Still Words Of Wisdom From SA’s Sporting Legend
Hollywoodbets Have Naming Rights For Kenilworth And Durbanville
Kenilworth and Durbanville can look forward to a brighter future with Hollywoodbets
Cape Racing is proud to announce Hollywoodbets coming on board as the new naming rights sponsor of Kenilworth and Durbanville racecourses. These iconic community landmarks will now be known as Hollywoodbets Kenilworth Racecourse and Hollywoodbets Durbanville Racecourse.
Through this sponsorship, the two organisations are working together to create much improved venues and experience for race-goers, which will bring together communities and showcase the thrill of horse racing to new and old crowds. This initiative includes the upgrading of facilities, bringing a number of bookmakers back on course and fun activities for all, as well as bigger fields with the introduction of the recently launched Race Cape campaign powered by Hollywoodbets.
Following the huge success of the Grooms Initiative project in KwaZulu-Natal, focusing on this important sector was an integral component of this partnership. Hollywoodbets and Cape Racing are happy to introduce this programme to Western Cape racing to recognise the critical role played by grooms. They will now receive a R1 000 cash bonus for every win, paid jointly by both parties.
Hollywoodbets will also sponsor a Work Riders’ series, with the goal of promoting and developing future stars. The series will encompass ten races culminating in a spectacle race against jockeys. In addition to the new naming rights deal, Hollywoodbets will sponsor the final race of each meeting, the Hollywoodbets Bright Future Stakes.
Greg Bortz, Chairman Elect of Cape Racing, added “We are intensely focused on reinvigorating and uplifting this wonderful sport of ours, not just for the racing fans, but for those key employees and stakeholders who are the building blocks underpinning it all. In Hollywoodbets, Cape Racing has found a sponsor and partner with a shared value system and outlook. “
Devin Heffer, Brand and Communications Manager at Hollywoodbets, expressed “Hollywoodbets is absolutely thrilled to be involved with Cape Racing and we are looking to breathe new fire into racing in the Western Cape. The naming rights sponsorship and other projects are just the beginning of our involvement and race goers in the province will see a lot more of our signature purple branding in the near future.”
Hollywwodbets said about the Groom’s initiative, “Hollywoodbets and Cape Racing will award the winning groom in every race with R1 000. Each race horse is looked after by a particular groom who is responsible for animal’s daily care and maintenance. This can include basic first aid, cleaning and maintaining of stables, prepping feed as well as warming up or cooling out a horse for its rider. Grooms share a very special bond with these animal athletes and are in many ways the lifeblood of the sport. In keeping with our goal of holistically adding value and growing the racing industry, we are thrilled to be rolling out the Grooms’ Initiative in the Western Cape after witnessing its undeniable success in KwaZulu-Natal over the last few years.”
They said about the Workrider’s series, “What will the racing world do without work riders? Work Riders are responsible for almost all of the horses work-outs, they are a group of men and women that are up in the early hours of the morning and are out at various training centres across the country putting horses through their paces in order to get them ready for race day.
The Work Rider Series will give these unsung heroes of the industry an opportunity to show what they can do on the biggest stage. The experience they gain from these Work Rider Series races will equip them with the skills and confidence they need to become fully-fledged professional jockeys.”
These initiatives all start from Wednesday 7th September 2022.
IRC Q & A: Gareth van Zyl
Youthful Gareth van Zyl was crowned champion trainer of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province for the 2021/2 season. He saddled 60 winners for a good 15.2% strike rate and will be aiming higher in the new season.
International Racing Club
Gareth, who trains Alittlebitnaughty and promising Money Heist for the IRC, said in a Sporting Post interview some years ago: “One of the reasons I chose a career in training – apart from the fact that I love working with horses – is being able to work with people that I might never otherwise have the opportunity to meet. For example, when my dad had his job with (the late) Mrs Bridget Oppenheimer, we had the opportunity of dining with her – the fact that racing can bring you into circles like that is amazing.
“In racing, perception is everything and you can fall out of favour very quickly. After all, one can only warrant support by the big races you win.” He’s honed a skill set to lay the foundations for the big time: An excellent way with people in an industry full of opiniated know-it-alls, openness with regular, detailed horse reports, a refreshing honesty and an in-depth knowledge of the industry. This underscores his personal brand and he says: “If you look at any of the big-name yards, they are brands in their own right and the driving force of the business is established by the type of races you win. My priority will be to get horses good enough to compete in and win Graded races across the country.”
You can have all the PR in the world, but actually knowing how to train and get results is still the most important aspect of his profession and Gareth has repeatedly stated he does not want to be ‘just another number’ in the ranks. “I want to be champion trainer and be able to pursue my racing interests abroad and I feel my dad has given me the tools to be able to do that. My ambitions with racing are to end up being able to travel. Although our export protocols dictate that it’s not easy to set up abroad, I hope we can reach a stage where we can raid abroad. It would be great to take on the world without having to take on the unfair rigors of quarantine that we’re currently under.”
