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Published: 30 August 2016

TUESDAY 30TH AUGUST 2016more...

Young (AUS) 031 362 1110
Goodwood (UK) 031 362 1110
Terang (AUS) 031 362 1111
Epsom (UK) 031 362 1111
Gloucester (AUS) 031 362 1104
Hamilton (UK) 031 362 1104
Ripon (UK) 031 362 1101
Worcester (UK) 031 362 1107


Margot Steyn saddles first runners
Published: 30 August 2016

Margot Steyn saddles her first runners at Kenilworth tomorrow...

Margot Steyn, daughter of Cape Town trainer Piet Steyn and niece of Andries, has her first runners at Kenilworth tomorrow. She is the third generation of her family to train.

Ms Steyn, 28, was previously assistant to her father and then Yogas Govender and Michael Miller. She has a string of 13 at her yard in the old barns at Milnerton and her main patrons are Spencer Cook and Tutti Hansen.

She said yesterday: “Little Star will run a good race if she reproduces what she does at home while Heartburn (also race one) is more of a staying type. Madiba Shuffle (race four) looks as if he might enjoy the ground.”

Michael Clower


Habib determined to succeed
Published: 30 August 2016

Jockey Devin Habib is keen to establish himself in Cape Town...

Devin Habib, ruled out of racing for five years, is now flying from Johannesburg every week in a bid to establish himself with Cape Town’s trainers and resurrect his career.


Devin Habib

Habib,28, nephew of former top jock Donovan Habib, was flying high winning races like the Golden Slipper and the Emerald Cup when he was nearly killed in a car crash near Oliver Tambo airport in July 2010.

“I suffered severe head injuries and I was in hospital for a month while they released the pressure on my brain,” he recalls. “When I recovered I started a small tyre business because I didn’t think I would be able to return to racing. I still have the business and it helps me financially but now my main aim is racing once more.”

He returned ten months ago after getting his weight down from 70kg to 55kg – “it meant healthy eating and a whole new lifestyle” – but, although he managed  231 rides by the end of last season, he found winners hard to come by and he partnered just five. It was a far cry from the heady days of 2008/09 when he was in such demand that he had 770 rides and 57 winners.

At the beginning of last month he began commuting to Cape Town. “I had never ridden there before but I decided to look for a job , or at least a chance to ride there.”

“If I do get a job I will move down but it’s tougher coming back this time because I’m not getting the chances. I’ve had seconds and thirds at Kenilworth and Durbanville but I need a winner or two to get going – and I am going to persevere until I get there.”

Michael Clower


Shine Bright could have the edge
Published: 30 August 2016

Gavin Lerena partners Shine Bright in the fifth at The Vaal today...

The Vaal eight race meeting on Tuesday is on the Outside track where high draws tend to be favourable and there could possibly be two bankers for the Pick 6 and other exotics.

Champion jockey Gavin Lerena rides at the Vaal today. (Nkosi Hlophe)

Gavin Lerena (Nkosi Hlophe)

In race five, a MR 67 Handicap over 1400m, Shine Bright was very slow away last time over this trip but was doing eyecatching work late. She is a strong, long-striding sort who should be improving and is now drawn close to the right side. Gavin Lerena remains aboard. A threat could be posed by Artemisia. She won her maiden well over this trip and was given quite a lenient merit rating of 65. She is now a further two points lower on 63 having raced against the boys first time out the maidens over 1600m before staying on for a well beaten third last time over the too sharp 1160m. Back against her own gender and over her likely best trip she should run well, but she does have a tricky draw.

In the seventh race over 1600m, a MR 78 Handicap, Hidden Agenda is three points up after a resolute win over 1700m last time out, despite being slightly keen early on. He will enjoy the slight step down in trip and has a plum draw of seven in the seven horse field. Furthermore, he faces an uninspiring field, so could carry topweight to victory as he could well be a class above this field. The danger could be Lucky Luciano, who is a lightly raced six-year-old who has shown ability over this trip in the past. He now has his third run after a one year layoff. On the downside this run comes just five days after his last outing, which saw an encouraging effort over this course and distance last Thursday, and he also has a tough low draw.

The rest of the Pick 6 looks difficult. The first leg is a Maiden for three-year-olds over 1200m and the betting and pre-race preliminaries will have to be closely monitored as there is not much form to go on. The two first-timers which make most appeal are Russian Dream and Penultimate, while the one to have run who has shown the most is Fearless Fred. Aristocrat by Var is returning from a rest and gelding and should also be included.

The second leg is an open fillies and mares MR 84 Handicap over 1400m which could be entitled a “boxers vs punchers” contest. The boxers are Allegorical and Movie Award who have been shown to be capable of strong finishes over this course and distance. They are selected for the exacta as they could get a tow from the like of the puncher China Beach. The latter is a big, long-striding sort who does not turn it on quickly and will have to make an attempt to gallop them into the ground, which she could possibly do from a plum draw.

