Cover Image The stampede to post in the 2020 Gold Cup is led by Paths Of Victory – image courtesy of Candiese Lenferna
4 21st century star - VAR: Forest Wildcat – Loma Preata (Zilzal)
A CHAMPION RETIRES v
From Dettori to Drier, and Marcus to Marshall, the accolades that poured in this week in response to the breaking news of the retirement from stud duties of the once fastest horse on earth have been fittingly glowing and extraordinarily emotional. The late Tony Taberer’s greatest gift to South African racing and breeding, and Avontuur’s illustrious flagbearer for what feels like a lifetime to many a lover and student of the sport of kings in South Africa and beyond, VAR will enjoy a well-earned retirement and go down in our studbook history and paddock folklore for much more than his mindboggling raw champion statistics. The VAR story has its roots back in 1983 when Mr Tony Taberer bought Avontuur Estate, a magnificent stretch of real estate and a landmark home to ‘fine wines and fast horses’ on the R44 between the student mecca of Stellenbosch, and the upmarket residential town of Somerset West, that stands as a sentinel to the distant icy Atlantic Ocean. After Divine King and Dominion Royale had made their mark as sires, Mr Taberer resolved to take Avontuur to the next level, and, with the assistance of bloodstock guru Robin Bruss,
acquired VAR for a purchase consideration that set a new import benchmark at the time. It was a gamble on a brand new stallion that history shows separated genius and foresight from the everyday talkers and also-rans. A foundation syndicate of 44 shareholders invested in the son of Forest Wildcat, a 2004 Joint Champion British Older Male, who achieved 7 wins up to 1200m in a career that had seasoned racing folk turning heads. VAR shares were priced at R120 000 each. Ask any one of the shareholders for a thought today, and they are saying, ‘please find us another!’ “The late Tony Taberer would be proud of the contribution to the breed that VAR has made - an enduring source of speed and a stallion that has given great pleasure to the breeders who bred to him, the owners, trainers and riders that have his progeny, and the public that bet on them. Like all champion stallions it’s a legacy always to be remembered,” the veteran Robin Bruss says proudly. A stallion that has galloped his way into all of our hearts and minds, VAR captivated a spectrum of personalities and ordinary people, made hardened racing men shed
6 Candiese Lenferna
tears of joy, and boasts a dual SA Horse Of The Year and international Gr1 winner amongst his 27 elite level performers. He is also the most unlikely mobile advertisement for his favourite treat, polo mints. Multiple Gr1-winning trainer Mike Azzie told the Sporting Post that every one of his many visits to the magnificent farm in the shadow of the Helderberg over the past sixteen years, have included a stop at the local ‘Woolies’ for a packet or three of polo mints. “I always loved visiting Avontuur, especially to see VAR as he always loved his polo mints. He was just such a gentle soul. It is amazing to see a stallion with such a lovely nature and he passed this on to many of his progeny. It was a pleasure for me to train them, especially Rivarine who won the Gr1 Computaform Sprint for us,” added an emotional Azzie. Berthwell Arosi, an Avontuur man for life, has been a caretaker to the stars, and looked after Divine King and Dominion Royale before VAR. “I have been side by side with my champion since the day he set foot on African soil at the quarantine station. VAR is special – his proud character and ability set him
apart,” says Berthwell, who tells us that he will be sticking with his best mate through retirement.
His offspring include 55 stakes winners and 49 stakes placegetters, who have earned well over R250 million.
While his impact will be felt for decades yet as a potential sire of sires and a broodmare producer, VAR’s paddock pages make for glittering reading. He was Leading Sire of 2YO’s in in 2016-17 and 2017-18, and Champion Sire of Winners in 2018-19.
Anton Shepherd of Beaumont Stud bred VAR’s dual SA Horse Of The Year, and international Gr1 winner, Variety Club.
While the stats register ticks over every day, VAR is currently the sire of 750 progeny to race with 553 winners at a strike rate of 73%.
Speaking from Australia, Joey Ramsden, who trained Variety Club to his 17 wins from 23 starts, told the Sporting Post that his involvement with VAR and his progeny ‘was the best job I ever had’. At his peak, Variety Club was Longines’ joint second best
horse in the world, with an international rating of 127. His star-studded CV included four Gr1’s in his home country and all the way through to his grand finale in the International Gr1 Hong Kong Champions Mile at Sha Tin. “No VAR, no Variety Club and then I would not have had one of the best rides of my life! What a magnificent stallion. Three runners from Beaumont - a three time winning filly, a Merchants winning filly and the highest Timeform -rated horse in South African racing history.
Don’t think any other stallion I ever use will do that ! A great stallion!” adds Anton Shepherd. VAR’s extraordinary genes produced stakes winners from 1000m to 2600m, as well as two SA Champion Sprinter daughters in Val De Ra and Via Africa. The champion roll extends beyond the scope of this story! East Cape lady trainer Tara Laing summed VAR up beautifully when she told us that ‘a great horse will change your life, while the truly
special ones define it’. “Thank you VAR for affording me the opportunity to train some of your progeny. Starburst Galaxy, Vauclair and Normanz shall forever be a testament of what a damned good sire you were. Happy retirement VAR!” she concluded. Avontuur General Manager Pippa Mickleburgh has had the honorary title of ‘Lady Var’ bestowed on her by the SA racing media, hungry for fairytales. After thirty winters of dedicated Avontuur service, some great horses – champi-
ons aplenty – have passed through her caring hands. Pippa says that while she loved them all, VAR has that extra special space in her heart. “I will still visit him every day as I have done for the past sixteen odd years. To say he has changed lives is an understatement!” The widely respected breeder points out that the testimonials and messages of love that have come in from all corners of the globe bear the ultimate testament to the
8 What a team! Var is the centre of attention with, from left to right, Philip Taberer, Pippa Mickleburgh & Michael Taberer
impact VAR has made on so many. “We have had complete strangers pitch up at our gate and ask if they can say hello to VAR. I’d really like to give all the credit to the VAR Syndicate for their marketing initiatives. But this great horse did his talking on the racetrack and has a mystical charisma – let’s call it star quality, like no other I have ever worked with. Mr Taberer left a legacy that will endure beyond all of our lifetimes. Are the cameras off? I am not going to cry, hey!” she laughed through misty eyes.
shoulders he is a looker qualities seen in many of his progeny at the sales ground. A perennial sire of champions, his class has prevailed time after time. Enjoy your retirement champ, it is well deserved! Celebratory polo mints when I see you next.” Michael Taberer said that VAR certainly was a major piece of the legacy and dream of his late father.
Even the tough as teak VAR has battle scars after sixteen years in the stallion barn and his attending Vet Dr Garth Nieuwenhuis says that the ruler of the Avontuur domain has always been a gentleman to work with in all his dealings with him over the years.
“His decision to acquire VAR and bring him to South Africa is one of the best decisions that both Avontuur and the horse racing industry has greatly benefitted from. On behalf of the family and the amazing Avontuur team we thank every shareholder, breeder, supporter and racing fan who played a role in making him a success. We pay tribute to this remarkable stallion honouring his career and life thus far,” he concluded.
“With his big jowls, dark bay coat, strong quarter and
Philip Taberer added: “At the saddest time in my life VAR
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was there to take care of many difficult decisions and add a silver lining to the passing of my Dad.” Who knows what tomorrow brings? VAR has one son at stud in the movie star looks Backworth-bred, Talk Of The Town, who stands down the road from Avontuur at Winterbach Stud. We have left the last word to international champion jockey Frankie Dettori, a man who is probably more used to being first. “I had the opportunity to ride VAR from an impossible draw to win the Prix D Abbaye in record time. He was incredibly fast and balanced. He just flew out from the jump with such gate speed. What he has achieved as a sire in South Africa is remarkable. Speed like his is breed shaping. I wish him a wonderful retirement!” Hear, hear, Frankie.
