthly BSA Digital Online Auctions for a substantially lesser rand price. Formerly trained by Mike de Kock, he formerly raced in the famous blue and white silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum.
‘Attie’, as Basie Viljoen has affectionately coined him since arriving at the Oosthuizen Fairview yard, is probably best remembered as the winner of the 2019 Gr1 Cape Derby and then the Java Handicap over 2400m at Turffontein over a year ago. His outspoken multiple champion trainer was amazed that his charge hadn’t started more fancied on that sunny day at Kenilworth in January 2019. The newest Oosthuizen flagbearer, Atyaab is from the first crop of High Chaparral’s champion son Dundeel, who has been in the Australian racing news this week with his latest trio of stakes-winners, headed by Gr1 winners Castelvecchio, Super Seth, Yourdeel, and of course our very own, ‘Attie’.
But that’s by the by– and Ziets clearly believes his trip North is not a ‘jolly patrollie’ or humdrum holiday in Joburg. He drove Bill Human’s charges over 1000’s of kilometers for six years, so knows how to travel light – and right. “This is my first Gr1 runner. So it’s a dream come true. I’m not wasting my time or my loyal customers Suzette and Basie’s emotions and money by making the trip. I genuinely believe we have a shout,” he told the Sporting Post. But Attie hasn’t run since February! Ziets is clearly not fazed.
And on Saturday at Ascot (Australia),
Truly Great will attempt to become the young stallion’s fifth Gr1 winner when he lines up in the A$1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes.
Flashback: Atyaab wins the Cape Derby under Diego de Gouveia
He tells that in September his charge was looking great in his box, but his physical movement was not in a good space and he couldn’t do more than just a short half-pace canter at best at that stage. “First entries for the Summer Cup was on 23 September and it was a free entry. I halfheartedly entered him – much to the Viljoen’s surprise and then the intensive serious work started on him. One thing I learned quickly is that here at the coast horses tend to come on much quicker than at higher altitudes.” Ziets concedes that at that stage they had ‘0%’ chance to even think of the Summer Cup. But slowly but surely Attie responded and his first 1400m prep ‘race’ against 2 stable companions less than 3 weeks ago was not good at all.
jaan canters’! It was either trot or three quarter striding canter, or faster work for him on a daily basis. He responded brilliantly and we set Saturday as his make or break workout to decide whether to chase our one-time pipedream of winning the Summer Cup!” The trainer becomes very serious as he explains his training regime. “I realise it may appear unorthodox. With no prep races available in the Eastern Cape I gave him a proper 2000m ‘race’ on his own on Saturday. I trotted him 3500m and then went straight into racing pace from the 2100m mark. He surprised everyone. What a phenomenal workout and his recovery was instant – he is very fit! His 2000m on his own was quicker than any of the three 2000m races at Fairview on Friday with sectionals that made me very happy!”
Watch the gallop
click here Ziets proudly discloses his hand-timed sectionals: • • • •
(2000-1600m) in 25,5 sec (1200-800m) in 24,4 sec (800-400m) in 24,7 sec (400m-finish) in 23,8 sec
His plan is to give Attie a 1400m sprint-up on the turf, subject to Phumelela’s approval, to work on his speed endurance and that will be his last big workout before the trip to Johannesburg. Read the full story – click here
“I decided to change his training routine from that day – no more ‘bobbe-
Summer Cup Countdown
Never A Gray Day
17 St John Gray in familiar pose
Saturday’s smart Victory Moon Stakes winner Christopher Robin will attempt to give St John Gray a second Gr1 Gauteng Summer Cup success and he has a very able understudy in the shape of fellow homebred Dance Class. Out of a Jam Alley half-sister to Dancewiththedevil, this progressive filly put together a handsome six-win streak between June and September and most recently ran fourth behind her stable companion in the Victory Moon.
