A dream comes true for Alan Barkhuizen as he leads in his first winner today at Hollywoodbets Greyville (Picture: Candiese Lenferna Photography).
Alan Barkhuizen’s Dream Finally Comes True
There could hardly have been a more fitting big money winner of the Hollywoodbets Punters Challenge than Alan Barkhuizen.
Alan has dreamt of leading in a winner in his own colours since the age of 15 or 16 and recently the chances of it becoming a reality were increased greatly when he won R1.5 million in the Hollywoodbets Punters Challenge.
Alan used some of the money to take a share in the Willow Magic mare Magicallee, who was purchased out of the Kom Naidoo stable by Gary Rich on the BSA April Online auction for R22,500.
Alan is one of four new owners of Magicallee, the others being Gary Rich and his son James Rich and Derek Sajoe.
She is the first racehorse Alan has ever owned and she runs in his newly created colours, white, black anchor, blue collar and sleeves, blue cap, black anchor and peak.
Alan had to wait just two runs after the purchase to realise his dream.
Today, champion jockey elect Keagan de Melo sat in second place in the running on Magicallee in a 1000m event on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly.
Keagan produced her early in the straight and she stayed on resolutely to win by 1,20 lengths at odds of 7/2.
It was her second run for the Rich stable and Gary’s second winner since relocating from Ashburton to Summerveld.
Alan said in the winnining interview, “I’ve been in horseracing for a long time but never had the money. Hollywood have given me the opportunity to live my dream and I really appreciate that.”
He continued, “First of all to the groom (Nkoosoxolo Nunu) thank you for looking after my horse so well. To Gary, whom I have known since 1980, I will always trust you. He’s now called the magician! And to my son for designing the colours. And last but not least to my wife. My wife has always allowed me to follow my passion, which is horseracing, and I thank you for that. And I think I’ve done enough with the R1.5 mil!”
Magicallee will continue to be competitive, although De Melo did recommend putting on a claimer next time to alleviate the merit rating raise she will receive from the handicapper.
Golden Sixty is crowned Horse of the Year and Champion Miler for the third year in a row. (Picture: hkjc.com)
Golden Sixty HK Horse Of The Year For Third Time
Shipholia was one of Gareth van Zyl’s six winners in the last two KZN meetings. The good looking William Longsword filly is led in after winning the Non Black-Type New Turf Carriers eThekwini Sprint over 1200m on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly under Cole Dicken (Candiese Lenferna Photography).
Van Zyl’s Run Transforms KZN Trainers Championship Into A Thriller
The KZN Trainers Championship looked a one horse race for much of the season with Garth Puller way out in front.
When Queue Wing won for Puller on March 12 it took him to 50 wins for the season and the second placed trainer at that stage was Wendy Whitehead, 14 behind on 36 wins, while reigning champion Gareth van Zyl was 21 off the pace on 29 and only in fifth place.
Puller had a double in the next meeting to open his unassailable looking lead to 16 and his lead on Van Zyl to 23.
However, the winners then dried up for Puller and he has only had six winners since.
He is currently on 58 wins.
At the beginning of the weekend that still looked to be a healthy lead, because he was six clear of Michael Roberts and eight clear of both Van Zyl and Peter Muscutt with just seven KZN meetings left in the season.
However, Van Zyl plundered six wins in all from the polytack meetings on Sunday and today (Monday), scoring a four-timer on Sunday and a double today.
Puller is now just two in front as Van Zyl has climbed to 56.
Roberts and Muscutt are still on 52 and 50 respectively and are not out of it.
Van Zyl was aware of the situation before today’s meeting and said, “”This was not planned and we are not going to try and squeeze more out of horses for the sake of the championship. It will be great if we can do it, but I am trying not to think about the championship. If it happens it happens.”
In another thriller, reigning East Cape Champion trainer Gavin Smith is just two wins ahead of perennial rival Alan Greeff in the East Cape Trainers Championship with just two meetings of the season left.