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14 Champions all? The Snaiths will be hopeful that Jet Dark can sneak into the championship frame
CHAMPIONSHIP HONOURS ON THE LINE v
Saturday's Marshalls World Of Sport Gold Cup meeting will bring the curtain down on the 2020/21 racing season and features a sumptuous smorgasbord of thoroughbred racing. Significantly, championship honours will be up for grabs in a number of the stakes races on offer. All the focus will probably be on the HKJC World Pools Gr1 Champions Cup, the 1800m race which, but for the defection of Rainbow Bridge, could have been the clincher as to who will be crowned the Champion Older Male and Middle distance horse. Both Rainbow Bridge and Got The Greenlight scored twice at the elite level this season, the former claiming both the Met and Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge, while his younger rival completed the Horse Chestnut/Premier's Champions Challenge double. However, Got The Greenlight finished ahead of the Sands runner when a close-up third in the Gr1 Vodacom Durban July. The absence of Rainbow Bridge counts heavily in favour of Joey Soma's charge, who was the country's champion at two and three. A third Gr1 success would also strengthen his claims to the ultimate accolade, that of Horse of the Year.
Needless to say, should Gr1 L’ Ormarins Queen's Plate winner Jet Dark cause a surprise, he will join Cape Derby/Daily News 2000 hero Linebacker and Triple Crown winner Malmoos in the race to the three-year-old championship. The Mercury Sprint could also determine the season's leading sprinter, as the country's other Gr1 sprints have gone to three different winners. The Cape Flying Championship went the way of Run Fox Run, Rio Querari captured the Computaform Sprint and Battle Force won the Golden Horse Sprint. As Run Fox Run was retired after her Gr1 victory, Rio Querari is the likely favourite over Battle Force to clinch the title, considering he also claimed the Gr2 Diadem Stakes and was runner-up to in the Cape Flying Championship. Dark horse could be MK's Pride, who only needs a Gr1 victory to throw his hat into the ring. Successful in the Gr2 Hawaii Stakes, he also finished third in the Golden Horse Sprint. The Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes likewise looks set to play a deciding role as to who will be the season's top juvenile male. As the winner of the Gr1 Gold Medallion up the Hollywoodbets Scottsville
straight, Ambiorix is currently the leading candidate. Not surprisingly, his connections have decided to bypass the mile event, which leaves two runners capable of staking a claim as well. Waterberry Lane was a fluent winner of the Gr2 Golden Horseshoe, where he had Gr3 Godolphin Barb winner Good Traveller behind him in third. The pair are the sole stakes winners in Saturday's line-up and obviously, should any of the other contenders spoil their party, Ambiorix will probably get the nod, considering he also won the Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes and was runner-up in the Gr3 Cape of Good Hope Nursery. The last four champion juvenile fillies - Lady In Black, Return Flight, Gabor and Anything Goes - all won the Thekwini Stakes. However, missing from Saturday's line-up are two likely contenders for championship honours. Following her commanding victory in the Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship, Under Your Spell has strong claims to the crown. Sean Tarry's charge hacked up in the Listed Ruffian Stakes and Gr3 Protea Stakes, only to lose her unbeaten record when fourth in the Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery. The Allan
Robertson proved to be pure redemption for the daughter of champion Capetown Noir, as she thrashed a fine field of rivals by almost four lengths, the vanquished including the unbeaten Sheela. The Drakenstein homebred must surely come into contention after beating male rivals in both the Gr2 SA Nursery and Storm Bird Stakes. On the strength of those efforts, she started in the red for the Allan Robertson. However, she proved no match for Under Your Spell,
eventually having to settle for third. Be that as it may, the talented chestnut subsequently bounced right back to her best when a fluent winner over the minimum trip. Adding further intrigue, Gr1 success in the Thekwini would also bring another Drakensteinbred into the picture, this being Under Your Spell's stable companion Rain In Holland. The progressive daughter of Duke Of Marmalade has put together an unbeaten threerace streak, which includes a two and a half-length drubbing
Champion Summer Pudding will have her final start on Saturday
of the colt Smorgasbord, who had run Sheela to a length in the SA Nursery! The Gr3 Gold Cup may have lost much of its lustre since it dropped its Gr1 status in 2016. Yet it is still regarded as the country's prime staying contest and remains the marquee event on the day. This year's renewal features the trio of African Adventure, Don’t Look Back and Nebraas, who between them accounted for the Gr3 Caradoc Gold Cup, Gr3 Gold
Bowl and Gr3 Gold Vase. Whether another Gr3 success will be good enough for championship honours is debatable. Strictly speaking, a Gr2 victory trumps Gr3 success and the only stayer who scored at that level this past season is Atyaab, who will sadly be missing from this year's line-up. A former Cape Derby winner, he won the Gr2 Western Cape Stayers during
the summer season but broke down in the Gold Vase, where he was in contention until tragedy struck at the top of the straight. Finally, the Gr2 Gold Bracelet marks the swansong for one of the darlings of the South African turf, the filly Summer Pudding. The Mauritzfonteinbred has not raced since May, but on sheer ability, the champion towers over her
rivals. Successful twice at Gr1 level this season - she won both the Gauteng Summer Cup and Empress Club Stakes - victory here will set the seal on a magnificent career and a deserved title as the champion older female.
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SA’S RISING SON HEADS FOR JAPAN With less than a week to go before he is crowned SA Champion jockey for the third time, Lyle Hewitson has announced that he will soon be packing his bags for another stint in Japan. Our youthful champion departs South Africa on 8 August. The South African jockey brain drain continues, and hot on the heels of the news of Luke Ferraris, Callan Murray, Diego de Gouveia and Warren Kennedy spreading their
wings internationally, the 23 year old Lyle’s return to Japan just over a year after he first made such an instant impact in the Land Of The Rising Sun comes as little surprise. Despite a generally more subdued season for the yard of his longstanding ally Sean Tarry, the Kuda-sponsored rider has really and truly set our tracks alight this season - and his superiority at the top of the national log is underscored by his current 82 win lead over reigning champion, Warren Kennedy.
In fact the Hewitson lead margin over second placed Kennedy amounts to more winners than 85% of our jockeys have ridden all season. Sobering stats. As we go to print prior to Tuesday’s Vaal meeting, Lyle is on 256 winners. On 1 June at the Vaal he set a new personal best of 220 winners in a season, when scoring on Last Song. The Hewitson graph is clearly
on an upward trend! When he won his first SA National Championship title, as an apprentice in 2017/18, he booted home 184 winners. A year later he improved that tally to 219 winners and he’s patently just getting better – practically in a race of his own, as it were. And a rider of his enormous ability must surely be lost to his homeland, sooner rather than later. In a chat with the Sporting Post, the modest and softly spoken former work rider explained that he had returned from Japan in June 2020, a ‘mentally smarter’ and better experienced rider. “My stint in Hong Kong and Japan really gave me a dimension of invaluable experience that I have tried to build on and I’m looking so forward to returning in August for three months.” While that almost inevitable Gr1 success has eluded Lyle this term, he still has a chance to strike on the final day of the season on Saturday, where he has nine rides, including three Gr1 chances. “You know, it just worked out that some of our leading horses were sidelined. So very often we were thereabouts with the second stringers. I think I had about
seven Gr1 second finishes! So I would like to think we are overdue – but racing owes nobody anything, so we will go out doing our best as always,” he smiles. While he is hopeful of a very decent day on Saturday, Lyle says that Sean Tarry’s Duke Of Marmalade filly Rain In Holland is probably his best chance – she runs in the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes. “She is very smart and goes for five wins on the trot. It is her first start at Hollywoodbets Greyville but she is sensible and if she copes with the new track, she is a big runner,” he adds. He feels that the Tarry team’s recent DSTV Gr3 Gold Vase winner Nebraas is a decent staying prospect, and is a runner off his weight mark in the Marshalls World Of Sport Gr3 Gold Cup. He thanked Sean Tarry and team and all the trainers and owners that had given him the chances to ride the winners. “Nobody can do it without the horses and solid support. I’d also like to convey my appreciation to my sponsors Kuda – it’s a true honour and a privilege to be associated with a leading brand. I hope I added value for them.” In his 2020 Japan stint, Lyle rode 19 winners in two months
– that’s from only 17 meetings. So he has big expectations ahead of him. He outlined the professionalism of the Japanese racing set-up and also the warmth of the local people. “It is absolutely fantastic and works like clockwork. It is a very professionally run jurisdiction. Hannah (my partner) will be out towards the end of August. At least this time round, we will be able to enjoy more of the tourist and cultural attractions, which the travel restrictions prevented us from seeing on our trip last year. So that’s really exciting,” he says. In order to maintain his race-riding fitness, Lyle will only be taking Gauteng home rides in the new season. He leaves on Sunday 8 August and Hannah is expected to follow him a few weeks later. We wish him every success and safe travels.