His green silks with white rings and quartered cap are a familiar sight on the Highveld tracks and have been carried with distinction by many notable homebreds, prime amongst which the champion racemare Dancewiththedevil. A five-time Gr1 winner, her finest efforts included a breathtaking last-to-first score in the first of two H F Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut victories at Turffontein, in addition to which she stormed home to claim
the 2011 Sansui Summer Cup from a star-studded field. That she was voted the champion older female of 2011 came as no surprise. Additional homebreds to have tasted top level success include Big Brass, Jam Alley and most recently, the filly Ronnie’s Candy, winner of last season’s Gr1 Empress Club Stakes. Gray’s latest success story is Christopher Robin, who claimed some notable scalps when charging home in last weekend’s Gr3 Victory Moon Stakes. The four-year-old was bred at Jonathan and Cathy Martin’s Hadlow Stud in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands,
St John Gray is one of a rare breed. A successful owner and trainer whose string is virtually made up of horses he
bred under the moniker of Graystone Stud. In addition, the majority are sired by stallions he also raced himself.
WSB Summer Cup candidate Christopher Robin wins the Victory Moon Stakes on Saturday
where Gray keeps his 17-strong broodmare band, as well as his stakes winning stallion Announce. Out of a half-sister to the dam of breed-shaping sire Danehill, the son of National Assembly has sired many a fine Gray-bred galloper, notably the Gr3 winner Announce Speed and the Syringa Handicap winners Engagement and End Of Season. His son Call To Combat, a winner of the Wolf Power 1600, joined Announce at Hadlow and is the sire of Gray’s admirable Dawn Assault. A Gr3 winner of 11 races, the now seven-year-old chased Tilbury Fort home in the 2018 Summer Cup.
Sarge, a Gr3-placed own brother to Announce currently stands with ‘Cash’ Truter in the Kroonstad area and is sire of homebred Formation, who came into her own with maturity. Multiple Gr3-placed, she won eleven races from four to six, amongst which two renewals of the Listed Emerald Fillies Handicap at the now defunct Vaal sand track. Yer-Maan is another epitome of the durability displayed by Gray’s horses. Campaigned over eight seasons and still in winning form at the advanced age of ten, this dual Zimbabwean stakes winner was sired by Gr1 SA Classic hero
Jam Alley, a son of Peintre Celebre Gray had bred in Australia. Christopher Robin is yet another prime example of Gray’s breeding programme. His sire Damage Is Done won four times in Gray’s colours before suffering a career-ending injury. From the family of Horse of the Year Politician and champion Al Nitak, Gray afforded the son of Rakeen a stud career, but as a non-stakes winner, he was always going to be on the backfoot and is no longer an active stallion. Although Christopher Robin is his sole stakes winner, he has also sired multiple stakes-placed filly Shattered
Image and the hard-knocking eight-time winner Shiver â€˜N Shake, from limited opportunity.
Cleverly named for the beloved Winnie The Poo character, Christopher Robin is out of Onehundredacrewood, one of three stakes winners by Kingmamboâ€™s Gr1 winning son Malhub. Like her sire, she excelled as a sprinter, scoring a career-defining victory in the Listed Bauhinia Handicap and traces to the outstanding matron Saturna, the dam of champion sprinters Harry Hotspur and Rotterdam.
The Merits Of It Christopher Robin had his merit rating raised from 98 to 109 after his easy success in the Gr3 Victory Moon Stakes over 1800m on the Turffontein standside track on Saturday. The Handicappers were of the unanimous view that runner-up Astrix made for the ideal line horse here and his rating remains unchanged on 110. The only other increase was for his 4th placed stablemate Dance Class, who goes up from 92 to 98.
There were drops for several horses. One of these was 3rd placed Victoria Paige, who is down from 108 to 105 after failing to confirm her status as comfortably the best weighted horse in the field. In other drops, Dark Moon Rising is down from 102 to 100, Tilbury Fort goes from 107 to 105, Snow Palace drops from 104 to 101, and Green Haze was cut from 114 to 111.
