World Sports Betting commits R52 million
The money will be used to sponsor 4Racing’s major horseracing events in Johannesburg, Vaal and Nelson Mandela Bay
Thursday 23 March 2023
Major sports bookmaker, World Sports Betting, has significantly increased its investment in South African horseracing by committing a minimum R52 million towards the sponsorship of 4Racing’s blue-chip events in Gauteng and Eastern Cape over the next three years.
World Sports Betting, renowned sponsors of the World Sports Betting Triple Crown Series that traditionally kicks off the Gauteng horseracing season, are proudly the new and official sponsors of ‘The Championships’ season in Johannesburg, which will now come to be known as ‘The World Sports Betting Championships’.
In addition to the first three legs of the World Sports Betting Triple Crown, held annually and in tandem with the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara, The World Sports Betting Championships will also include the Royal Race Day, headlined by the Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes, and the eagerly anticipated Champions Day, which is the Finale of The World Sports Betting Championships.
As part of their exciting partnership and a minimum of R52 million sports marketing investment in 4Racing, World Sports Betting will continue to sponsor the Vaal’s big racing day out, the Grand Heritage, and the East Cape Derby at Fairview over the next three years.
The deal will also see World Sports Betting invest significantly into 4Racing’s digital and broadcast programming on Racing 240 all-year-round, as well as its magazine show Weighted To Win, along with activations around major WSB race days.
World Sports Betting have proudly announced that they will commit a further R7 million to Grooms’ CSI initiatives, with every winning Groom under the 4Racing umbrella being awarded a generous R1 500 cash incentive.
“This investment by World Sports Betting into the future sustainability of South African horseracing is hugely significant. We appreciate their confidence in and support for The World Sports Betting Championships season, which has added a new dimension to the start of the Johannesburg horseracing season. We are also appreciative of WSB’s sponsorship of our major race days in the Vaal and Nelson Mandela Bay. While the horseracing industry remains under pressure to ensure its long-term survival, we are heartened by the partners who have come on board to put their name, energy and support behind our major race days on the 4Racing calendar and to ensure stakes remain competitive. We will continue to make the sport of horseracing appealing to existing and potential new punters, owners, trainers, corporates and all stakeholders who are strongly invested in the much-loved sport of horseracing,” said 4Racing Chief Executive Officer, Fundi Sithebe.
“We are proud and more so honoured to be part of this journey and partnership with 4Racing. Our aim and vision go hand in hand with that of the 4Racing Executive team and all major players and contributors to ensure the sustainably and longevity of the sport we live and breathe. Our plan is to welcome a new life into the sport of racing, creating awareness, an element of fun and lifestyle too. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with 4Racing,” said World Sports Betting Group Holdings CEO, Warren Tannous.
The third leg of the World Sports Betting Championships, the R4.3 million Derby Day, takes place at Turffontein on Saturday 1 April, headlined by the R1.5 million World Sports Betting SA Derby (Grade 1), R1 million HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes (Grade 1) and the R750 000 Wilgerbosdrift Bridget Oppenheimer Oaks (Grade 2).
The World Sports Betting Championships continues on Saturday 15 April with the Royal Race Day, headlined by the R1 250 000 HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes (Grade 1), as well as the Racehorse Owners Association’s R300 000 Monaco Sport of Kings Charity Maiden Sprint.
The World Sports Betting Championships’ Finale concludes on leg five with the high-octane R4 895 000 Champions Day on Saturday April 29, which is a major highlight on the South African horseracing calendar packed with top quality Graded races galore.
Champions Day includes the R2 million Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge, the Middle Distance Championship, and the R1 million Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Computaform Sprint, the quickest 1000m event in the land which crowns the best sprinter.
The day also contains a host of Championship Graded races for Juveniles, Fillies and Mares.
The World Sports Betting East Cape Derby takes place on Friday 12 May 2023, while the World Sports Betting Grand Heritage at the Vaal takes place on Saturday 9 December this year.
The remainder of the World Sports Betting Championships’ season race days’ details are as follows:
Leg 3: Derby Day, 1 April:
- WSB South African Derby Gr.1 Leg 3, The Triple Crown, The 3yo Championship
- Wilgerbosdrift Bridget Oppenheimer Oaks, Gr.2, Leg 3, The Triple Tiara – The 3yo Fillies Championship
- H. F Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes, Gr.1 – The Mile Championship
Leg 4: Royal Race Day, 15 April:
- HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes, Gr.1 – The Fillies and Mares Mile Championship
- Racehorse Owners Association’s Monaco Sport of Kings Charity Maiden Sprint.