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24 Got The Greenlight - can cap a terrific season on Saturday
JOEY LOVES THE
BIG LEAGUE 25
Turffontein trainer Joey Soma measures the success of any season by his yard’s ability to compete at the top level. He says that 2020/21 has been a trying but successful term on that barometer – and he is out to double his Gr1 haul when he sends out a quartet of runners at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday. While striving to find two Gr1 winners on the final major day is clearly tongue in cheek fighting talk from the charismatic racing man, history shows that he hasn’t done half badly in the past aiming for the stars – even with just 38 odd horses in his string stabled at Gauteng’s flagship racetrack. “We have to benchmark ourselves against the best and I’m happy to be in with four genuine fighting chances on what should be another great day of SA Champions Season competition,” Joey told the Sporting Post. The Soma stable’s big horse Got The Greenlight will step out for only his fifth run of the season when he contests the HKJC World Pools Gr1 Champions Cup. Joey tells that he took the Equus champion home after his great effort in the Vodacom Durban July, where
he ran a gutsy third behind Kommetdieding. Got The Greenlight has been a better horse being trained out of his home base and there was a feeling that it makes no sense to tinker with a winning recipe. “No excuses. But he had no luck in the big race and one always needs a bit of that. But we have gone easy with him and he is fresh and ready to end the season with a flourish. It is a pity that not all the big guns are there, but what the field lacks for in numbers, it makes up for in quality.” He says that Got The Greenlight will be ‘100% ready’, but that he has to have respect for a horse like Do It Again, who meets him on 2,5kgs better terms for just over a length beating in the Vodacom Durban July. “I suppose it’s fair to say that they both had issues in running in the July, so it should be interesting!” A quartet carryover of R1 million will be introduced into the 1-2-3-4 prediction pool for this seventh race, with R4 million projected. Joey saddles African Adventure under top weight. “The Gold Cup has always been African Adventure’s season goal and he is a very, very good stayer – as his record shows. Any horse who
can win the Caradoc Gold Cup by over 7 lengths over the Turffontein 2850m must have some stamina ability!” Muzi Yeni partners the son of Master Of My Fate from 1 draw. He won his prep run over 1800m on July day, a win that gave Joey much pleasure. “It was tantamount to being well paid for a gallop! It was a lovely surprise and certainly confirmed his wellbeing. We were treated quite harshly by the handicappers, a fact that soured the celebration a bit. He is a solid consistent horse and his sole blot on his copybook was his Gold Bowl run – but he didn’t enjoy the ground at all.” He points out that this will be the gelding’s first run away from home and Hollywoodbets Greyville probably wouldn’t ideally be his ‘first choice’ type of track. “But we have the pole position draw. If I have to be wary, I’d have to say the weight and pace might be concerns.” Joey has two runners in the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes – a race won in 2019 by stable star, Got The Greenlight. “Both Anytime Champ and Happy And Glorious are runners and have earned
their ticket for this race. Win, lose or draw, we will know where we stand with them in the scheme of things. If I could draw a boxing analogy between the pair, Anytime Champ is the classy Muhammad Ali, while Happy And Glorious is the streetfighter type – let’s say Joe Frazier.” Anytime Champ won his debut over 1160m.
“He won really well and has show us unbelievable work. It’s not my style to push a young horse from a sprint to a mile at a strange track at just his second jump. But I believe he has classic potential and whatever happens after Saturday, we will rest him and bring him back in a few months as a stronger 3yo with potential.” Joey points out that the R480 000 National Yearling Sale
A thumbs up from Joey Soma
buy is the first horse bought at sale by the Dannhauser family. “They are lovely people who are patient and love the game. He is a smashing horse.” Happy And Glorious is the stable second stringer but more experienced and a fellow who earned his Durban trip when winning his fourth start with authority over
1400m at Turffontein.
what to do,” concludes Joey.
“He has come along nicely since being gelded after his third start. He has improved smartly at track too. He deserves a chance, and while we are drawn at 11, Smanga Khumalo has all the experience and will know
A reminder that the final meeting of the season at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday 31 July, known as the Marshalls World Of Sport Festival Of Racing, hosts the lucrative telephone numbers of the Hong Kong World Pools.
The Pick 6 on the day will be boosted by a R5 million carryover injection and is projected to reach R15 million. Tote betting opens on Friday 30 July.
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The 1987 Gr1 Gold Cup winner Aquanaut
A GOLDEN HISTORY Can Gareth van Zyl’s Paths Of Victory write his name into the history books on Saturday when he bids to win the Marshalls World Of Sport Gold Cup for the second consecutive year? To date, four horses have won the Gold Cup twice, but the last horse to win South Africa’s premier staying race in consecutive years was Highland Night, who won the race in 2002 and 2003. First run in 1921 for a stake of just 2000 pounds, the Gold Cup is an equine marathon that boasts a proud history and captures the public imagination on a wide scale. One of the greatest Gold Cup riders of all time was Charlie Barends, who won the event seven times. He partnered favourite Chez Monty, who in 1950 became the first horse to
win the race two years running. Felix Coetzee broke Barends’ long-standing record in 2012, when he won his eighth Gold Cup on In Writing for Dean Kannemeyer, who saddles Favour on Saturday. Only once, has there been a dead heat in the race – and that was back in 1977 when Don The Stripe and Pacer shared the spoils. The first horse to win the Gold Cup on two occasions was Humidor, who was victorious in 1933 and 1935. Humidor scored his first win carrying just 50kgs, winning as a 5 year old. Runner up, Candican, was giving the winner over two stone! Two years later, the imported son of Galloper Lad carried 52.5 kgs to ensure himself a place in the record books. 36
Humidor was more impressive in his second win – winning by a length, with another five lengths back to the third placed finisher. While Candican put up one of the greatest weight carrying achievements ever seen in the race, another gallant effort came in 1930, when Glen Albyn ran second under 9 stone 10 – or 136 lbs. He was beaten just half a length, giving the winner, Artist Glow, one stone. Since 1945, the greatest winning margin in the Gold Cup has been the four and a half length winning divide put up by Devon Air, who triumphed in 1984. Fillies and mares have enjoyed some success in the Gold Cup, without ever
dominating their male rivals. The last female to capture the race was Joey Ramsden’s Dynasty’s Blossom who won the race under the late Nooresh Juglall in 2019. Prior to that Colonial Girl won for Dean Kannemeyer in 2000. On Saturday Kannemeyer saddles Favour and the smart filly Silva’s Magic, who is a reserve runner at this stage. There are two Gauteng raiders carrying the fairer sex flag – Sunshine Silk and Chitengo. Other fillies and mares to win South Africa’s most famous staying race include Devon Air (1984), Festive Forever (1996) and Bella Bianca (1998). Both Festive Forever and Devon Air
enjoyed success at stud, with the former producing the G1 winning champion Fearless and the latter throwing two stakes winners. Devon Air is also the granddam of the high-class performers, She’s On Fire and August Rush.
race which has been kind to favourites over the years, the Gold Cup has been won by such longshots as Stateway (33-1), Rack and Ruin (25-1), Fauvist (33-1), and Millverof (25-1).
Famous for producing a number of upsets, and not a
Milleverof wins the 1995 Gold Cup
Running Brave beats Expressfromtheus to win the London News – she is back to best for Saturday!
BRONKHORST BRAVE FOR GOLD BRACELET HAT-TRICK Randjesfontein trainer Fanie Bronkhorst saddles four runners at the Marshalls World Of Sport Festival Of Racing at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday. That’s a remarkable achievement for a man who only has a yard of 15 and saddled his first runner a matter of eight months ago. Fanie will be operating with an open licence from the start of the new season on Sunday and says he is happy to be
able to work without the constraints of being an owner-trainer.
the Gr3 London News Stakes at Turffontein in the first week of January.