Stakes: Phumelela v
Absorbs RA Shortfall Phumelela advised in a media release this week that in the light of the Racing Association’s decision to discontinue its contribution to stakes, which has been in place for the past five months , stakes will nevertheless continue to be paid at current levels in its regions during December, January and February. In addition, there will be a small uplift to the minor race stakes in the Eastern Cape. In addition to the difficult economic conditions in South Africa and the continuing impact of lock-down restrictions on both local and international markets, Phumelela continues to operate its horseracing and betting operations while under the constraints of business rescue.
However, in order to assist with the sustainability of the industry while the new racing operator obtains the necessary regulatory approvals, Phumelela has agreed to absorb the 20% contribution to stakes recently funded by the Racing Association. This will enable stakes to be maintained at current levels to end February, by when regulatory approvals should have been received. It is a challenging environment for businesses to commit to sponsorship. However any race sponsorship income sourced by Phumelela will be used to bolster stakes further. This has already happened with the Gr1 Gauteng Summer Cup, where World Sports Betting’s generous sponsorship has helped to increase the stake of the
race to R1 million. Phumelela’s Business Rescue Practitioner continues to consider all aspects of the Company’s business model to ensure the continuity of operations until all requirements for finalisation of the transaction are met. This includes re-considering the funding model of the sport with the intention to increase stakes but reduce the unequal subsidies given to different owners and trainers as relates to horse transportation, training facilities, grooms’ accommodationand stabling. The aim being to find the most appropriate method of encouraging and rewarding participation in the sport by more owners with more horses.
Stallion Manager John Freeman is chuffed!
Emperors Palace National 2yo Sale
Freeman’s Nationals Green Light
The 2020 Emperors Palace National 2yo Sale came to a close on Friday evening, and despite the nervous and uncertain climate in which the industry finds itself during an unparalleled year in our history, the long delayed national platform produced a pleasantly positive outcome, with the R39,7 million aggregate a new high, and other indicators showing an encouraging upward tendency in year-on-year statistics. “The sale again demonstrated that there is always an appetite for a good looking well-bred horse. And it also underscored the enormous resilience of our racing folk! It might be a cliché for some, but let’s be frank – this
game is so much bigger than any one individual,” a thrilled veteran Stallion Manager John Freeman, in his 46th year of attending thoroughbred auctions, told the Sprint on Friday evening. “The issues facing the country and the industry are well documented. But we have people that are heavily invested in the horse and the sport through their passion, and in commercial terms, and they have all come to the party again. And the wonderful reality is that the investment is being recycled,” he said. Freeman cited the example of Susan Rowett and the Varsfontein team – one minute they were selling the Gimmethegreenlight third highest priced lot on
the sale for R1 million – and moments later they bought Cheveley Stud’s Mystic Spring filly, the highest fairer sex 2yo on the sale, for R900 000. “I could quote other examples. We just have so many dedicated people who love this game. And we have new buyers that attended the sale too. Cap that with the topseller going to a KZN trainer – that’s just good for the game! When the tide turns, this industry is going to take off again,” added Freeman who said that the vibe and atmosphere at the TBA Sales Complex was ‘terrific’. He said that he considered himself a reasonable judge of value, but had been pleasantly surprised when a
Futura colt he had liked and earmarked, and budgeted at securing for between R300 000 and R400 000, went for more. The hard results clearly underscored the Freeman positivity, with both the aggregate and average price up on last year, the aggregate rising 22% from R32 660 00 to R39 715 000, and the average increasing 18,4 % from R103 028 to R122 957. The median price also rose from 2019, increasing by 16,7% from R60 000 to R70 000. The increases in aggregate and average are a positive reflection on the quality of horse presented to the sale by breeders, while an active buying bench gives considerable hope for future sales in the coming seasons.
