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Picture: Jacques Chowles, chairman of the CTS Gold Rush committee.


The 16 Prospectors For Gold Rush 1 Revealed Below! 

A committee has been appointed to oversee and manage the lead-up to the CTS Gold Rush over 1600m, to be contested for a staggering stake of R7.5million, scheduled for Cape Met Day, 28 January 2023.

The CTS Gold Rush was launched at the 2021 Cape Premier Yearling Sale held at the beautiful De Grendel Wine Estate. Based on the same principle as The Everest in Australia, the CTS Gold Rush offers 16 ticketholders (prospectors) the opportunity to race for the massive stake. The race is open to graduates of the 2021 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

The role of the committee is to ensure that the ticketholders and their respective runners trade within the published Gold Rush Terms and Conditions, and that the necessary contractual obligations are adhered to.

Introducing the Committee:

Chairman: Jacques Chowles is a trained accountant, wealth manager, and commercial property expert, who has combined his love for racing with his professional background, and serves as Sales Manager for CTS.

Racing: Pippa Mickleburgh, General Manager of Avontuur Estate, has long been one of the leading thoroughbred breeders in South Africa. She is admired for her wealth of pedigree knowledge, and popular for her personality and no-nonsense approach.

Racing: Ken Nicol, former NHA handicapper, former editor of Turf Talk, and racing freelancer, brings his industry knowledge and experience to the table.

Legal: Hein Hattingh is one of the founding members and Managing Director of In2Assets, the property auctioneering industry leader in KwaZulu-Natal. He was a practicing attorney for 10 years before he entered the auction industry in 2001, and will assist the committee in covering legal bases where needed.

Operator: Donovan Everitt, Commercial Marketing and Events Manager for Cape Racing, has been a driving force behind improving hospitality and the racehorse owners’ experience, and his expertise in the field is of great value.

Operator: Justin Vermaak, SA racing’s dynamic all-rounder, has extensive experience as a racehorse syndicate manager, bloodstock agent, and owner-racing manager. He was recently appointed Head of Racing Operations for Cape Racing.

Participation in the first CTS Gold Rush involved purchasing one of the 16 Prospector tickets available.

The Gold Rush is not limited to the sixteen Prospectors. Jacques Chowles re-affirmed: “Anyone who bought a horse at the 2021 Premier Sale has a chance of sharing in the rewards. If you acquired a promising racer, the Prospectors will be knocking down your door to negotiate, either for an outright purchase, or a partnership deal. There will be exciting opportunities for the connections of all promising young runners. The winning owners will receive a lucrative R5-million as first prize.”

The first CTS Gold Rush Log will be published within the next few days in order for Prospectors to begin their search for the horse they will deem most likely to bag the big prize.

Chowles added: “The most important role of the committee will be to finalise and approve agreements between ticket holders and owners of promising runners. We look forward to assisting everyone involved in this most exciting and innovative venture for CTS and the racing industry.”

Excitement is already growing among the 16 prospectors, and Mark Bass of Bass Racing, who bought the 9th ticket, commented: “We are delighted to be a part of the first Gold Rush initiative. We have quite a few options and promising horses to choose from in the stable, so it will be interesting to see how it all pans out, as I think it will go to the wire. Money talks in this instant, so it will all come down to the negotiations. It is a great initiative by CTS.”

Crawford Racing purchased the 13th ticket and Brett Crawford said: “We have a few possible candidates that qualify. We will have to get going with them soon, and the journey promises to be exciting.”

Sandy Arundel acquired the 15th ticket, and she commented: “We have three colts to come into the reckoning; they will be leaving their current base in KwaZulu-Natal to join Eric Sands in Cape Town. We are hoping they will turn out to be good runners – the concept is novel and exciting. We will be open to negotiating either way.”

The 16 Prospectors for Gold Rush 1 are:

David Abery

Central Route Trading

Chris van Niekerk and Bernard Kantor

Suzette and Basie Viljoen

Ridgemont Highlands Stud


Pieter Graaff and Ken Truter

Maine Chance Farms

Bass Racing and Ian Longmore

Rikesh Sewgoolam

Drakenstein Stud

Laurence Wernars

Crawford Racing

Klawervlei Stud

Sandy Arundel

Playgate SA