“That’s the NHA requirements and I have now satisfied them, so I am looking forward to expanding my string with my two barns at Randjesfontein,” he says proudly.
The hard knocking daughter of Brave Tin Soldier heads his quartet on Saturday when she bids for a historic third consecutive success in the Gr2 Gold Bracelet.
The man who grew up in Kathu, the iron-ore capital of the Northern Cape Province, broke the ice with a big win by his stalwart Running Brave in
“She is back to her best and I reckon she will go close to winning the race for the third year. Yes, I have every respect for She’s A Keeper
and Summer Pudding, but Running Brave is over a joint issue she developed prior to the Vodacom Durban July. She wasn’t 100% there, but believe me she is full of beans again!” Asked whether he would be retiring the trojan mare to stud after Saturday, Fanie is in two minds. “I will let her tell me. She will make a lovely broodmare and has the credentials. I’m in two minds as she is so enthusiastic and loves her racing,” he says. Fanie opens his day with Kayla’s Champ in the Listed
Darley Arabian. “She is consistent and always does her best. She takes on some decent males and it’s her first time on the polytrack. She has shown excellent sand work and Smanga Khumalo will give her every chance from a fair draw.” He then runs Cocoa Hill in the Gr2 Debutante. “Her post-maiden run was fair as they rate the winner. The draw isn’t easy, but she has good gate speed and once again Smanga Khumalo is the right man for the job. Based on her work, I’m hoping for a place.”
His Elusive Fort gelding Excellarator runs in the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes. “He is crying out for the mile so I was really pleased with his win over the 1200m at his third start. Donovan Dillon is a nice strong rider and if he can get Excellarator into a decent position, I’d think he is capable of running a place. Whatever happens, he will be a better horse as a 3yo,” he adds. • Fanie has empty boxes available and may be contacted on 082 313 1368.
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Singapore Turf Club
JP van der Merwe drives Gold Reward to victory
SAFFERS STRONG IN SINGAPORE
South African trainer Ricardo Le Grange won the lucky last on Sunday at Kranji in Singapore. Ridden a treat by fellow South African JP Van Der Merwe, Gold Reward brought up Le Grange’s 14th winner of the season.
“A very satisfying win for Gold Reward today, and a massive thanks to long time owners the Yong’s, I am always so happy to train winners for the family. And what a great ride by JP,” said a pleased Ricardo Le Grange
JP van der Merwe, who book-ended the meeting, told the Sporting Post that he was thrilled to ride a double on the day. He also won the opener on Tigarous for the S Gold Racing Team and the O’Hara stable.
This image for illustration only – and taken prior to mask protocols
LEVEL 3 IS BACK! Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech of Sunday evening and further relaxations announced, the NHA have advised that the following is effective as of Monday 26 July 2021: Racing Operators are now permitted to allow Owners to
attend race meetings subject to the Covid lockdown regulations being strictly adhered to. Interprovincial travel for riders is allowed with no restrictions. The NHA reiterates that the proven non-pharmaceutical measures of wearing of
masks, hand sanitizing/ washing for at least 20 seconds and social distancing of at least 1,5m apart, is critical and the Chief Compliance Officer, Mr Arnold Hyde, together with his team shall continue to ensure same is done throughout a race meeting.
CTS – A REMINDER
Just a reminder that Cape Thoroughbred Sales (CTS) has confirmed that the date for the 2022 Cape Premier Yearling Sale is Sunday, 6 February, 2022, a week after the 2022 Cape Met.
Grant Knowles, Bloodstock and Marketing Director for CTS, commented: “We are pleased to advise vendors and buyers of this date, so that they can plan well ahead. As per tradition, the 2022 sale
will be held in the spectacular late Cape summer and will be preceded by a golf day, and social functions. The sale itself will offer the customary CTS hospitality.”
Knowles reminds breeders that the deadline for entries for the 2021 CTS Ready To Run Sale at Kenilworth on 31 October has been extended from 1 July to 20 August 2021.
“We have had an increased demand from vendors after the cancellation of the KZN Yearling Sale, and our Ready To Run Sale will assist those breeders who have not yet had an opportunity to sell their horses.” Please chat to Grant Knowles for more information: email@example.com 082 882 9774
50 BSA 2yo graduate Nourbese – campaigning overseas
2YO CATALOGUE IS ONLINE 51
Bloodstock South Africa have announced that the catalogue for the August 2YO Sale is now online and can be viewed at www.bsa.co.za This year’s sale is set to take place at the TBA complex in Germiston on 20 and 21 August, and promises to provide buyers with another wonderful opportunity to acquire high-class thoroughbreds. A total of 316 lots are on offer at this year’s 2YO Sale, with the majority of South Africa’s top stud farms strongly represented.
Among the recent alumni of the 2YO Sale are such notable graded stakes winners as Lady Of Steel, Nourbese and Out Of Your League, while past stars sold off this auction include all of Asylum Seeker, Bela-Bela, Jackson, J J The Jet Plane, River Jetez, Rock Opera and The Apache. Proven and promising stallions represented at this year’s August 2YO Sale include Act Of War, Black Minnaloushe, Captain Of All, Duke Of Marmalade, Dynasty, Elusive Fort, Flower Alley, Futura, Gimmethegreenlight, Global View, Go Deputy, Ideal World, Judpot, Mambo In Seattle,
Master Of My Fate, Oratorio, Pathfork, Pomodoro, Querari, Rafeef, Silvano, The United States, Trippi, Twice Over, Var, Vercingetorix, Visionaire, What A Winter and Willow Magic. Sires with their first local drafts on the sale include Canford Cliffs, Erupt, Gold Standard, Rabada, and Wings Of Desire. Please click here to read the catalogue
2501 WINNERS UP FOR SMITH! v
54 Yuzae Ramzan guides Global Drummer to his tenth victory
After saddling a superb five winners at Fairview on Friday, Hollywoodbets trainer Gavin Smith has edged to ninth position on the SA national log and within three winners of reigning East Cape Champion Alan Greeff. The local championship is decided on number of winners and the Smith team are on 135 versus the powerful Greeff team’s 138, with just one meeting of the season left. The rain enforced switch from the turf to the polytrack failed to stop the march of the Smith team. An undoubted highlight of their five winners was the tenth career victory from just thirteen starts for the Ascot Stud Global Drummer, who charged home under joint topweight to win the Pinna-
cle Stakes over 1200m under 2,5kg claimer Yuzae Ramzan.
since transferring from Gauteng.
This was Gavin Smith’s 2500th career winner!
He was the first of a double for Mauritius owner Vicky Veeramootoo – who also owns the smart Global Drummer.
The Champion 2yo male of last term for the region, Global Drummer was a R250 000 buy from the 2019 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale. He has earned close on R450 000. The winner was bred by Ascot Stud and is by their exciting Galileo sire Global View out of the four-time winning Kilconnel mare, Royal Drummer. Marco Van Rensburg opened the Smith rout with the first double in Ownyourfate and Admiral’s Shine – the latter another winner for Southford stallion Admiral Kitten, who opened his account last week. Master Supreme made it a hat-trick of wins under Stallone Naidoo in the Eastern Cape
The son of Master Of My Fate won the MR 90 Handicap over 2000m with a courageous show to register a career icebreaker on the all-weather. Replacement rider Muzi Yeni rode the fifth Smith winner when Justadoreher found her feet at her third Fairview start to show some of her KZN form and win the last at long odds. The final Fairview meeting of the season is on Friday 30 July.
56 Justin Snaith's One Way Traffic cools off after his victory at Kenilworth on Saturday. His pose symbolizes the reality that we are at the tail end of the season
MAGIC AND MORE! 58
New Predator goes into the notoriously challenging third season
Situated in the heart of the KZN Midlands, Bush Hill Stud offers easy and convenient access to all stallions standing in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The stud borders on the Little Mooi River which provides water for the irrigation of the winter pastures, allowing for quality grazing all year round. The natural beauty of the property is only enhanced by the wonderful band of stallions now standing at Bush Hill Stud. “Dubawi son Willow Magic has the most amazing temperament and has settled happily into his new surroundings in no time at all,” Bush Hill supremo Warwick Render tells the
success going forward.