Consigned on behalf of the Missing U Syndicate – Rob Knuppe’s strike rate is world class – Lamborghreeni is out of the Trippi mare San Trippi, a four time winner, who ran third in the Listed Scarlet Lady. The sale also proved a great result for the John Freeman managed Varsfontein sire Gimmethegreenlight. Varsfontein bred East Of The Sun (Lot221), who fetched the third highest price of R1 000 000 to the bid of Form Bloodstock’s Jehan Malherbe. A son of More Than Ready, Gimmethegreenlight ended the sale as the Leading Sire by Aggregate, with his 13 lots to sell grossing R4 745 000. Wilgerbosdrift, the second leading vendor by aggregate, consigned the sale’s second top lot, Lord Heathfield (Lot 100), with the latter knocked down to Form Bloodstock for R1 100 000. A colt by Maine Chance Farms’ recently retired champion sire
Silvano, the well-related Lord Heathfield is out of the Rock Of Gibraltar sired Gr1 President’s Champions Challenge/Gr1 Empress Club Stakes winner Europa Point. Varsfontein Stud purchased the top filly, when the Paarl farm acquired a daughter of multiple Gr1 winner Wylie Hall and former Broodmare Of The Year Mystic Spring, who last offspring she is, for R900 000. A half-sister to champions Bela-Bela and Rabiya, the filly was consigned to the sale by the Cheveley Stud. Ridgemont Highlands ended the 2020 National 2YO Sale as the Leading Vendor by Aggregate, with the Robertson based nursery selling 11 two-year-olds for a gross total of R2 880 000, while Form Bloodstock topped the sale’s leading buyers list, purchasing 12 two-year-olds for R5 160 000. A full list of prices and statistics for the National 2YO Sale can be viewed online at www.bsa.co.za
Eastern Cape-based Danika Stud consigned the top lot of the two day sale, with their Gimmethegreenlight colt Lamborghreeni (Lot 285) knocked down to Team G Racing for R1 200 000. This was Danika’s highest sale
28 Danika Stud’s top lot the Gimmethegreenlight colt Lamborghreeni (Lot 285)
Corne Spies, Craig Zackey & owner Xander Spies
Emperors Palace National 2yo Sale
Corne ‘Sale Was A Tonic!’
Hollywoodbets-sponsored trainer Corne Spies and his bang in-form team rounded off a rewarding week that included a successful Emperors Palace National 2yo Sale, with two nice winners at Turffontein on Saturday.
race to hold off a flying challenge by the well-backed favourite True To Life, who failed by a neck.
The Spies double included a gutsy victory by their Potala Palace flyer Singforafa in the Listed Gardenia Stakes.The 4yo now takes on the males and goes for the New Turf Carriers Gr3 Merchants on Gauteng Summer Cup day.
The winner clocked 57,15 secs and will now be aimed at the Gr3 Merchants on Summer Cup Day, rather than the World Sports Betting Gr3 Magnolia Handicap.
Carrying joint top weight of 61,5kgs, the 9-2 Singforafa produced her customary forward charge style of running in the 1000m feature on Saturday and dug deep late in the
Gavin van Zyl’s KZN raider Vernichey finished top of the sophomore class, just over a half length back in third.
Corne explained that he would have been happier to let Singforafa take on her own sex, but that she would have to carry 65kgs. “I don’t think it’s fair to ask her to lumber 65kgs. It’s a great pity that a nice
sprinting filly is stopped in her tracks now. So I will probably run her in the Merchants against the boys. She is most effective over 1000m and the Merchants is 1160m. So it’s not ideal.
But she is tough and loves a fight!” added the trainer, who said he felt that his charge was slightly overrated by the handicappers – despite the fact that she had won well. Singforafa has won 5 races with 6 places from 18 starts for stakes of R562 375. The daughter of Ridgemont Highlands’ massive value Singspiel sire Potala Palace, was bred by the late Nico Swart from the thrice winning Whistling Wood mare First Whistle,
Singforafa (Craig Zackey, in blue) digs deep The winner races in the silks of Corne’s son Xander, who was enjoying his first lead-in of the flying filly. On the Emperors Palace National 2yo Sale, Corne said he was thrilled and very happy with the outcome. “Without constant restocking, trainers have it tough as one needs horses to race. We got a really nice bunch of 2yo’s, including 4 of our 5 top picks.
