Skip to main content
Ormond Ferraris after another victory.


Turf Talk provided their review of the autobiography earlier this week after an enjoyable read over the holiday period and veteran journalist Dave Mollett wished to add his thoughts.

Dave Mollett
So your father or uncle was unimpressed with the shirt you bought him for Christmas.
Never mind you can save the day by giving him the book “Thoroughly” – a fascinating read of the outstanding career of trainer Ormond Ferraris as told to top scribe, Charl Pretorius.
As Alec Hogg says in the foreword, “It is classic Ormond Ferraris, offered without apology or embellishment. Because that’s his way. He always told it as he sees it.”
That said, Mr Ferraris had an aura of unapproachability about him. Few – except his family – got close to him in his long career.
Indeed, few would have attempted the project of writing a book on the Turffontein trainer.
But Charl P has always been up for the challenge.
He must have wondered whether he’d get close to the trainer who wasn’t exactly going to be called upon to do a comedy act at the London Palladium.
Readers are likely to find themselves going back to reread chapters as there are several which will be of particular interest to those who are now elderly but were around between 1970 and 2000 when the racing scene was pretty much a soap opera.
I was particularly fascinated with the chapter regarding the 1975 Durban July when Gatecrasher interfered with the fancied Ferraris runner, Distinctly, with the sort of foul that would have got a red card in the Premier League.
Much to the dismay of Gatecrasher’s trainer, Herman Brown, and myself – the red card came out and Gatecrasher was demoted. Viewing the film, it was obvious the stewards had no option but to change the result.
Of course, of particular interest to me is the chapter which deals with my involvement with the Gerald Turner case and Mr Ferraris’ attempt to have me deported. What he didn’t know is that I had influential businessman, Gerald Jaffee, in my corner.
What stands out in the book is the fact that the Turffontein trainer managed to get the best out of so many top horses. To do this you have to have a special talent – few will dispute the fact that Ormond Ferraris had just that.