“We have always been big supporters of his and have had a long relationship with some of his original owners, having had the pleasure of standing mares for them for many years. He is definitely well represented on the farm through his yearlings and two-year-olds, even though it is only his first season with us.”
“We are most grateful to the original owners for this,” Warwick says with a smile.
With his move to Bush Hill Stud, the original owners were accommodating enough to allow Warwick and his wife Karin to syndicate Willow Magic and sell shares. This allowed those who have supported him in the past, as well as those who wish to do so now, be a part of his
“MK’s Pride has been an obvious standout performer of Willow Magic’s at this stage, and I believe people have underestimated just how good he is. Looking at his form, there are not many horses who have beaten both War Of Athena and Got The Greenlight in winning Graded Stakes races. “But I believe Willow Magic has many well above average performers and that is why, when looking at his stats, his winners to runners ratios, along with his average earnings per runner, have him
Willow Magic has settled happily into his new surroundings on par with sires that have been legends South Africa,” he says proudly.
“We are looking forward to Ikimasu foaling this season. She is the dam of MK’s Pride!”
Willow Magic has some really decent types on the track. The Gr1 and Gr2 placed Magical Flight looks progressive, while the way Willow’s Wish registered his second consecutive victory at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday, suggest the Sean Tarry yard hold high hopes for him next season.
There is a very smart filly by Willow Magic available at the 2021 BSA August Sale out of Purple Rose, Lot 127.
“I believe the two-year old Fisher King is another for whom they have very high hopes,” adds Warwick.
Click here to view her pedigree. “Willow Magic’s stud fee for 2021 has been set at R12 000 live foal, but we do offer discounts for multiple bookings and travel subsidies for mares travelling from out of the province,” Warwick says. Another standout stallion with
a spate of winner of late has been Flying The Flag who, according to Warwick, is doing very well and is a much loved character at the stud. “He enjoyed a very good book of mares and therefore has a great spread of youngsters coming through still, not only here on Bush Hill but well spread through the other local studs. “With Flying The Flag’s progeny having hit the ground running, we are still looking for a real standout. But I have heard some positive murmurs from a few connections so as they say ‘watch this space’,”
he says with a chuckle.
and Last Winter.
“He is fairly well represented at the upcoming August and November sales – we have an absolutely cracking filly from the great Irridescence, Perfect Promise family at the August Sale.”
New Predator enjoyed two really good books of mares in the previous years, but now goes into the notoriously challenging third season.
Click here to view the pedigree of Lot 239. “He is a very well syndicated stallion so a large amount of his support has come from his shareholders. In these trying times we will do what we can to accommodate anyone,”Warwick tells us. Standing alongside Willow Magic and Flying The Flag at Bush Hill are New Predator
“We are confident that with the quality of his first crop of foals backing up his credentials, we will see him get the support he deserves from the breeders. In fact, the talk around his youngsters has seen one of the leading Cape studs make multiple bookings to him for the season. “We are naturally excited to see his first crop go through the sales ring next year,” he says. “New Predator was a top-class sprinter miler on the
track, he was desperately close to winning a Gr1 Sprint. He proved himself to have unquestionable Gr1 form, defeating no fewer than seven individual Gr1 winners in his multiple stakes victories. Being the first and only son of the great New Approach out of a mare by the phenomenal Fastnet Rock, he represents one of the most proven nicks of the modern area-that of Galileo onto Danehill.” The final stallion of the quartet is Last Winter, who stood his first season in 2020. “We are so very excited about his first foals due any day now. He was rushed back to South Africa just in time for Candiese Lenferna
61 Last Winter’s first foals are due to arrive any day now
Flying The Flag- A much loved character at Bush Hill Stud the season. In fact he arrived on the farm on 2 September and covered his first mare the next day.
out of Gr1 winning daughter of champion Silvano. His great looks saw him sell for R3,7million as a yearling.
law and Lee Scribante for facilitating his standing here and we have very high hopes for him.”
“It’s a tribute to his character that he slotted straight into his new role with ease. He covered a decent book of mares, especially considering the lack of time leading into the season,” Warwick says with pride.
“He followed all of this up by showing unbelievable ability on the track, winning his first four starts in impressive style before running second in the Premier Trophy. Then that run in the Met! One would have to a long way to ever find a more impressive turn of foot. It was good enough for him to be ranked by Longines as their joint 5th highest rated horse in the world to run in the first quarter of 2018,” he says.
Visit www.bushhill.co.za or contact Warwick and Karin Render today to send your mare to one of their top-class stallions:
“He represents so much that is great in South African breeding, we really believe he has what it takes to make a serious impact. By the champion sire and sire of sires, Western Winter, he is
“We are grateful to Lady Laid62
• Warwick- 082 872 7799 Karin- 082 896 4809
Design by Winning Media
64 Master Of My Fate: Jet Master – Promisefrommyheart (Elliodor)
BIG SEASON FOR THE MASTER! 65
While his stablemate Gimmethegreenlight will be crowned Champion Sire of South Africa for 2020-2021, the Varsfontein bred and based Master Of My Fate has enjoyed an excellent season in 2020-2021. The son of Jet Master is, at the time of writing, currently second on the South African General Sires List, with Master Of My Fate runners having earned over R9,812 million during 2020-2021. Master Of My Fate has produced seven black type winners during the past season, with his runners
claiming ten stakes races in South Africa. Coincidentally, five of the top six sires in 2020-2021 all raced in South Africa and it is interesting to note that Master Of My Fate and Ideal World are the only two in the top ten for the season not to have won at G1 level.
Master Of My Fate's three-year-old crop statistics, in particular, makes for eye catching reading. His latest sophomore crop includes a trio of Gr1 winners, namely champion Tempting Fate, and Sentbydestiny (Premiers Champion Stakes), and Zarina (Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes).
The former Premier Trophy/ Peninsula Handicap is also third on the Leading Sires of 3YOs List in 2020-2021, with Master Of My Fate behind Gimmethegreenlight and Kommetdieding's sire, Elusive Fort.
This crop also includes the progressive Pretty Betty, a winner of her last five in a row, including the Gr3 Goals And Gallops Final Fling Stakes and Listed www.caperacing.co.za Ladies Mile.
Pretty Betty is one of two graded stakes winners, along with deceased Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery winner Basadi Faith, out of a Captain Al (Al Mufti) mare for Master Of My Fate thus far. Captain Al is also sire of Master Of My Fate's graded stakes winning relatives Captain Splendid, Erik The Red and Malmoos. However, three-year-olds have not been the sole stars for Master Of My Fate. The latter's older flagbearers of 2020-2021 include Gr3 WSB Best Odds First Caradoc Gold Cup winner African Adventure, Gr3 Flamboyant Stakes victress Indi Anna, Port Elizabeth Gold Cup vic-
tor Master Supreme - a winner of his last three in a row - and Gr3 Track And Ball Derby runner-up, Dream Destiny. From the same family as yet another Varsfontein based horse in Erik The Red, Master Of My Fate, whose stakes winning half-sister Justthewayyouare is the dam of this season's World Sports Betting Triple Crown winner Malmoos, is set to be well represented at Hollywoodbets Greyville this Saturday. His sons African Adventure, Holy Warrior and Dream Destiny are all runners in Saturday's Gr3 Marshalls World Of Sport Gold Cup (Master Of My Fate filly Silva Magic is a reserve runner for
the Gold Cup), while another son Native Tongue is a likely starter in Saturday's Listed Marshalls World Of Sport Darley Arabian. Master Of My Fate's beautifully bred daughter Mama Pyjama, a half-sister to Gr1 winner Temple Grafin, is a runner in =Saturday's G2 Kuda Gold Bracelet, as is fellow Master Of My Fate daughter Scented Mistress and Master Of My Fate's Gr1 winning filly Sentbydestiny. • 2021 Fee – R25 000 plus vat • R5 000 nom / R20 000 live foal
THERE IS LIFE AFTER RACING! v
68 Nicole Wille takes Calvary through his paces
Nicole Wille is living her dream. The 25 year old Ficksburg-born horsewoman is managing the new Hollywoodbets Life After Racing initiative which is based at La Belle Femme Equestrian Centre in Drummond, KwaZuluNatal. With an impressive equine CV behind her name, the 25 year old Nicole’s life is hyper horsey – during office hours she is based at the Summerveld Equine Hospital.