The fourth leg is a MR 100 Handicap over 1600m and the obvious choice is the topweight Pivotal Pursuit, who has class as well as a plum draw. However, he does have to overcome a six point raise from his last handicap win and this won’t be easy considering he is a seven-year-old. Liege makes his reappearance over a strip slightly short of his best and has a tricky draw, but he has class and should be coming into his own being by Dynasty. Much the same can be said about the eyecatching Tiger Ridge gelding Netflix. Halve The Deficit has run well fresh before and can’t be ignored here off an atrractive merit rating with a 4kg claimer up. Dennis The Menace is known for his flying finishes and was able to win in such a manner when stepped up to 1400m recently. If switching off well over this trip he is interesting. National Key has to be considered too because on 1400m form there is not much to separate him and Dennis The Menace.

The last leg of the Pick 6 is a weak maiden for fillies and mares over 1600m and the selection is the one of the leading trio who has the most scope for improvement, namely Light House Lady. The Red List could also improve, but does have a tricky draw and an inexperienced 4kg claimer up. Sammi Moosa, Sweet Chestnut and Bank The Bill also have to be considered.

David Thiselton



Lafferty honoured at Awards
Published: 29 August 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Thiselton


Race previews Vaal Tuesday
Published: 30 August 2016

David Thiselton race by race preview of today's Vaal racemeeting...

Race previews Vaal Tuesday Aug 30 by David Thiselton

Race 1

Preview: UPOSEUPAY has shown the most of those to have run and has a fair draw over a suitable trip. TAFTEESH was backed on debut and can improve on that effort when fading to last. CHARLESTON HERO looks to have ability but has a tough draw. ROWNAK is by Silvano out of a Galileo mare who won a maiden in SA over 2000m. HAMMIES TIN and MAMBO’S IN TOWN could run better but will need plenty of improvement to feature. (David Thiselton 1-8-4)

Race 2

Preview: LEBANESE TRACTOR is the best of those to have run and is drawn well over a suitable trip. CATHEDRE makes most appeal of the first-timers being by Ideal World and a half-sister to hattrick horse Occulus. However, Tarry-trained first-timers can never be ignored and Querari filly SWEET LADY JADE must be considered despite having a tough draw and her dam having produced little to date. TRIPLE DIGIT by champion sire Trippi, out of a twice-winner over 2000m by Parade Leader, must also be considered. DIRECT LINE is by Mambo In Seattle out of a 1800m one  time winner by Hector Protector. BEUATIFUL EMILEE is by King’s Apostle and SHADOW’S EDGE is by Argonaut. (David Thiselton 1-8-4)

Race 3

Preview: RUSSIAN DREAM is by Var and is a half-sister to the useful Ladonna. Captain Al colt PENULTIMATE’s full sister Wheredowego won two of her first three starts in the strong centre of Cape Town. FEARLESS RED won a good race last week over course and distance and looks the best of those to have run. ARISTOCRAT could improve after a rest and gelding. Andrew Fortune is an interesting booking for first-timer Rebel King colt REBEL BARON. (David Thiselton 10-6-4)

Race 4

Preview: ALLEGORICAL would probably prefer 1600m, but last time after being dropped out over this trip she made a strong run down the favourable stand side rail and won going away by 0,8 lengths. She has a lot in her favour in this race, despite being given a six point raise. She has won off a one point lower mark before, she is drawn one off the rail and she might well be given a tow by her big and long striding stablemate China Beach, who is drawn on the standside rail. MOVIE AWARD perhaps comes out just ahead of Allegorical when taking into account her weight and formlines. She is another one who showed last time how strong a finish she is capable of but the problem is her tricky draw of three which won’t make it easy for her to find the necessary cover. CHINA BEACH is a big long-striding sort and it would make sense for her to stride out on the standside rail, as she has been shown to pull over this trip before, and she could plug on resolutely into the places if relaxing well throughout. SHIVERING SEA probably does not quite get home over 1450m at Turffontein but could be dangerous over this faster track on likely fast going. BEAUTIFUL SHAY has a chance as a big, resolute galloper who is suited to blinkers and has a fair draw. FUTURE FANTASTIC has a chance on paper but has not found much in the last 200m in her last two runs and has the toughest draw. FIRST DANCE ran a good race from the front over course and distance at this time a year ago but is three points higher now. However, she could be dangerous with similar tactics in the fast conditions, especially with Strydom up, although her number one draw means she might have to be sued early. (David Thiselton 3-5-6)