I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but to get 80% of what we really wanted means the future looks bright! I must thank the breeders and owners who supported us. It was a fantastic happy sale with a good vibe. It was a tonic in these tough times,” he added. Corne said that he would be watching the CTS Ready To Run Gallops on Tellytrack on Monday and Friday this week from Cape Town.
sale has also produced some really nice horses. It’s an online sale and we will adapt accordingly. Flexibility is the new normal!” he laughed. The CTS Ready To Run, Unbroken 2 Year Old & Mixed Sale will be held in partnership with Gavelhouse.com on Sunday 29 November.
“We have to stay on the wheel. That CTS
Singing The Merits Singforafa remained unchanged on a rating of 119 after she won the Listed Gardenia Stakes for fillies and mares over the straight 1000m course at Turffontein on Saturday. It was runner-up True To Life that was used as the line horse here off her current mark of 117, in
assessing the race this way the winner actually runs one pound below her 119 rating. There were however increases for several runners. 3rd placed Vernichey is up from 104 to 114, 4th finisher Anna Capri was picked up from 96 to 110, Before The Dawn goes
from 96 to 100, Sheer Talent is up to 90 from 88, and lastly Slalom Queen goes up from 96 to 98.Two fillies were given a ratings drop, with Miracle Flight going from 103 to 101 and Spring Break being cut from 95 to 93.
would see the humour. He could laugh at himself and had a rare self deprecating knack that would endear himself to anybody listening.” St John told the Sporting Post how, for instance, it was classic to listen to Romeo dishing out instructions to a jockey – who was told to give the horse a chance, to sit in, get it out, not to run wide (from a 14 draw!), and that the horse’s form was all wrong. “In the race Romeo would be watching grimacing and saying things like – I meant give the horse a winning chance!” Years ago when St John won the Queen Of The Sand at the Vaal with his smart galloper Formation, Romeo had a winner on the turf a few days later. He quipped in his Tellytrack post race interview: ”St John might be the queen of the sand – but hey, I’m the king of the turf!” While they were originally acquaintances, their friendship cemented over the years and it was Romeo who trained the dam of St John Gray’s crackerjack champion, the 2011 Summer Cup winner, Dancewiththedevil.
A Man Of Many Talents Charismatic Vaal trainer Romeo Francis passed away on Tuesday 10 November after spending the best part of 45 years of his life around horses. A ‘great raconteur and a man I’d go to war with’, in the words of his colleague and good friend, St John Gray, Romeo Francis was 58 years old.
Romeo Francis was born in Johannesburg on 7 December 1961 and was the youngest of six children. With the passing of his Dad in 1974, he left school in standard 5 to spend what would be the rest of his life working hard – including amongst his first love, horses. He initially worked alongside his Mom in a bakery, where he would be awake in the early hours, kneading the dough.
While he gave up smoking over thirty years ago, and didn’t drink as he suffered from diabetes, a reluctance to heed medical advice saw the proud and dignified man’s health decline steadily over time.
Top Gauteng trainer and a neighbour, St John Gray described Romeo Francis as a man he always viewed with great admiration.
He passed on from a suspected heart attack late on the evening of Tuesday 10 November.
“He was the epitome of a salt-of-the-earth gentleman, who never had a nasty word to say about anybody – and who could dish out opinion and critical thought in a way that all sides
Please read the full tribute click here
Funeral Arrangements A funeral service will be held at 10h00 on Thursday 19 November at Our Lady Of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church, Mulbarton. The address of the church is 8 Blougom Crescent, Liefde En Vrede – Phone: 011 432 5331. In view of the lockdown protocols, attendance is limited to 100 people. If you wish to attend, please phone or whatsapp Chantal Bowles on 082 257 6038.