She speaks enthusiastically as she tells the Sporting Post about the Hollywoodbets Life After Racing initiative, which was launched as a support platform for the Hollywood Syndicate horses upon their retirement from the racetrack. “In a spirit of the love and care for their horses, the Hollywood Syndicate, who race throughout South Africa, will be sending their retired horses to me. My role is to ensure that via Hollywoodbets Life After Racing every Hollywood Syndicate retiree is provided
with the best possible chance of having the best life after racing. My primary goal is to show the non-racing community of equestrians that we care a great deal about our horses and always want to see them have the best life in and out of racing. ” Hollywoodbets Brand and Communications Manager, Devin Heffer said that the Hollywoodbets Life After Racing initiative was an important cog in the company’s overall support of the industry and reinvestment
back into horseracing via ownership. “This sport’s success, public appeal and good reputation rides on the back of every horse and these beautiful animals are the focal point of racing. The National Horseracing Authority commendably introduced legislation some four years ago in an effort to specify
how racehorses must be treated once they have completed their racing careers. The new rule recognised that all Owners have a responsibility and obligation towards their horses. This initiative is Hollywood’s way of raising the profile of this important aspect, while also ensuring that we can reward and protect our own equine soldiers for providing us, and the racing public, with
entertainment and thrills.” Nicole says that the first Hollywood Syndicate horse to go through her hands was Calvary, a son of Querari, who retired as a four-time winning sprinter. “Calvary was a super star and just took to the programme so well. After I have done some basic training like ground
72 Love of her horse – Nicole enjoys a quiet moment
work and flatwork, I assess what type of person would suit the particular horse best. I then advertise via social media. Prospective new ‘forever homers’ are welcome to view and try the horse out before buying. It is a transparent process where the interests of our horses are always a priority,” she adds. The horse-crazy Nicole explains that she informs each potential buyer that should they purchase the horse they have to sign a contract stating that Hollywoodbets Life After Racing require regular updates when requested as to how the individual is progressing. “Should they no longer want to keep the horse or wish to sell on, we always retain the option to buy back or the new owner must agree to the same terms.” Born in Ficksburg in the Eastern Free state in 1996, Nicole spent most of her childhood there and a visit to a local riding school when she was 8 was the defining moment that saw her hooked forever. “I sat on a pony and was enthralled. After that I got my own first pony called Lucky, who is still with me today!” Nicole has a younger sister and had a wonderful outdoors
upbringing on her Step Dad’s farm - to this day she says that it is her ‘favourite place in the world’. The family have since sold the farm and moved to New Zealand.
inside of a man’ and I feel that is so accurate. Believe me, each true horseman has that feeling whenever they are around these wonderful animals.”
She matriculated from Ficksburg High School in 2014. After graduation, Nicole was a bit undecided on what she wanted to do with her life.
Through her association with the Delpech family – Anthony’s son Damon is her partner - her interest and involvement in horseracing has grown exponentially.
“I looked into studying agriculture, but I came across the Summerhill School Of Excellence course online. So we took a drive down to Mooi River to check it out and my mind was made up once I got there. I completed the Stud Management and Reproduction courses and was fortunate to receive a scholarship to go to the National stud in Newmarket, UK. After 6 months in the UK I came back to South Africa and spent 7 months working at Klawervlei Stud,” she explains proudly. After that it was two years at Elm Tree Farm in Kentucky, USA and finally back to KZN. “I have learnt so much through all these experiences and developed myself as a horsewoman every step of the way. What makes horses special to me is the way they make me feel. There is a saying ‘there is something about the outside of a horse that does something to the
“The sport has been a part of my life for a very long time, even more so since I have moved to KZN as all the people close to me work in racing, and it’s a big part of our lives.” And while today she is emotionally and geographically far from her Afrikaans roots, she never forgets the formative days of her happy youth. Nicole says that her ten year goal is to run her own yard that specializes in the rehab of injured race and sport horses, as well as the rehoming and schooling of ex racehorses. “I feel every racehorse can be rehomed. Some might need more time to get out of the racing state of mind - but there is a perfect person and discipline for each type of horse!”
139 YEARS LATER – SANTA'S NOT HAPPY From humble beginnings in Port Elizabeth in 1882, the Jockey Club, or National Horseracing Authority as we now know it, has developed into a multimillion rand machine that polices racing across South Africa. Fast forward to 2021 and we have a trainer representative body called SANTA making its way down the proverbial NHA chimney with what seems to
be unwanted gifts. The South African National Trainers Association’s recent written requisition of a Special General Meeting of the members of the National Horseracing Authority of South Africa to consider and vote on resolutions and do away with the Racing Control Executive post has elicited further response from the regulatory body’s chairlady.
Mrs Susan Rowett wrote to members on behalf of the NHA board on 7 July 2021. She has shared some further thoughts with members on the role and function of the NHA, how the body interacts with participants, the Board composition and the imperative of the Board’s independence. Read what Mrs Rowett said on Saturday – click here
TRAINERS FIGHT 'PERSECUTION'
Every major racing jurisdiction interprets and implements the strict liability rule on the basis that if the trainer can prove that he did not administer, or cause to be administered, a prohibited substance detected, and had taken all reasonable precautions to prevent the administration of such prohibited substance, that no action or finding will be made against the trainer in their personal capacity. In a press release published
on Sunday 25 July 2021, the South African National Trainers Association says that in South Africa (SA), a third world country and by association racing jurisdiction, which is difficult to argue against what with our economic junk status, the National Horseracing Authority (NHA) continue to persecute, prosecute, and convict innocent trainers on the basis of an archaic, and believed unconstitutional and unlawful rule based on automatic guilt.
A further perfect example of the vindictive nature of the NHA and its Racing Control Executive (RCE), Arnold Hyde, has once again surfaced following a number of Zilpaterol 'positives' involving 8 KwaZulu-Natal trainers with collectively 10 'positives'. Read on to find out what SANTA said on Sunday – click here
THUMBS UP FOR HOLLIE v
Hollie Doyle and Trueshan were triumphant in the Gr1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup, the highlight on day one of the Qatar Goodwood Festival on Tuesday, to give trainer Alan King a first Gr1 success on the Flat. Sent off the 6/5 favourite following the withdrawal of four-time Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup winner Stradivarius, the five-yearold was expected to deliver, and he did just that, powering clear in the closing stages of the two-mile contest. Doyle made a decisive move as the combination entered the home straight, steering her mount to the stands’ side rail and impressively repelling all challengers. Runner-up Away He Goes (33/1) briefly threatened to be competitive but couldn’t live with the winner, ultimately going down by three and three-quarter lengths. The third home Sir Ron Priestley (9/2) was loaded into the horse ambulance and taken for a scan having collapsed after the race. King said: “It is a very special moment. I have been very calm all morning, then when John [Gosden] took out Stradivarius and we were shortening all the time, the nerves really started to kick in. I have not been this
nervous for a long time.
to want it more often.”
“I have always enjoyed my Flat races and this is very special. This is up there with the Champion Hurdles. All I want to do is train proper horses! I am not giving up the jumping yet!
“I never really feel pressure, but today something did come over me as I didn’t want to let everyone down. I was very confident going into the race. I haven’t had many experiences of Goodwood, let alone on a short-priced favourite. I was feeling it a bit more than normal, but Trueshan is an exceptionally talented animal on this ground.