Preview for racing at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Tuesday, 18 July 2023
Danon Platina, who is fast becoming the new sire sensation of South Africa (Picture: John Lewis)
Vintage Season For Freshman Sires Is Close To Record-Breaking
This has been a vintage season for freshman sires and two stalwarts, Danon Platina and the late Lancaster Bomber, are close to record-breaking statistics.
Captain Al holds the record of 22 individual winners in his freshman season, which he achieved in the 2004/2005 season, although the great Jet Master was actually the freshman champion sire that season because his progeny raked in more stakes earnings.
Captain Al also holds the record two-year-old statistics overall as he had 30 individual winners of 40 races in 2009.
Danon Platina is the first son of the late superstar Japanese sire Deep Impact to stand in South Africa and has made a huge impact already.
The Mauritzfontein Stud-based grey made quite a slow start, but it is clear his progeny will get better and better with age.
Therefore it is exciting that there are no fewer than 16 individual two-year-old winners in his first crop already.
They have won 20 races between them and although he is yet to have a stakes winner he did get the one-two in the BSA Yearling Sales Cup with Betula and Oriental Bouquet.
The latter is entered in the Gr 2 World Pool with Gold Circle Debutante on World Pool Gold Cup day.
Danon Platina has three horses entered in the Gr 1 Douglas Whyte Thekwini Stakes, Lady Lacewing, Bitcoin Baby and Platina Princess, and he has two entered in the Gr 1 World Pool Moment Of The Day Premier’s Champion Stakes, Romance In Rome and Kyomai.
Danon Platina has an outstanding 47.1% winners to runners strike rate. This is the higher than any sire in the country in the two-year-old statistics for those who have had a significant number of runners.
Danon Platina could make it 17 individual stakes winners in the first race at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Tuesday.
His filly Mia’s Harper looks hard to beat in the first race.
Lancaster Bomber is going to be a great loss.
The late Drakenstein Stud-based son of War Front leads the freshman sire championship, although he has had significantly more runners than Danon Platina.
He has had 18 individual winners of 20 races and he has a winners to runners percentage of 35.3.
His one stakes winner Rascova finished second to the superstar filly Mrs Geriatrix in the Gr 2 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Slipper on Hollywoodbets Durban July day.
Rascova’s win in the Listed R500,000 City Of Cape Town Summer Juvenile Stakes, and her second place finish in the R400,000 Golden Slipper, are the chief reasons for Lancaster Bomber being out in front in stakes earnings.
His progeny have earned R2,240,975 which is R538 875 clear of Danon Platina’s R1,702,100.
Lancaster Bomber’s 18 individual winners are the joint most for any sire of two-year-olds this season together with champion sire elect Gimmethegreenlight, who is way out in front in the Sires Championship.
Lancaster Bomber has Zoombomber in the Premier’s Champion Stakes and Rascova in the Thekwini, so he is going to be hard to catch in the race for the Freshman Champion Sire title.
Another sire to have done well is Fire Away with ten individual winners of 14 races and a winners to runners percentage of 35.7.
This son of War Font’s best progeny to date is the Alan Greeff-trained Luna Halo, who has won three Listed races at Fairview.
New Predator by New Approach has had 4 winners of five races from just 18 runners (22.2% winners to runners) and there are some promising sorts among them including Pure Predator, who was fourth in the Gr 2 SA Nursery and third in the BSA Sales Cup.
New Predator has been moved from KZN to the region where mare strength is highest, the Western Cape, such was the impact he made with his early runners.
Popular Commentator “Thommo” Meets Racing Fan Prime Minister
Britain’s Rishi Sunak’s message to guests at the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards ceremony in March provided a welcome and timely acknowledgement of the hugely significant contribution horse racing makes to the UK economy.
Derek “Thommo” Thompson can now vouch for Sunak being a racing fan.
The popular 72-year-old racing presenter, analyst and commentator was invited to a garden party in North Yorkshire yesterday thrown by Rishi and his wife Akshata Murty.
He met Rishi and posed for selfies.
Thommo joked, “When Rishi asks for a ‘photo’ you’ve got to say “yes”!”