Leg 5: The World Sports Betting Championships Finale, 29 April:
- WSB Premier’s Champions Challenge Gr.1 – The Middle-Distance Championship
- Jonsson Workwear Computaform Sprint Gr 1. – The Sprint Championship
- WSB SA Nursery Gr.2 – The Juvenile Championship
- WSB SA Filles Nursey Gr.2 – The Juvenile Filles Championship
- WSB Gerald Rosenberg Gr.2 – The Fillies and Mares Middle Distance Championship
- WSB Camellia Stakes Gr. 2 – The Fillies and Mares Sprint Championship
- SpinaWina Gold Bowl Gr.3 – The Staying Championship
Entrance to the Turffontein Racecourse is free throughout ‘The World Sports Betting Championships’ season.
Paul Matchett and Robin Bruss lead in Hazlo Grande after Philasande Mxoli had ridden him to victory. Picture Credit: JC Photos
Saudi Owner’s Winner At The Vaal
The Paul Matchett-trained Erupt colt Hazlo Grande won today’s fifth race at the Vaal Classic track running in the colours of Saudi Arabian owner Mr Majed Mahal W Albugami.
Bloodstock agent Robin Bruss was behind the initiative to get Mr Majed involved in South Africa racing.
Mr Majed has had two runners in SA to date, Hazlo Grande and the Big Sky Ranch-bred Gimmethegreenlight two-year-old colt Princeofgreen, who is a out of unraced Count Dubois mare Princess Nicky and was bought at the National Yearling Sale for R425,000.
Robin’s Northfields Stud bred Hazlo Grande, who is by Erupt out of the three-times Listed-winning Medaglia D’Oro mare Mina Salaam (1200m to 2000m), which makes Hazlo Grande a half-brother to the classy sprinter True To Life (Duke Of Marmalade), who won two Grade 3’s and had a Grade 1 runner up finish and two Grade 1 thirds.
Hazlo Grande, as the pedigree suggests he should be, looks to be a mile-and-a-half horse.
On debut in a maiden over 1400m he stayed on steadily for second behind the runaway 9,25 length winner Stratospheric and he looked to be crying out for further.
He was duly entered in today’s 1800m maiden and from pole position Philasande Mxoli had him handy before he stayed on strongly to win by half-a-length from one of the market rivals Puerto Plaza.
Neil Bruss, Robin’s late brother, had a long association with Saudi Arabia as a trainer.
Since the first thoroughbred he bred in 1975 he reached a height of keeping just eight broodmares, but affordability has allowed him to operate with an average of just five.
Yet he has bred eight Grade 1 winners, including winners of all of the big three, The Vodacom Durban July (Do It Again), The Sun Met (Zebra Crossing) and the Premier’s Champions Challenge (Deo Juvente).
Bruss’ beginning point when matching pedigrees is to produce a horse that will stay the July distance.
Hazlo Grande fits the bill with dam Mina Salaam winning up to 2000m and Erupt being by Dubawi and having won two Grade 1s over the 2400m Derby distance.
However, included in his philosophy is the belief that horses who win the July and Met invariably have the speed to win over sprint trips, so he views finding a combination of speed and stamina as being all important.
The fact that Hazlo Grande’s half-sister True To Life is a top class sprinter, despite being out of stamina influence Duke Of Marmalade, shows that he managed to get the speed and stamina mix correct.
Considering Robin aims to breed a July horse, it is incredible that with such a small operation he has managed to breed the statistically greatest July horse in history, Do It Again. This great dual July-winning gelding is by Twice Over out of Casey Tibbs mare Sweet Virginia, who beat the boys in both the Grade 3 Winter Classic and Grade 3 Winter Derby.
Robin’s first Grade 1 winner was Basic Instinct (Comic Blush-Joyfields (Northfields), who won the Grade 1 Golden Spur sprint in 1998.
His mare Teclafields (Northfields) gave him three Grade 1 winners, Circle Of Life (Complete Warrior), who won the Garden Province Stakes in 2000, African Lion (Shalford), who won the Champions Cup in 2003 and Zebra Crossing (Jallad), who won the 2006 Met.
Circle Of Life is the dam of the Premiers Champion Challenge winner he bred Deo Juvente.
Robin bred the 2011 Grade 1 Mercury Sprint winner August Rush, a colt by Var out of the Zimbabwean-bred Huntingdale mare Bushgirl.
