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Picture: Lunga Gila


Henk Steenkamp

Lunga Gila can finally get his training career off the ground writes Henk Steenkamp.

And where better than at Fairview in Nelson Mandela Bay to get the show on the road for the man from the Transkei.

“I will be stepping out my first runners at the Polytrack meeting next Tuesday the 28th,” Gila confirmed.

It was expected that by now Gila would be in the thick of things for a while, not at Fairview, but at Randjesfontein.

He was ready to get started in November last year but early in December the horses of owner Mano Pandaram were placed under interim suspension.

This was a huge setback as it wasn’t an easy decision for Gila to leave his beloved Eastern Cape and relocate to Gauteng after spending many years working with top trainers in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Gila handled the situation very professionally and returned to Fairview.

He thanked the people that supported him through this difficult time in a statement today:

“To my fellow trainers, friends and supporters, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you that stood by me and gave your unconditional support and advice during my time of turmoil in recent months.

“It was greatly appreciated and I honestly cannot thank you enough.

“Here’s to many success and winning ways to us all. Kindest regards, Lunga Gila.”

Gila had a long stint as the right hand man of former trainer Mitch Wiese at Fairview.

He then worked for the Glen Kotzen-stable, running the satellite yard in Gqeberha. Gila later ran the Kotzen satellite yard in Durban.

Since 2021 he was in charge of the satellite yard of KwaZulu-Natal trainer Kom Naidoo at Fairview before the Gauteng move that didn’t work out to no fault of his own.

Described by the trainers he worked with as “a real horseman and a good communicator”, Gila has put the Randjesfontein setback behind him and is ready to live his dream.

Anyone interest in supporting the Gila stable can contact him at the Fairview stables of Nelson Mandela Bay Racing.