“Hollie has given him a great ride and the owners have been great supporters of mine. Trueshan can be a little keen so I’m glad he had a proper race at Newcastle – he could have been ferocious today if he hadn’t had that run. “Trueshan is very ground dependent. We had to take him out of the Gold Cup, which is very hard to do. “He is in the Lonsdale and he is in the Irish St Leger. I will talk to the boys, but we will probably take him out in the morning at the forfeit stage. The Cadran will probably be his big target in the autumn.” Doyle and Trueshan had previously combined to win the Gr2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup on testing ground at Ascot in October, the same day she landed a breakthrough first G1 success on Glen Shiel. Doyle said: “This is one of the best days I’ve ever had. When I got a taste of the success at Ascot on Glen Shiel, I got a bit more hungry and determined
“He was pretty fresh early on. They were going no gallop and I expected there to be a bit of pace on. Halfway round I thought I have to do something about this as I’m not getting trapped on the rail and so I managed to slide onto the girth of the others and he then settled. The further we went, the better he went. When I hit the rising ground, he’s gone again. “I can’t say Trueshan is very ground dependent as I haven’t ridden him on anything different to this ground, but he certainly is talented on this ground. I think he probably does enjoy getting his toe in obviously. “I got some buzz off that – I don’t get too high or too low, but when you have experiences like that you have to make the most of it.” “All credit to Alan and to the
owners for keeping faith in me! Trueshan has been in my mind every day since Champions Day and these are the days you do it for.” Winning co-owner David Hall said: “It is very hard to put it into words. They tried to slow it down in front, but Hollie made sure that the horse got the gallop he needs. “There is nothing better than winning a Group 1 on the Flat. I like National Hunt racing but after this, it’s going to be Goodwood all the way. This is the best racecourse in the world. “Hollie really has been the making of this horse. She takes no nonsense and doesn’t let anyone boss her around in the race.” Away He Goes’ trainer Ismail Mohammed said: “He ran super. He ran only 17 days ago, and it was doubtful with the soft ground because he has had problems with soft ground before. Today he is a different horse, he doesn’t act like a five-year-old. “Group 1’s are not easy and it is amazing for our group
and our small stable. So far we have Groups 3’s, and we are moving steps forward. “At one point I thought we might win it! We were watching and thought we’d get there.” Jockey Jim Crowley added: “Away He Goes has run a great race. His form in Dubai is better than it seems. He probably wants better ground, but the trip was ok for him. “He was travelling better than the winner, but the winner is a good horse and has outstayed him on that ground.” Stradivarius - No Tune! John Gosden, who trains Stradivarius with his son Thady, said: “It’s difficult because obviously we were very keen to try and do something that has never been done before, which is win five Goodwood Cups in a row. He is in great form, full of himself and ready to run but I’m afraid when you yet 60mm of rain since midday Sunday and another bucketload last night. “I walked the track out in the country with Thady and the stick is going straight to the bottom. It turns it into a bit of a
two-mile slog and Stradivarius is a horse who can travel with a great acceleration and a great turn of foot. He can put in pretty amazing fractions for the last two/three furlongs but you are not going to do it on that ground. I think at his age, you have to play to his strengths. “We made foolish decisions last year to run him at Longchamp on bottomless ground by the river Seine, which he loathed, and then even more stupid to run him on Champions Day on very heavy ground at Ascot. Having made the mistake twice, we weren’t quite prepared to do the same thing again. “All being well and doing things right by the horse, we would like to go to the Lonsdale at York, which is a race he knows well. The easiest thing is to run, the hardest thing is not to run. You must always remember to do what is in the best interests of the horse. All being well, we will go to the Lonsdale and look at something like the Doncaster Cup after that.”
WEATHERMAN IS NO CHAMPION! v
The weather has not cooperated at Goodwood and the festival of racing will feature heavy going with the prospect of further rain showers. Hopefully the weather will improve as the week progresses, and the expected crowds can enjoy another ‘Glorious Goodwood’ watching top horses in the summer sunshine against the backdrop of the beautiful scenery of the Sussex Downs. Thursday’s card is headed by the dual Gr1 winner Audarya, who tops a high-quality field of six for Gr1 Qatar Nassau Stakes run over 2000m. The race is due to start at 16h35. Audarya, the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mares Turf winner last season, produced an excellent effort when chasing home Love on her return to action in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot last month. Red hot William Buick maintains the partnership. The biggest threat to James Fanshawe’s mare could come from the Aidan O’Brien stable.
Ballydoyle field dual Classic winners Empress Josephine and Joan Of Arc. As three-yearolds they crucially both claim the 9lb’s age allowance. Empress Josephine won the Irish 1000 Guineas by a short head from her stable mate. Since their meeting at the Curragh, Joan Of Arc has gone on to land the Gr1 Longines Prix de Diane, over the extended mile and a quarter. Retained stable jockey Ryan Moore retains the ride on this Galileo filly. It must be noted that she’s placed in group one company on heavy going. Friday, day four of the festival, and Battaash is favourite as he attempts to win the Gr2 Qatar King George Stakes over a 1000m for a fifth consecutive time at 16h35. The son of Dark Angel has won on soft going on three occasions, but with his greatest asset being his turn of foot, a sounder surface would be optimal. Once again it looks as though the three-year-olds will be his main challengers. Champion jockey Oisin Murphy rides Dragon Symbol for Archie Watson and this son of Cable
Bay was an admirable second behind the impressive Starman in the Gr1 Darley July stakes at Newmarket. He is fancied to land the spoils after three near misses in top company. The sophomore fillies Winter Power and French raider Suesa receive 7lb’s from the Crowley ridden favourite. The latter named has recorded her four victories on soft or heavy ground and will have the services of William Buick. Both fillies must be respected. Earlier on the card at 15h25, the much vaunted Baaeed contests the Gr3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes over a mile. Unbeaten in three starts, the impressive son of Sea the Stars tackles twelve possible fellow three-year-olds. He is rated at least 5lb’s better in this field and he won on good to soft ground at Newmarket earlier in the season.
Singapore Turf Club
DERBY WINNER CALLS FOR LEADERSHIP 85
Marc Lerner (atop Hard Too Think) and trainer Stephen Gray (right) celebrate their Singapore Derby victory
Cast in at the deep end more as a bit of an afterthought, up-andcoming stayer Hard Too Think went on to upstage the favourites in the SG$400,000 Gr1 Singapore Derby at Kranji on Sunday for a version which might not be etched in the annals of the prestigious race as the most memorable, but which still bore the hallmark of excellence and excitement. Regarded pre-race by most pundits as a dark horse who could maybe steal a place, the All Too Hard four-year-old coursed out three wide for jockey Marc Lerner in a small but compact eight-horse field, but shaped up as one of the
biggest threats as he rolled into a striking position at the point of the turn. Superbly driven to the wire by Lerner in his trademark continental riding style, Hard Too Think held his ground tenaciously, and was in fact never headed. He eventually pulled clear to go and salute by one length, for a most remarkable effort in defying a gulf of 13 ½ kilos between the two horses while shouldering the same handicap of 57kgs. Like for any Gr1 triumph, it’s the ultimate reward to months of hard work, and none is more deserving than winning trainer Stephen Gray – but
the New Zealander, who is well known for wearing his heart on his sleeve, and his impassioned investment of himself into Singapore racing since his relocation 21 years ago, was clearly overcome with a cocktail of feelings as he walked down to the victory dais amidst an eerily quiet grandstand. Granted, last year’s renewal – exceptionally staged in September, hence, oddly for five-year-olds – was also behind closed doors during the Circuit Breaker, but it’s not just the Grandstand afflicted with empty seats this year. The race itself, already cut back in numbers when leading hope Rocket Star was
scratched on the eve because of a respiratory disease, presented the smallest Singapore Derby field ever to face the starter from time immemorial. No doubt, running a lowerrated horse at level weights in a sparse field gives anybody a fairer chance of claiming some big scalps, but Gray, as much as he was proud to annex a second Singapore Derby, said he would be lying if he didn’t feel the contrasting aura between Lim’s Prestige’s win circa 2007 and Sunday’s. “It feels surreal. I’m actually quite sad,” said Gray as he choked back tears. “When I looked up to the stands as I headed down, I shook my head and had a bit of a tear. More people should
get vaccinated, and hopefully, the crowds can then be allowed back in.
won’t buy new horses if they don’t know what the future holds.
“It’s a different emotion this year even if I have won my second Derby – I’m emotional and tired at the same time. Since COVID-19 came back, it’s been a bit tough. It’s so hard, our business is depleted, not just for me, but all the trainers have been hit hard. It’s been hard on our minds. We try to hang in there, every trainer wants to win it, but it just so happened I’m the one who won it. When I won the race for the Lim’s Stable in 2007, it was a game changer, it changed my life, but today I’ve won the second one at a time when our livelihood is at stake. Owners have no confidence in the industry. They won’t invest until prizemoney is back up, they
“We need to see more direction and leadership from the Club, we need a good shake-up, or it can only get worse. I’m not speaking just for me but for every trainer and all the stakeholders.It wasn’t the strongest Derby, it’s the smallest Derby field I’ve seen, and with prizemoney that used to be SG$1,15 million not too long ago, but I’ll still go down in history as the winner of two Derbies. It’s now SG$400,000 which is still good money, so we’re thankful for that as racing could have closed down. This is not about the money, but it’s about the passion.”