He also bred the 2018 Mercury Sprint winner Will Pays, who was by unfashionable sire Imperial Stride out of Jallad Grade 3 winner Rattlebag.
Robin has a couple of cost-cutting methods, which do not compromise on the aim of breeding the best to the best.
Of the eight Grade 1 winners he has bred, only one of them was by a proven stallion and that was due to a foal-share agreement he had made with Drakenstein Stud. That horse was Deo Juvente, the son of Trippi, who won the 2017 Grade 1 R4,5 million Champions Challenge and was second in the Summer Cup.
He also says, “It is better to own the daughter of a Group 1 winner than a Group 1 winner herself.” He has used that theory to own Group 1 class mares without having to pay for the Group 1 status.
One of his other quotes is, ““The Aga Khan called breeding playing chess with nature.”
Hopefully, Hazlo Grande will turn out to be a useful horse.
Paul Matchett said about him, “He is a big baby and has a lot of improving to do, but what we have seen is quite good and he can only get better.”
Robin said, “He’s very green and it’s very nice to to see he is by Erupt and he’s starting to stay on, because a lot of Erupts have shown speed. But, really he is a mile-and-a-half horse, so I’m hoping Hazlo Grande will go a mile and a half.”
Mr Majed looks to have a lot to look forward to with this Erupt colt and his well-bred Gimmethegreenlight colt should improve on his two runs to date when he goes over further.
Yeni And Jacobson Free To Ride After Being Handed Suspended Punishments
Mr Yeni undertakes that he will take no further steps in relation to the complaint filed under case number 134/22023 at Brackendowns SAPS.
1/100 Shot In Running Loses To 999/1 Chance
Drama At Sedgefield Jumps Race Today
As I’ve gone forward he’s gone left’ – dramatic unseat on 1.01 shot on Betfair matched for £14,000
Jack Haynes (Racing Post)
Thursday’s seven-race card at Sedgefield began with one of the most dramatic contests of the season when 2-9 favourite Telhimlisten was matched at the in-running low of 1.01 for £14,000 on Betfair before unseating his rider after the final fence.
S’Manga Khumalo becomes the first black jockey to win the Durban July when winning on the Sean Tarry-trained Chris van Niekerk-owned Silvano gelding Heavy Metal ten years ago. (Picture: Gold Circle).
Ten Years On From S’Manga’s Career-Transforming July Victory
S’Manga Khumalo’s career took off after he had become the first black jockey to win the Durban July in 2013.
His confidence soared and, coupled with the talent he had always possessed, he became a major force virtually overnight.
He was crowned South African champion jockey the following season (2013/2014) and repeated the feat in the 2015/2016 season.
Khumalo grew up in the poverty stricken township of Kwa-Mashu outside Durban.
Horses were not on the agenda until talent scouts from the South African Jockey’s Academy visited his school, Mzuvele High.
He joined the Academy in the year 2000.
“The first time I got on a horse they said I had a natural seat and everything was right,” he said.
He was initially scared of horses. However, there was tremendous camaraderie at the Academy and his contemporaries helped him overcome the fear.
He had his own style from day one, and his low seat is these days unmistakeable to South African fans.
His first race-ride was for Clodagh Shaw on Bronze Apollo at Clairwood Park over 1200m on November 26, 2002, and he finished ninth.
His first winner came in Zimbabwe.
It was his tenth ride and he remembers phoning his mother beforehand to tell her he was riding, so it was a special moment when he booted home Lightning Don for the Lisa Harris yard.
“It was the most incredible feeling,” he recalled.
His confidence picked up during his stint in Zimbabwe.
Gauteng Academy master Robert Moore saw him riding in Zimbabwe and liked his style. He recommended a move to Johannesburg.
“That was certainly the best move of my life and I am eternally grateful to Robert Moore,” said Khumalo.
He rode mainly for Alec Laird and Sean Tarry on the Highveld.
“Everything picked up from there and I was also travelling all the time to Port Elizabeth and Kimberley.”
Khumalo ended his apprenticeship with 104 winners in total, including 50 winners in his final full season.
In the next three seasons he rode 60, 61 and 63 winners respectively.
He occasionally showed glimpses of what was to come.
In August 2006, he rode a five-timer at Flamingo Park.
In January 2008 he rode the Jackpot at Fairview, booting home four Mitchell Wiese-trained horses.