Race 5

Preview: SHINE BRIGHT was finishing strongly after being very slow away over this trip last time and can go close with a better jump from a favourable draw. ARTEMESIA being by Silvano should be coming into her own and will relish the step up in trip, so can do well off an attractive merit rating. She has tended to start slowly so could be dropped out to the standside, which might give her a chance. PIED PIPERESS could plug on into the money from  plum draw with a 1,5kg claimer up. (David Thiselton 2-3-4)

Race 6

Preview: PIVOTAL PURSUIT is progressive and from a good draw over an ideal trip is the one to beat despite having to carry topweight. LIEGE is classy and will be coming into his own being by Dynasty. He would prefer a touch further, but might like this trip running fresh, although he does have a tricky draw. HALVE THE DEFICIT has dropped to an attractive merit rating and has a 4kg claimer up from a favourable draw. He has run well fresh before and this should be a suitable trip for his comeback run. DENNIS THE MENACE finished like a train when stepped up to 1400m three runs ago and won, so is of interest stepped up again. NATIONAL KEY will have to be included too, being weighted to finish on top of Dennis The Menace on the form of the aforementioned race. Houdalakis said it was a comeback run for NETFLIX and would be too sharp. He is also drwn on the wrong side. However, he does have some class and if able to find cover towards the standside he might run on into the money running fresh. ALBION was a narrow loser of a Gr 2 in France over ten furlong and won three  ordinary races over that trip, but he hasn’t raced for two years, it is likely to be too sharp and he is likely to prefer more forgiving ground.  Furthermore Lucky Houdalakis said he has shown nothing in work. (David Thiselton 1-2-4)

Race 7

Preview: HIDDEN AGENDA won well over 1700m last time and has a plum draw so can overcome a three merit rating raise. LUCKY LUCIANO has won off this mark before and can go close if benefitting from his last two runs, including a decent effort last Thursday. Those runs followed a one year layoff for the lightly raced six-year-old.  However, the low draw makes it tricky. RAISE THE RED could earn from a fair draw over a suitable trip. (David Thiselton 1-4-2)

Race 8

Preview: LIGHT HOUSE LADY looks to have scope for improvement and has a favourable draw over a suitable trip. SWEET CHESTNUT is consistent band should go close in this field over a suitable trip. SAMMI MOOSA plugged on for second in a similarly weak field last week over course and distance and has a favourable draw again. (David Thiselton 6-1-8)


Marinaresco scoops top award
Published: 29 August 2016

Marinaresco was crowned KZN Horse of the Season...

Equus Champion Marinaresco was crowned KZN Horse of the Season at the Gold Circle KZN Racing awards held at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban on Friday evening.

Second in the Vodacom Durban July and winner of the Gr1 Mike and Carol Bass Champions Cup on the last day of the season, Marinaresco hit the headlines from the time he was pencilled in for the July, forsaking the final leg of the Cape Winter Series having already won the Tekkie Town Winter Guineas and the Winter Classic.

Marinaresco was trained by Mike Bass and provided a fitting finale to the veteran trainer’s career as he handed over his yard to daughter Candice the following day.

Ashburton-based trainers dominated the awards with Duncan Howells collecting three trophies. Dawn Calling, owned by Dave MacLean, collected the Best performance by a Two-year-old Filly where Howells had all three nominations including A Womans Way and KZN Million winner Lunar Rush.

The Howells-trained Cosmic Light was judged to have put up the best performance by a three-year-old filly for owner Hester Kuhn and Red Jack Trading while the Drakenstein Stud-owned Same Jurisdiction collected the trophy for Best performance by an Older Filly or Mare.

Weiho Marwing, now permanently based at Ashburton, was on hand to collect trophies for Best performance by an older Male and also Middle Distance for Gr1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge winner Mac De Lago who races in the colours of Hassen Adams.

Best performance by a two-year-old male went to another Ashburton-based trainer Paul Gadsby and a host of owners collected the trophy for Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes winner Gunner.

Summerveld-based Dennis Drier was again KZN Champion trainer by number of winners in the province, edging Howells by seven. Drier also collected the Best performance by a Sprinter for Gr2 Cape Merchants winner Triptique who races in Braam van Huyssteen’s silks.

Equus Award winners Ingrid and Markus Jooste were also KZN’s leading owners by prizemoney and Summerhill Stud, the country’s Champion Breeders for the 10th time, also had the honour of being leading breeders in their home province by stakes won. Roy Moodley was the leading KZN-based owner by stakes won.

Anthony Delpech was leading jockey and Eric Ngwane leading apprentice.

Paul Lafferty, racehorse trainer, television presenter and stand-up comic was a popular recipient of KZN Personality of the Year.

In a new category voted for by the racing public, Piere Strydom got Ride of the Season for his handling of The Conglomerate in the Vodacom Durban July, winning from 18 draw.

Andrew Harrison


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