Wong Horse! Trainer Jessica Harrington has apologised after she 'won' the two-year-old fillies' maiden at Galway on Tuesday with a three-yearold handicapper. It emerged after the race that Aurora Princess, who has won two of her nine starts, is rated 79 and was due to run later on the card, finished first past the post when it should have
been the debutante Alizarine running in the race. Aurora Princess came home strongly under Shane Foley to beat the Aidan O'Brien-trained 5-4 favourite Twinkle. However, no 'winner all right' was announced before the official disqualification, as the identification query was raised after the microchip of the winner was scanned as she left the parade ring, prompting the IHRB
veterinary team to object to the result. Dr Lynn Hillyer, chief veterinary officer with the IHRB, said of the sequence of events: "The horses are scanned before the winner alright is called. So they are scanned and identified as they come in to the racecourse, and then the winner is scanned as they come out of the parade ring."
Mr S J Snaith Mr P A Peter Mr S G Tarry Mr M F de Kock Mr A C Greeﬀ
1290 1020 1048 579 1049
202 152 138 89 138
168 133 118 77 146
135 97 125 63 144
15.7 14.9 13.2 15.4 13.2
Other Places Place % 172 107 118 69 143
475 337 361 209 433
36.8 33.0 34.4 36.1 41.3
Win Stake (R)
Total Stakes (R)
9,988,625 14,980,925 8,088,700 12,472,925 6,688,300 11,211,700 5,446,350 7,834,800 4,166,500 7,063,000
Runs Wins Win%
Mr L Hewitson Mr W B Kennedy Mr S Khumalo Mr M A Yeni Mr G M Cheyne
1683 1113 859 1168 857
223 145 92 126 112
198 137 105 125 138
259 173 153 149 137
15.4 15.5 17.8 12.8 16.0
Other Places Place % 246 167 106 156 129
667 449 303 407 379
Win Stake (R)
Total Stakes (R)
39.6 11,230,975 17,568,225 40.3 9,959,725 14,735,975 35.3 7,211,500 10,742,488 34.8 8,684,650 13,099,075 44.2 4,228,800 7,028,825
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
444 311 229
2617 44,976 169 1799 59,761 150 1371 50,237 82
961 65,770 797 60,651
245 236 145
38.1 48.2 35.8
867 616 381
10 12 7
14 19,969,513 20 18,585,538 16 11,504,238
13 11,180,950 14 8,369,900
SIRES Name Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) Master Of My Fate What A Winter Silvano (GER) Vercingetorix
Runrs Runs AEPR 199 195 185 166 141
1152 1295 1102 996 750
B.T. Wnrs Wins Winrs/ Places Winrs Rnrs %
59,486 101 50,838 88 51,570 88 53,990 75 63,150 75
166 135 145 117 126
50.8 45.1 47.6 45.2 53.2
373 473 391 313 309
See all the detailed standings - Click here 88
12 7 4 7 7
Total Stakes (R)
15 10 6 12 9
11,837,775 9,913,375 9,540,525 8,962,275 8,904,175
DON’T WRITE ARSENAL OFF! 89
Another week closer to the start of the club football season. Ryan Liberty takes another look at some selected fixtures to just add a little extra coinage to our ever-growing coffers! Betting available closer to kick-off at www.hollywoodbets.net Friday 30 July Borussia Dortmund vs Bologna (17h00) Dortmund haven’t had the greatest friendly run, and whilst that certainly isn’t any call for concern…uncertainty has, and always will be the greatest un-doer of a football club. Manchester United have recently announced the acquisition of the greatest right winger in world football (okay, yes, I might be a little over zealous) in Jadon Sancho, and almost immediately the rumour mill has now zoned onto the future of Erling Haaland. For Dortmund’s sake I hope the club brings about certainty
sooner rather than later – especially since the Bundesliga gets underway in less than a fortnight! For Friday evening’s business I think you will get little value for Dortmund to win, but to win and both teams to score might add just enough spice. Bologna have a relatively strong side already and given they have scored eight times in their last three I’m behind them to get on the board. Saturday 31 July Preston North End vs Manchester United (15h00) Preston North End are currently entertaining a rather cinderellaesque story and there is more than a few whispers about Jamie Thomas. At 24 years old, previously dabbling in the non-league and jumping between opportunities, he was given a chance last week against Accrington Stanley and took it with both hands – these are the stories which make football the beautiful game! United, on the other hand, were somewhat brought back to
earth and reminded of their pre-season work, losing 4-2 to QPR. But again, it’s a positive to see those youngsters getting a chance to prove their worth. This is a tricky game to have a bet, if I’m honest, but both teams to score could be the way to go. Leipzig vs Ajax (16h00) Ajax will be somewhat pleased with their pre-season preparation thus far and will want to consolidate their result against Bayern Munich with something positive against another German powerhouse. Leipzig will begin their pre-season campaign (if we can call these games a campaign) and whilst clubs will want to be reluctant to read too much into the games, the positive wave and undoubted confidence boost shouldn’t be easily overlooked. Leipzig won’t be at their best and Ajax should be rearing to go, I think Ajax to win + both teams to score is as
close to a banker as a game this early on could possibly be. Get on! Bayern Munich vs Napoli (16h30) I’ve already mentioned in previous articles the slow pressure that is steadily building at Bayern Munich and the fact that their new manager will be certainly tested as the season gets underway. There is no question they are going through a building phase and the longer results and performances of quality evade them, the pressure will build irrespective of the fact that it’s just a ‘friendly’ game. Bayern Munich’s game against Ajax would have been a great test for the German Kings. Playing against another club so deeply rooted in tradition and approach would have provided a good test for them and playing out to a 2-2 draw might have been a positive for both of them really. Napoli will get their first hit out on Saturday, I think Napoli could be a team to watch and appreciate this year but for now I don’t see any value in including them in any bets. If you must have a dabble, I think Bayern is a banker, if the value on offer doesn’t justify the wager, I would consider backing them to win + over 2.5.
Wolfsburg vs Atletico Madrid (18h00) Atletico Madrid will be confident of another competitive La Liga season when all of that action gets underway a little later in August. Last season they ended up clinching the league title, but their domestic season still left a lot to be desired. Diego Simeone will be aware that a continued robust approach coupled with a fresh flare and je ne sais quoi. Wolfsburg have been incredibly lacklustre recently and I don’t expect too much from them. I know their squad is still largely fringe players and youngsters getting game time, but the loss to Holstein Kiel (come on, of course you’ve heard of them, Bundesliga 2? Haven’t won a game since early May?) is enough cause for concern… Atletico to win on whatever handicap the lads at Hollywood offer should be the play. Sunday 1 August Arsenal vs Chelsea (16h00) The Champions of Europe, the Princes of England and Thomas Tuchel’s Blue Army return! It will be their second run out since their triumph against Manchester City in the Champions League and I think it is the perfect game for a side that plays for a manager like Tuchel. Whether Chelsea play
Arsenal for jam or all of the marbles, you know the game will have serious undertones and rightly so! A lot of the English game is criticized by the likes of Roy Keane for becoming soft and accommodating but you can see right from the get-go that Tuchel doesn’t leave too much space for niceties at Chelsea. His side will want to play to their structure and philosophy from early on and hopefully pick up from last season. I know it’s another early call, but this Chelsea side should be followed closely – they could be the source of many positive returns on our provident fund and themselves possibly come away with silverware again when it’s all said and done. To spare a word for Arsenal… their preparation (much like their business in the transfer window) hasn’t exactly shot the lights out and I wouldn’t have any confidence in them at the moment. But it is still early, and I certainly wouldn’t completely right them off going forward. Nevertheless, a Chelsea win should be backed all the way to the bank.