In the same season trainer Tyrone Zackey gave him a chance on two classy sorts, Warrior Man and Singing Sword.
Unfortunately, the promising Warrior Man was sold and exported before the Highveld classic season.
However, Khumalo ended the season in buoyant mood and said, “To become champion jockey is my aim. I have the ability and must now just put my head down and try harder.”
Zackey and another trainer Joe Soma also predicted big things for him, but did not have the numbers to provide him with many feature opportunities.
So, it was much of the same for Khumalo in the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 seasons, in which he rode 64 and 57 winners respectively.
However, his big breakthrough finally arrived on March 26, 2011, when St. John Gray put him on the filly Dancewiththedevil in the Gr 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes. She thrashed the boys that day. Just over two weeks later Khumalo rode her to another emphatic victory in the Gr 1 Laurie Jaffee Empress Club Stakes.
Sandwiched in between those two big wins, Khumalo made a trip to Kenya, where he won the Kenya Derby on a South African-bred horse.
His confidence was boosted and his strike rate rose.
The world seemed to be at this feet, but alas, on June 25 2011, when his tally for the season stood at 85, he had a nasty fall at Turffontein.
He was laid off for over four months and the injuries also plagued him in the initial stages of his comeback.
He even considered hanging up his boots in March 2012, but a retired jockey and mentor talked him out of it.
The pep talk must have had an effect, because he still managed to finish the season on 52 winners.
The 2012/2013 season was to be a life-changer.
He won Johannesburg’s biggest race, the Gr 1 R2 million Sansui Summer Cup, aboard the Joe Soma-trained 16/1 shot Wagner, then followed it by winning the R2 million President’s Champions Challenge, on the Sean Tarry-trained Chris van Niekerk-owned 40/1 outsider Heavy Metal.
Ten weeks later he partnered Heavy Metal to that historic Durban July victory.
He dedicated the July win to his icon, Nelson Mandela, and also to his “pillar of strength”, his mother.
He has never looked back.
Two weeks after the July, Khumalo rode the first five legs of the Pick 6 at Turffontein, including the Jackpot.
That was probably the day the public changed their perception of Khumalo. He not only had the big match temperament to ride a July winner, but also the ability and the hunger, like an Anton Marcus, to boot home winner after winner when given the opportunities. Those are the ones the public adore.
He finished the season on 73 winners.
He was now receiving more support from Tarry and other top trainers.
A four-timer at Turffontein on August 8 of the new season was followed by a five-timer at Flamingo Park on August 12.
He kept up a punishing schedule, riding in Johannesburg, KZN, Port Elizabeth and Kimberley and ended the 2013/2014 season National Champion Jockey with 185 winners, 42 clear of his nearest rival.
The wins included two Gr 1 victories aboard the Gavin van Zyl-trained Along Came Polly and the Tarry-trained Carry On Alice respectively.
However, there was disappointment too. An injury prevented him from riding in the July. Even worse, was the 60 day suspension he was handed for a ride aboard a first-timer at the Vaal on November 5. Many viewed the suspension as unfair and unfounded and after a drawn out legal process, and a witness retraction, it was eventually changed to a R75,000 fine.
Khumalo set a new personal best of 198 winners in the 2014/2015 season, but finished second in the championships to Gavin Lerena. However, he had now established himself as first call rider to Sean Tarry. He had a number of feature race wins during the season. The likely highlights were riding three Gr 3 winners at the SA Classic meeting, riding two Gr 2s winners on Champions Challenge day and winning another Gr 1 sprint on Carry On Alice. He also rode in the Shergar Cup at Ascot and the International Jockeys Challenge at Happy Valley in Hong Kong.
Khumalo had always been known for his powerful finish, but it was in the 2015/2016 season that he became the complete rider, and this was partly due to mentoring given by the legendary jockey Felix Coetzee.
Khumalo’s 243 wins saw him recapture the championship, 33 clear of his nearest rival. The highlight was Champions Day at Turffontein when riding the Tarry-trained pair Cloth Of Cloud and Carry On Alice to respective Gr 1 victories and the Tarry-trained Trophy Wife to a Gr 2 win. Later, he achieved a long held ambition by winning the Gr 2 eLan Gold Cup on the Mike de Kock-trained Enaad.
However, despite the increase in professionalism, his season was marred by a major blunder at Fairview on June 24. He made the cardinal sin of standing up in the saddle a few strides before the line on a horse which had the race in safekeeping and, to everybody’s horror, another horse surged through and beat him.
