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(Drakenstein Stud Press Release by Kevin Sommerville)

Charles Dickens the winner of the L’Ormarins King’s Plate Gr.1 has been retired to Drakenstein Stud.

Trainer, Candice-Bass Robinson commented, “Charles Dickens, the best horse I have ever trained without a shadow of a doubt, it’s been a wonderful journey and an honour to train an absolute gentlemen with such sheer brilliance. He never had one issue in his career, extremely sound and never left an oat. Fondly known as “Goosebumps”.

Jockey, Aldo Domeyer who rode him in every start said the following “I have felt some great horses do some great things in my career, but it all fades to a pale comparison when you add Charles (Dickens) to the equation. I’ve never ridden a horse who could do it as effortlessly, yet with that much potency at the same time. He’s simply a superstar. It has been an honour.”

A horse with a turn of foot, that made great horses look rather ordinary, has run his last race and will retire to Drakenstein Stud for the 2024 breeding season. Charles Dickens will live long in the memory of racing fans for his annihilation of the best around in the Cape Guineas Gr.1, Gold Challenge Gr.1 and the King’s Plate Gr.1.

A journey that has lasted 3 seasons, and performances that have left an indelible mark, his retirement marks the close of an extraordinary chapter in South African Racing.

Charles Dickens will retire with 10 wins from 13 starts, the Champion 3 year old colt and Champion Miler of South Africa with prize money of R 5,119,813, a career that culminated in a 3 length win of the L’Ormarins King’s Plate Gr.1.
Racing in South Africa is filled with complications that other countries don’t have. Even travelling to Durban and the likelihood of not being able to get back for the start of the covering season is a possibility. An International career should be a reality for a horse of Charles Dickens’ brilliance however South Africa is blocked by the International community on racing our horses abroad.

Gaynor Rupert said “Retiring Charles Dickens was a very hard decision to make. I would have loved to have seen him race until the end of the season, he would undoubtedly have won a few more big races but he has nothing left to prove.

It is in the interest of the horse and of the shareholders that after much consultation, we decided to retire him and give him plenty of time off before the start of the breeding season.

He was blessed with speed, an incredible turn of foot, sheer brilliance, intelligence and remarkable cadence. I’m sure he will pass these traits on to his future progeny and we can’t wait to see them”.

The decision to retire Charles Dickens to stud is not about bidding farewell to a remarkable racing career but also about the anticipation of his legacy continuing through future generations.

Picture: Gaynor Rupert admitted it was the best day of her racing life after her homebred Candice Bass-Robinson-trained Trippi colt Charles Dickens won the race she sponsors, the L’Ormarins King’s Plate. It was to be the last win of his career and he retires a three-time Gr 1 winner with all three of his wins being in prestigious mile events (Picture: Candiese Lenferna)