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Lunga Gila in the parade ring with Wayne Agrella before his first race as a trainer.  (via youtube).


New East Cape-based trainer Lunga Gila had his first runners as a trainer today after a trying time in which he initially opened a yard on the Highveld but had to return to the East Cape after an issue with an owner.

He ran second in his first official race, a maiden over 1200m on the Fairview poly with Futura gelding Settle The Dust ridden by Wayne Agrella. The gelding had previously been unplaced in four outings in Cape Town.

In the last race of the day, a fillies and mares handicap  over 1300m, Lunga saddled the Willow Magic mare Vizhoe’s Magic and she was backed in from 25/2 to 5/1.

Ryan Munger extracted a storming finish from last place from the long-striding mare and got up on the head bob much to the excitement of everybody on course. The moment was not lost on them.

Lunga has had plenty of experience as an assistant trainer, including for Mitch Wiese and Glen Kotzen before running the East Cape satellite yard of Kumaran Naidoo.

Ryan Munger vouched for Lunga’s skill as a trainer in the winning interview and said the mare had been produced in fine condition.

Lunga thanked his fellow trainers for their support after the terrible couple of months he had to endure after the Highveld rumpus.

He also thanked his owners and thanked industry people in general from all corners of South Africa who had shown their support and belief in him

The owner of the former Naidoo-trained KZN horse Vizhoe’s Magic is Miss S Bhana and she also owns the former Glen Kotzen-trained horse Settle The Dust.

Lunga confirmed it was a “big day” for him.

He should go from strength to strength.