From Koster To KZN v
Ina, who matriculated at Hoerskool Koster in 2015, has completed her Assistant Trainers licence and is excited about her future in the sport. For those unfamiliar with Koster, it is a small farming town situated on the watershed between the Orange and Limpopo Rivers in the North West Province ‘”Horses have always been my passion, since daydreaming about them as a little girl going with my Dad to the track watching his horses run,” she told the Sporting Post. The 23 year old has developed a solid foundation in her four years after leaving school and says she learnt plenty working at La Berg Stud with Hanno Joubert. “I learnt so much there and built up my knowledge on breeding.” She also worked at Riethuiskraal Stud and says that Stud Manager Kassie Robbertze, was a font of technical advice and guidance. Following that she spent two years with the Bill Human Racing Stable, before making the move to Durban to join Gareths team! She also enjoys breeding with a few mares of her own and is excited about learning the ropes from one of South Africa’s leading racing dynastys.
38 Ina is happiest around horses
Colin Gordon and the late Peter White lead in another winner
Peter White What A Life!
One of South African horseracing’s most passionate owners and a breeder of note, Peter White passed away on Thursday 12 November. He had been in and out of hospital for just over a year battling cancer and some resulting complications. A popular figure on the racecourses of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, Peter turned 78 on 4 November. A good friend, and a racing and breeding partner, Colin Gordon, who was also something of an unofficial Racing Manager to Peter White, said that he would remember the man who loved the game as a fiercely loyal gentleman. “He was extremely proud of the long associations he enjoyed. These were
initially with legendary trainer Anne Upton, and then his three subsequent conditioners Dianne Stenger, Alec Laird and Mathew de Kock,” added Colin Gordon. Born in November 1942, Peter White grew up in the mining town of Pilgrims Rest. Unsurprisingly, he became a miner and, ultimately through the urgings of another passionate horseracing supporter in Graham Beck, started a contract mining business. Peter White loved horses from an early age and was so keen he would spend his leave to serve as an assistant trainer! He would pop down from the mines to watch his horses run at every opportunity. But with his horses being trained in KZN by Anne Upton, this was not always practical as he was based in Mpumalanga.
Always an innovator, he arranged a helicopter and even took over the controls when the opportunity presented itself. His red, white and black silks enjoyed great success, winning, amongst other races, the Holiday Inns with North Island, the SA and Joburg Fillies Guineas and the Swallow Stakes, on no less than 3 occasions. His long list of stakes horses included North Island, Abernant Star, Aquitaine, Star Sapphire, Sapphire Ring, Samba Serenade, Glenrossal, Green Top, Midnight Serenade, Esterel, and latterly, the smart Marygold is also black type performed. On the breeding front Peter struck up a wonderful partnership with Peter and Jenny Blyth of Clifton Stud. He loved naming his horses - many after the sayings or jokes he often repeated as a raconteur of note. It’s A True Story and Tern Unstoned were two examples. But probably his best named was What A Life!