He continued, “It was an honour to meet Rishi Sunak & his wife, Akshata Murty, at their Garden Party in North Yorkshire yesterday. What an earnest, hardworking, intelligent & charming couple they are. And thanks for the selfies!”
Rishi is in fact a big fan of author Jilly Cooper, he English author whose raunchy tales of romance and infidelity among horse riders and show jumpers have been best-sellers.
No wonder Thommo was given an invite, because he has actually been involved in two real life episodes that could well have been fiction stories written by famed horseracing thriller author Dick Francis.
In the first of these episodes, the kidnapper of brilliant Epsom Derby winner Shergar insisted they would only negotiate with three horseracing media men and Thommo was one of them. Wikipedia explained:
The first phone call from the thieves was on the night Shergar was stolen; head groom Jim Fitzgerald was not back at Ballymany by that time, and had not had the chance to tell the news of the theft to anyone. The call was to Jeremy Maxwell, a horse trainer based in Northern Ireland. The caller demanded £40,000, although this figure was later raised to £52,000. Maxwell was told that the negotiations would only be with three British horse racing journalists, Derek Thompson and John Oaksey Of ITV and Peter Campling from The Sun. The men were told to be at the Europa Hotel in central Belfast by the Thursday evening; the Europa was known as the most bombed hotel in Europe after having suffered multiple bomb attacks during “The Troubles”.
When the three sports journalists arrived at the Europa, they were contacted by phone and told to go to the Maxwells’ house to await further calls. On orders from the police, Thompson kept the person talking for as long as possible, but the caller rang off at 80 seconds—before the call could be traced. There were a series of calls to the Maxwells’ house later that night, and at 1:30 am Thompson managed to keep the caller talking for over 90 seconds, which would have been enough to trace the call; he was told that the person who was doing the call intercepts had finished his shift at midnight and gone home. At 7:00 am on 12 February another call was put through to the Maxwells’ house, which said that things had gone wrong, and that Shergar was dead.
A dozen years later in 1995, Thommo testified in a sensational horseracing case.
Trainer Lynda Ramsden and owner Jack Ramsden, the stepmother and father respectively of former top South African-based trainer Joey Ramsden, sued The Sporting Life after the latter had claimed they and jockey Kieran Fallon had “cheated” with a horse called Top Cees in the race prior to him winning the Chester Cup.
Thommo told the court Fallon had admitted to him that he had deliberately prevented the horse from winning on the instructions of Jack Ramsden.
However, the Ramsdens won the case and the Sporting Life had to pay £195,000 in damages and costs of some £160,000.
It was one of the episodes that hastened the closure of the newspaper later that year.
Dr Melandie Taljaardt had two winners at Hollywoodbets Greyville today (monday), Dark Tide (Captain Of All) and Rockingthetimeaway (Time Thief), both trained by raiding Highveld trainer Fanie Bronkhorst, who scored a treble at the meeting. Melandie is pictured giving Dark Tide a thank you kiss. (Candiese Lenferna Photography).
Bronkhorst Treble, Van Zyl/Mgudlwa Double, Habib Double, Fourie Double
Raiding Highveld trainer Fanie Bronkhorst enjoyed a 100% return on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly, three runners and three winners and two of them wee ridden by Calvin Habib.
Ant Mgudlwa and Gareth van Zyl scored a double together to add to the treble together they had scored in the KZN previous meeting.
Calvin Habib and Richard Fourie both scored doubles.
Bronkhorst goes to 45 wins for the season at 7.31%.
Van Zyl goes to 68 wins for the season at 17.44% and 56 of those have come in KZN, which puts him just two wins behind KZN Trainers Championship leader Garth Puller.
Mgudlwa goes to 71 wins at 12.16%.
Habib is on 90 wins at 9.56%.
Fourie is on 246 wins at 22.10% and he is 24 wins behind Keagan de Melo with less than two weeks of the season to go.
Three top class jumps horses from the same English yard are pictured standing together in the same paddock. Who are they?
Question answer at the bottom of the newsletter