His training perspectives: “You need to get a horse fit, but you also need to keep it sound, make sure it eats well, goes to the start, jumps from the pens well and so on. Soundness is first and foremost for me and it’s something I monitor closely. Obviously the sound ones are better and easier to train, but it’s the nature of the game that they’re not all sound.
“This leads on to one’s perspective in buying horses. We’ve had success with horses that haven’t been top end buys, but one has to acknowledge that the horses you buy are what will differentiate between success and failure. I try and look at as many good horses as I can to develop my eye, but you can refer to bloodstock, or specific aspects of the specimen, but usually they make fools of us. One can only hope that if you buy enough of the right stock, you will eventually end up with a few good ones.”
Here is our Q&A with Gareth van Zyl:
1. Full name? Gareth Harrison van Zyl.
Nominate someone for our Q&A next? Spencer Cook.
Nominate two horses to follow for the rest of this season.
Money Heist, Captainofthegreen, Wiccan Warrior.
Chosen charity for readers to donate to: Hole In The Wall Horse Project. – IRC
‘Strong Chance’ Baaeed Runs in Arc Oct. 2
Suitable ground will be deciding factor for the Juddmonte International (G1) winner.
Haggas walked the track in heavy rain ahead of a 2018 Arc in which Sea of Class was a fast-finishing second, but he and the racing world will hope there is no need to pack an umbrella on the Eurostar Oct. 2.
Picture: Gary Alexander being interviewed after winning a race at Murray Bridge today (via racing.com).
Alexanders And Vorster Combine For Win In Aus
Former Turffontein stalwart trainers Gary And Dean Alexander had a winner today at Murray Bridge in Australia.
Five-year-old mare Eminencia (I Am Invincible) was having her fourth start for the Alexanders and won a Benchmark 58 Handicap over 1400m under another ex-pat South African, Barend Vorster.
Eminencia got up to win by a neck.
The Alexanders arrived in Australia midway through last year.
They are based at Murray Bridge, a state of the art training and racing centre in the village of Gifford Hill, which is 75km from Adelaide in South Australia.
In the 2021/2022 season, their first in Australia, they only had 26 runners for two wins (7.7%) and six places (30.8%).
However, it is picking up a bit now as they have already had seven runners in the first month of the new season for one winner (14.3%) and three places (57.1%).
The brothers had expected a slow start because they were going to build up their string from scratch chiefly by attending sales, so must of their horses must be unraced youngsters.
Gary and Dean, while training out of Turffontein for more than four decades, had made many friends and contacts in Australasia as regular buyers at the Australian and New Zealand Sales.
They were known and greeted out there as “the Alexander brothers”, so should go from strength to strength just as they did in Johannesburg where they at one stage were stabling 160 horses.
Picture: Flightline and connections after his effortless victory in the Met Mile at Belmont Park (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)
Meet The Superstar Rivalling Baaeed For The Title Of World’s Best Racehorse
By Sam Hendry (Racing Post)
A win there will emphasise his position as favourite for the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Classic in November, where, dependent on what Baaeed does in the Arc or Champion Stakes, he could surpass Shadwell’s star as the world’s best.
Matsunyane/Naidoo Treble, De Melo Treble, Dawson Double
Kabelo matsunyane went further ahead at the top of the National Jockeys table when riding a treble for Ashburton trainer Kumaran Naidoo on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly today.
Candice Dawson raided from Johannesburg and clinched a double, both of them ridden by Keagan de Melo.
De Melo late made it a treble when riding a winner for Robbie Hill.
Matsunyane has ridden 20 winners this season at a strike rate of 19.05%.
He is three clear of De Melo, whose 17 winners have come at a strike rate of 21.52%.
Naidoo has made a tremendous start to the season and his nine winners have been at 15%.
He is currently in 8th place on the National Trainers log. His 8 winners in KZN have put him on top of the KZN log, one ahead of Glen Kotzen.
Dawson has had three winners this season at 33.33%.
Who won the African Breeders Challenge Stakes in the 1940’s carrying the saddle in his hand?
The subject is pictured above.
Turffontein Inside Fields
Today’s Question Answer
Charlie Barends won the African Breeders Stakes for juveniles over 1400m at Greyville on April 23, 1949, riding the Lenin filly Nylon Queen. The girth and surcingle broke in the run in and he grabbed the saddle from under him and, holding it in one hand, rode his mount bare back to victory.
Barends was born in Johannesburg on September 24, 1919.
His first rides were on donkeys on the farm next to his home.
In 1932 he was apprenticed to Bob Huston, going later to Jackie Gorton and Walter Krog.
It was 18 months before he rode a winner.
It was while with Krog he started going places.
His first and only July win was on the Krog-trained Extinguisher II (Limelight) in 1938.
He did later have four second places and one third in the July.
He won seven Gold Cups, a record he held until beaten by Felix Coetzee in 2012.
He was SA Champion jockey three times and Natal Champion jockey twelve times.
He was the first to ride 100 winners in a season in Natal.
Picture: Charlie Barends (left) congratulated by ‘Tiger’ Wright on winning his first Championship in 1955/6.