Mr S J Snaith Mr P A Peter Mr M F de Kock Mr S G Tarry Mr A C Greeﬀ
394 300 152 214 297
Wins Win% 56 40 29 24 50
14.2 13.3 9.4 19.1 11.2 16.8
48 30 20 20 39
42 27 16 27 46
Other Places Place %
Win Stake (R)
Total Stakes (R)
33.5 30.7 36.2 32.7 39.4
1,668,125 1,639,450 1,350,600 1,107,050 1,230,000
2,607,925 2,506,800 1,925,300 1,910,825 1,903,250
Other Places Place %
Win Stake (R)
Total Stakes (R)
2,797,900 1,448,400 2,422,100 2,051,500 1,458,250
4,332,575 1,990,400 3,566,500 2,959,550 2,083,300
42 35 19 23 32
132 92 55 70 117
Runs Wins Win%
Mr L Hewitson Mr G M Cheyne Mr W B Kennedy Mr S Khumalo Mr K de Melo
481 265 345 216 259
62 28 38 24 27
52 37 36 24 27
67 58 45 42 38
13.9 21.9 13 19.4 14.7
75 33 65 24 43
189 98 139 72 97
39.3 37 40.3 33.3 37.5
B.T. B.T. Total Runrs Runs AEPR Wnrs Wins Winrs/ Places Winrs Wins Stakes (R) Rnrs %
Klawervlei Stud Wilgerbosdri� & Mauritzfontein Summerhill Stud (Pty) Ltd Drakenstein Stud (Nom: Mrs G A Rupert) Varsfontein Stud
289 195 166 105
768 500 440 291
13,074 19,346 15,110 23,506
56 47 40 35
62 63 46 49
19.4 24.1 24.1 33.3
242 163 96 116
2 1 2 1
2 1 2 1
3,778,275 3,772,525 2,508,288 2,468,100
SIRES Name Master Of My Fate Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) Querari (GER) Var (USA) Elusive Fort
Runrs Runs AEPR 132 128 140 87 115
368 339 393 235 353
19,074 18,872 16,042 24,833 15,593
B.T. Wnrs Wins Winrs/ Places Winrs Rnrs % 32 34 36 28 26
37 41 40 38 31
24.2 26.6 25.7 32.2 22.6
142 110 132 85 116
See all the detailed standings - Click here
1 1 0 1 0
Total Stakes (R)
1 1 0 2 0
2,517,725 2,415,575 2,245,825 2,160,500 1,793,200
Focus On Orlando Stadium
The DStv Premiership returns this weekend following the pause for international fixtures with the standout tie of the round taking place at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday as Orlando Pirates battle SuperSport United. Chad Nagel writes that after three games, Matsatsantsa sit in fourth position, a point above the Buccaneers who are placed sixth in the table. Orlando Pirates vs SuperSport United | Saturday 21 November | Orlando Stadium | 18h00 To Win Orlando Pirates 11/10 Draw 21/10 SuperSport United 5/2 Orlando Pirates It’s been an impressive start to the season for Josef Zinnbauer’s new-look Orlando Pirates team, having already booked their place in the MTN8 final and thrashing arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs en route to getting there. While the Buccaneers will be confident of winning their first trophy in six seasons when they take on Bloemfontein Celtic on December 12, their ultimate goal will be to get their hands on the DStv Premiership. The Soweto giants now have a squad strong enough to challenge on all fronts after bringing in the likes of Richard Ofori, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Deon Hotto, Wayde Jooste, Thabang Monare, Terrence Dzvukamanja and Collins Makgaka. Zinnbauer’s side are unbeaten in their last nine matches in all compe-
titions stretching back into last season with seven wins, including three on the bounce, with the Bucs aiming to win four consecutive matches for the third time this year. Pirates have beaten SuperSport in their last two meetings at the Orlando Stadium and they’ll be confident of claiming another victory in Soweto on Saturday as they aim to leapfrog the Tshwane outfit in the table. The Buccaneers have confirmed that star midfielder Thembinkosi Lorch will be out for as much as five weeks with a knee injury he suffered in the 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic earlier this month. His loss is obviously a blow to the Bucs, especially with Gabadinho Mhango also out injured, but Zinnbauer has plenty of good attacking options. Zakhele Lepasa has looked lively and caused defences problems while striker Tshegofatso Mabasa is reportedly back in full training. SuperSport United While SuperSport United have won several cups in recent years, it’s been over a decade since they last lifted the PSL title and coach Kaitano Tembo will be desperate to end the club’s league trophy drought and win the first-ever DStv Premiership. With defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns losing Pitso Mosimane – probably the best-ever coach in SA football history – and now in a rebuilding phase under new management, and last season’s runners-up Kaizer Chiefs very much in transition, Matsatsantsa might fancy their chances of topping the leaderboard come the season’s end.