He took the 60 day suspension on the chin on this occasion.
He said, “Something like that has to happen before you can learn from it.”
He gave himself a complete holiday during the two month suspension as his body needed a rest from the hectic riding and travelling schedule he had kept up for three seasons.
He returned on October 8 the following season and rode 143 wins that season at a strike rate of 16.67% and had three Grade 1 wins.
However, the next two seasons were interrupted as he decided to have corrective surgery relating to the operation he had on the broken leg back in 2011.
In 2017/2018 he had only 43 wins at a strike rate of 11.03% and he had no Grade 1 wins.
In 2018/2019 it improved to 64 wins at 11.81%, but once again he went empty-handed in Grade 1s.
He showed signs of coming back into his own the following season and this coincided with an excellent new jockeys agent he employed, Monty Mariemuthoo.
He rode 95 wins at 11.23% in the Covid-19 interrupted season.
He did not have any Grade 1 wins that term, but did add a second Gold Cup victory in a season which was extended into August. He rode a brilliant front-running ride on the Gareth van Zyl-trained 40/1 shot Paths Of Victory.
In the 2020/2021 season he was back to his best. However, what was most pleasing to see was him enjoying his riding more than ever.
He finished third on the log on 155 wins at a strike rate of 17.73%.
The season culminated in his first Grade 1 win for sometime on the Justin Snaith-trained Jet Dark in the Champions Cup at Hollywoodbets Greyville.
It was another momentous year in 2021/2022 as he had 171 wins at 14.65% and three Grade 1 wins.
Jet Dark with S’manga up produced one of the all time great L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate performances.
S’Manga also won the Pongracz Cape Flying Championship on the Mike Azzie-trained Bohica.
However, those two big wins were overshadowed by a truly great ride on the Mike de Kock-trained Sparkling Water to land his second July. He worked out a plan before the race and it panned out perfectly.
It was another milestone moment because it gave a famous set of colours, the black with a scarlet cap of Mary Slack, a first win in the country’s premier horseracing event.
It was also the inaugural running of a Hollywoodbets-sponsored July.
This season S’Manga is third on the log with 105 wins at 16.83%.
He rolled back the years earlier this month by winning a Grade 1 with his old guv’nor Sean Tarry, the Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic with Bless My Stars.
He continues to be one of the most sort after jockeys in the country, especially for the big races.
The more experienced pundits will claim he is one of the few in SA who would without any doubt hold his own anywhere in the world.
Rouvan Smit On The Road To Recovery
The Sporting Post
It has been two weeks since Cape Racing’s ‘Golden Voice’ Rouvaun Smith underwent emergency lifesaving surgery at Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont after a fall at his home.
In a brief catch-up with the Sporting Post on Thursday evening, the 53 year old racecaller said that the complex spinal surgery appears to have been a success and that he was looking forward to moving to a step-down facility in the next few days to commence a twelve week rehabilitation programme which is aimed at getting him mobile and able to perform daily life processes again.
Rouvaun hopes to complete his rehabilitation at his home after a few weeks, but it’s all dependant on his progress.
“There is no rushing this process and it’s really no fun lying on a bed all day. But I’m in good hands and have every faith that I will be able to regain a semblance of normality in my life again. If anything, there is good to have come out of this. I haven’t had a smoke for two weeks – and bar the odd weak moment, I am not missing it!” laughed the man who has called big races from Hollywoodbets Kenilworth to the historic Epsom Racecourse in Britain.
The born-and-bred Capetonian was the first international racecaller invited to Dubai, the year of Meydan’s champagne opening, and he was on the eve of departing for the UAE when the unfortunate mishap occurred.
“Technology is wonderful and I will be at Meydan in spirit and via my mobile device for the Dubai World Cup racemeeting on Saturday,”he added, saying that the support from family, friends and industry stakeholders had been ‘overwhelming’.
“We go about our daily life taking many things for granted. That’s human nature, probably. But I cannot thank my family, friends and industry stakeholders enough for the outpouring of love and interest. It has kept me going and I would like to use this opportunity to thank everybody.”
Schwarz/Peter Double, Matchett Double
Paris Perfect, who gives a clue to the answer. (wikipedia).
Lizard’s Desire (nearest), trained by Mike de Kock, fails by a short-head to win the 2010 Dubai World Cup under Kevin Shea. (Gulf News)
The RA Stakes and East Cape Guineas are therefore statistically the two best pointer races to the Dubai World Cup in South Africa!