However, their highest league finish since their last PSL glory in the 2009/10 campaign was third place in the 2011/12 season when they finished on 54 points, four behind then-champions Orlando Pirates. Since then, the Tshwane giants haven’t finished higher than fifth place, although they were title contenders for most of last season. If Matsatsantsa are able to beat Zinnbauer’s new-look side at Orlando Stadium, they’ll be taken seriously as contenders for the league title this season, but their away form doesn’t bode well for their chances. Tembo’s side have lost four of their last five away games in all competitions stretching back into last season. They lost 3-1 at Golden Arrows in the DStv Premiership last month and crashed out of the MTN8 with a 1-0 defeat at Bloemfontein Celtic last time out. Probable line-ups: Orlando Pirates: 4-2-3-1 Ofori; Jooste, Hlatshwayo, Nyauza, Maela; Motshwari, Monare; Dzvukamanja, Makaringe, Pule; Lepasa. SuperSport United: 4-3-3 Williams; Nhlapho, Khumalo, Daniels, Mahachi; Webber, Mokoena, Rayners; Lungu, Grobler, Gabuza. Prediction: Orlando Pirates (11/10) Pirates have started the season brightly and look more dangerous every week. SuperSport haven’t convinced me yet therefore I’m backing Zinnbauer’s side to extend their winning streak.
CAN YOU HELP? CARING FOR EQUINES COSTS PLENTY! Please visit us at www.coastalhorsecareunit.org.za 45
Are You Ready For Sunday? The reloaded Hollywoodbets Punters’ Challenge 2020 proved popular again on Sunday with over 3000 participants on a low-key programme at Hollywoodbets Greyville. The winner of Day-3 was ‘Majiza’, whose 4 wins and 2 places gave him 118.17 points and the day’s top cheque of R4000. Points are earned by the number of horses your selection in a particular race beats home (plus the odds if your horse wins outright), so the max field points possible was 84 at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday. Majiza selected two 7/1 shots and the last winner officially 18/1…an unlikely 1200/1 combination to find. In second spot and banking R2000 was ‘Deeplall harilall’ with 6 wins & 2 places, which amazingly occurred for another 4 players in the top 20. But with 7 winners ‘maxandjess’ is the envy of us all. It would be great if Max and Jess let us know who they are, so that we can try and channel them next time we play anything.
For most of the day though, racing’s own Louis The King Goosen, playing as Louisg, was heading the leaderboard strongly. We got hold of him after 6 wins in-a-row to find out which crystal ball he was using. Always obliging to talk to the media, Louis – or ‘The Goose’ to some race fans – said he didn’t know how strongly he was in the running for the Hollywoodbets R550 000 until fellow trainer Craig Eudey told him he had just three to go for the half a million plus! “But it’s been easy till now, and I’m loyal to my yard so I entered our runners even though I hadn’t really been able to work them and they weren’t backed: Di Mazzio, and Rubondo who is about 50/1 in the last.”, he said with no tone of disappointment. It may have been an easy day according to Louisg, but the 6-in-a-row was a very conservative 2000/1 chain of events! It was to be Louis’ chop for the day though, and the savvy players swarmed around to knock him 46back to 52nd in
the following 3 races – also playing unencumbered by any loyalties! A 2000/1 6-in-a-row! We took the opportunity to ask Louis how he did it, and how he normally plays. “I played in the last competition and I did okay. But for instance, I forgot to play on Thursday when I went to the sales.” he laughed. “I play at Hollywood which is why I enter the competition”, he added. “I guess I’ve always had a link to Winning Form from the days in 1996 when Mathew Stevens (now aka The Whisperer, probably one of the longest standing tipsters around) used to call trainers for comments when I had a small string here. Since then the Winning Form has been my form guide of choice, and now Hollywood sponsors my yard.”
Click here to read more